A wonderful method for starting out, and getting some experience with machine finished binding, is a Flanged Binding, also known as a faux flanged binding or piping. This Flowering Table Runner was finished with a flanged binding.
After practicing the flanged binding method on many, many quilts, my confidence grew with experience. This experience enable me to acquire some helpful hints to make this method more successful. And I then moved on, eager to attempt machine sewn binding without the extra step of sewing two narrow strips together to make the binding strip. But I still like to use the flanged binding method when a project calls for a little extra zing!
This technique uses two narrow complimentary fabric strips to make the binding strip. This method adds a little punch of colour and frames your quilt in style. The flanged binding method is accomplished by sewing from the front of the quilt, ditch quilting on top of the binding, along the seam where the two strips meet. This will result in a seam line, next to the binding, on the reverse side of the quilt. It does require an extra step in making the binding because you have to sew the two narrow strips together along the length of the binding strips.
First up: Measure the perimeter of your quilting project. My runner was 12" x 58".
12 + 12 + 58 + 58 = 140"
140" divided by 42" (the standard width of fabric) = 3.33 strips rounded up = 4 strips
So I needed 4 width of fabric strips, cut on the crossgrain, to make enough binding for this runner.
For an explanation of what crossgrain is, please click here.
I neglected to take photos of the Flowering Table Runner binding strips being joined. So these first four pictures show another example using black and grey strips.
Cut your strips of the MAIN binding fabric (grey) at 1.50" wide. Cut your FLANGE strips (black) at 1.75" wide.
Sew the strips of each fabric together end to end using a mitered join.
Trim the corners.
And press the seams open.
Now back to the Flowering Table Runner binding examples for the remainder of the tutorial.
When your quilt has been quilted and you are ready to use your binding, trim the batting and backing of the quilt even with your quilt top.
Before starting to sew my binding in place, for a small project like this runner, I like to lay my binding around the perimeter of the quilt to ensure none of the joins will end up at a corner on the quilt. For larger projects I use a scrap of paper to draw out the length of the sides and deduce just where I need to begin binding to avoid a join at the corners.
In this example, the quilt is 40" wide and 60" long. Shown on the outside, the numbers between the black lines add up to 42", which is the length of the binding between the joins. Shown on the inside of the quilt, the numbers along each side of the quilt add up to the length of that side of the quilt.
Overlap your tail ends to make a miter join. Take care to use a pin to match where the seam lines on the two tails will meet along the diagonal.
The Flanged Binding method does result in a seam line on the back of your quilt, within about .25" of the binding.
Tips for using the Flanged Binding method:
- Notice the large gap at the corners on the binding? Hand sew these gaps closed using a ladder stitch and bury the knots.
- When your quilt has been quilted and you are ready to use your binding, trim the batting and backing of the quilt about 1/8" larger than the quilt top. This will result in the binding covering less of your quilt front. If you don't add a border, the binding will likely cut off your points in your quilt blocks.
- If you don't like the look of the wide binding on the front, and would like the seam line on the back of the quilt to be closer to the binding, use slightly narrower binding strips. Cut your main fabric and your flange fabric strips an eighth of an inch narrower.
Keep On Quilting On!