I am so excited to share that I actually finished a real quilt in 2016! Here is a picture of the binding. It’s not perfect but pretty good considering I probably went all of 2015 without putting on a traditional binding.
Here are some thoughts which I shared on IG and FB but I added a couple of bonus thoughts just for my blog readers) and because I thought of them after I shared everywhere else)
1) Always check the recommended width of the strips before cutting, I cut mine at 2.5″ because that sounded right in my head but 3″ would have made life so much better.
2) When machine binding and planning to finish by machine, stitch the folded binding on the BACK of the quilt then fold to the front
3) At each corner leave a tail of thread to hand finish the miter
4) Use a matching thread to stitch the binding to the quilt because when you have to fold the binding over to cover it, it will blend better
5) A zigzag stitch is a life saver for this method
6) Eleanor Burns still has the best tutorial in her book Egg Money Quilts and I’ll probably never get rid of that book because of the tutorial for binding (and her instructions are for machine finished binding!)
Clover clips are not just useful for hand binding, they are perfect for machine binding too since they hold the small edge in place and they don’t poke!
Binding isn’t hard and isn’t something to be afraid of. It’s the best part of a quilt because it means it’s finished and it feels so good to finish something that can actuality be used by adults (coming from a girl who only made mini quilts in 2015). Just take your time, do some research (I have a whole board dedicated to binding tips on Pinterest) find a technique that you feel comfortable with. Don’t worry about it looking perfect because in the end as long as it holds up through wear and tear and washing then it is doing it’s job. If you still hate binding but have lots of quilts to bind, find a friend who enjoys it and work out a swap. Just do the first part of the work by squaring up the quilt and making the binding at least.
If you have any favorite binding tutorials you’d like to share please link them in the comments below. I’m probably going to do a binding test during my summer quilt retreat.
Good luck and happy stitches!