Joining Strips to Make Binding (Part 1 of machine binding post)

*Note this is a photo heavy post – I like to see things.. so I am hoping my readers do too!

When I first started quilting everything seemed quite daunting. Binding was no exception. Whilst it has been a bit of a challlenge to find my ‘groove’ in binding – I have worked a method that suits my style. This post will take you through minimizing bulk fabrics in joining for binding.

Lets begin.

I am going right back to the basics with this post.. it is aimed at the newby quilter in a hope to make things a bit easier along the way. Please feel free to comment below and leave your hints and suggestions for binding.

Lets start by joining our strips of fabric… Usually binding is cut (mine anyway) at 2.5″ by the width of fabric (WOF) – or shorter if I am using sorter bits to get a colour change or just because it is the amount of fabric that I have in the fabric I want to use… but generally 2.5″ by WOF. In the pictures below I have used a binging of 3.5″ because I have used a double layer of wadding (for a bit of extra heat protection).

Rarely is one WOF strip long enough to go all the way around a quilt so we need to join them. the best way to avoid excessive bulk in fabric joining is to make the join on an angle which is what I will demonstrate here.

The two strips I want to join. They must be the same width. they can be any length.



Lay the first strip right side (good side) UP horizontally in front of you, then place the second strip right side DOWN at a 90 degree angle on the top right end of the first strip.



If you are unsure of your ability to sew a straight line from one corner to the other – you can go ahead and draw it on in pencil or other fabric pen. Where your two fabrics cross you will notice they make a square. You are going to sew from the TOP LEFT to the BOTTOM RIGHT of that square. I have drawn the line below to show you what I mean.




If you dont need to draw the line I still encourage you to use a pin to keep things steady.




Stitch along the line. (I don’t normally use contrasting thread… this is for demonstrative purposes.)



Once you have sewn the line – remove from your machine, and trim off the threads. the fewer threads the better the end product.




Leaving about a 1/4″ seam from your stitched line trim the corner off. You can measure this with your ruler and rotary cutter – or just trim off with scissors.




Now flip the top fabric over so you are looking at the wring side of both fabrics and you will see your diagonal seam.




Press the seam OPEN



Flip it over and have a look at your awesome 45degree join.




Fold your fabric (wrong sides together) for the length of the fabric. I am holding it open a little here so you can see how a join like this reduces bulk.



And there you go – fabric joined and pressed in half ready to become your binding!


See the next post on how to use your newly joined fabric to make an awesome binding.




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