Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Backs and Binding

binding pressed, wound, and ready to use
January 2016
The four Quilts of Valor tops, finished before Christmas, needed to have backs and bindings prepared, so over the weekend I tackled that job. I like to use scraps from previous backs for the binding because the pieces are usually long and on the straight of the grain.

The burgundy flower fabric produced enough binding for two quilts, the light brown swirls on the top is adequate for two quilts, the burgundy in the center is for one quilt, and the dark brown on the right will bind one quilt. The dark brown swirl fabric at the bottom of the photo is one of four backs that I prepared from some wide-back yardage (108" wide)

Whenever I prepare binding, I thank Lori for telling me about a wonderful tool that makes pressing the binding quick and painless.

Press the seams of the binding strips open
After the 2.5 inch strips have been cut and sewn together, the seams are trimmed and pressed open.

1.25 inch binding tip
Before Lori told me about the 1.25 inch quilt binding tip, shown above, I had to fold the fabric in half while pressing. This process resulted in hot or burned fingertips. The quilt binding tip takes all the discomfort out of the process, and I can prepare the binding in less than half the time.

insert the fabric in the curved slit on the back
Carefully insert the fabric in the curved slip on the back of the tip. It is easier to do if you leave the selvage on the fabric.

Gently push the fabric through the slit until it is visible at the opening on the flat side of the tip. At this point, I use my stiletto to work the fabric down to the end of the tip.

Straighten the fabric so it is folded perfectly
Once the fabric is through the tip, gently straighten it until the two layers are folded perfectly in half. 

Press the end of the fabric and gently draw the tip to the left.
Now, you are ready to press and prepare the binding. Press the fabric as you gently draw the tip to the left. The shiny flat edge of the tip should be against the ironing board, and it will glide smoothly. When you reach the end of the ironing surface, move the pressed binding off of the board, so you can continue pressing the strips. 

At the seams, place your hand before the tip and gently tug the tip over
the seam. Continue pressing. 
I usually prepare 7 - 8 strips of 2.5 inch fabric for the Quilt of Valor binding, so there are several seams. The seams may be tight in the binding tip, so you will need to place your right hand on the pressed fabric, and then gently tug the tip over the seam. 

Continue pressing until you reach the end of the fabric strips. 
completed binding
When the full length of the binding has been pressed, I wind it on a piece of cardboard and secure with a pin until it is needed. 

I no longer dread making binding thanks to Lori and this simple tool. 

Note: the tip can be found online, in larger quilt shops or even in hobby stores that sell fabric. Amazon gives you the specific details and an idea of price - as I illustrated in this post, you do NOT need to purchase the Bias Tape Maker machine to use this tip to prepare quilt binding. 


  1. Even with that handy tool, it must have taken a good amount of time to make all that binding. You're two quilts ahead by my count. Nice work!

  2. You are a wonder lady... or wonder woman!

  3. That truly is a waste not, want not mentality! I love that you use up EVERY bit.

  4. What a great little tool! Good to know some tricks of the trade...and save yourself some hot fingers and more tedious folding.

  5. People invent the cleverest tools and this is such a simple idea.

  6. This is so cool. I sent my mom the link to see if she has one or if she'd like me to get her one. However now I know why I'm not a quilter ... I'm allergic to the iron!

  7. Funny, I don't mind making the binding -- I don't like sewing it down by hand. I have now pretty much started sewing both sides of binding by machine. Maybe small ones I'll sew by hand...


I love comments!

If you are going to ask a question make sure you have your profile set to allow me to respond back by email or email me directly - my address is in upper right hand column.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...