Sunday, October 18, 2009

Binding corners

When I first became interested in quilting, I had neither the time or money to attend quilting classes so I taught myself to quilt by reading quilting books and magazines. I tell ya, there is some bad information out there to trip up the novice. For example, attaching binding. One source said to use 4 strips. Bind the top and bottom, then the sides.

OK, granted, mine looks very much worse than the book sample but I know now that this is not the way to bind a quilt! What terrible corners! This is how I do corners now. Do you do the same or do you have a different method that you like? First off, I do not trim my backing and batting until after I have attached my binding. I find this cuts down on the backing buckling while I sew the binding. The pin is placed 1/4-inch from the edge of my quilt top. Sew to this point and stop.

With the needle down, pivot the quilt clockwise. sew to the edge of the binding then backstitch.

Now turn the quilt 180* so you are in position to continue sewing the binding.

Line up the binding to the quilt top.

Backstitch and continue sewing your binding.

Once all my binding is sewn on, I trim the batting and backing even with the quilt top and binding. When you flip the binding to the back of the quilt, you get nice corners. By the way, for instruction on how to flawlessly finish attatching your binding, go to Stephanie's great tutorial on this subject! Now onto hand sewing the binding to the back.

I received this thread conditioner (along with other wonderful items, including yummy Samoan fabric!) in a giveaway I won from Barb at Bejeweled quilts by Barb. Like beeswax, it coats the the thread. Less thread tangling. Oh, must mention that it is resting on one of the wonderful coasters Jane sent me for participating in one of her block swaps. Love them! (ok gang, I keep trying to hyperlink you to Jane's blog but blogger is being fussy! Go see her at

A traditional over the finger thimble was always awkward for me. I discovered this ring thimble while in Japan. It fits right under the first knuckle of your finger.
You push the needle through the fabric like this. While I haven't seen metal ring thimbles like this in local stores, I have seen leather rings with a dimpled metal section. Maybe if traditional thimbles are not for you, you can give this kind a try. (yes, I know I should be using black thread but I didn't have any and didn't want to drop everything to run to the fabric store. The white thread forced me to really work at making my stitches invisible!)

OK, here is the completed corner. Much better than that first quilt corner I showed you! Alright, back to stitching the binding. I'll show you the completed quilt next time.
Talk at you later. Rumi


  1. Thanks, I am trying to get better at my bindings....I don't do mine the way most do and want to but am not very good at thanks!!

  2. yep i sew mine much the same way as yours. Your hand sewing is amazing i cant see any of the thread. I use two thimbles one for pushing the needle in on one hand and the other one on my left hand for the tip of the needle when it comes out and i love my leather one with the metal center for my right hand that is but haven't found one i like for my left hand-yes i know i am strange and its a weird practice.

  3. Zowie, I haven't had any quilts to bind in a lOng time...yours look Fabulous. NICE WORK as usual. Hugs, Robin

  4. I just put a binding on today and did it that way, but that was not how I was taught, I was taught just like you were, so many, many of my quilts were done that way. Now I am trying hard to do it your way. Not the best part of making a quilt for me. thank you for the shout out, I am so glad you like the coasters!

  5. I had done a couple quilts like the first one because that was the way I was taught. But now I do them the way you do except for one thing. When you get to the corner you sew a straight line and when I get to the corner I sew a diagonal line. I might try it your way and see if it makes a big difference how the corners turn out.

  6. Hia Rumi your quilt looks interesting with its stary sky binding. Like you I did the 4 strips method initially but now I use the method you showed. I find it faster as well as better looking.

    Lovely coaster. I haven't seen the ring thimbles around here. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. I agree with you, Stephanie's tutorial is the best! I never did bindings quite right before I learned it her way. :-) Your Sparkling Corners are perfect. :-D

    And what an interesting thimble. Wonder if I could get used to it. You are a lefty. :-)

  8. Yep...this is how I do mine have a perfect corner's wonderful to find better ways to make our projects nicer!!