Sunday, July 14, 2019

Binding Time

After a lot of secret sewing, it's time for some binding.

First, I cut and prepped this, for a top that is finished but the not yet quilted:

I store prepared bindings in a small tote bag. Before starting to sew, I spread large quilts on my bed and pre-check that no seams will land in the corners of the quilt. It is easy to carry the tote and quilt and pins to my bed--I pin the binding in place and IF a seam will be at or near a corner, I back up the starting point until that problem is avoided. This take a few minutes but is well worth it to not get to a corner with a seam and have to make a major fix:

Another quilt needed to be bound--with "sky" fabric on 3 sides, and "ground" fabric on the bottom:

Then I tackled Ruffled Roses, a beast of a quilt but one I am thrilled is done:

I have Binding Tutorial here.  It also discusses other topics about finishing a quilt, like creating a permanent label.

Lots of time will now be spent hand-stitching the Ruffled Roses binding in place. It takes 2-3 hours to create the binding, trim the quilt edges, and attach the binding and sleeve by machine. It takes 10-12 hours for me to hand-stitch the binding in place on a queen-size quilt. While I enjoy this process, it does take time and care.  This quilt is taking a trip to Denver in August so has to be ready for that.

There is ONE more queen-size quilt that needs binding before Denver--secret sewing I can't show you but here is the border, back and binding--I think you will like it...

Let's quilt.



  1. I used to think that once a top is done, the quilt was almost done, and all that was left was the quilting and the binding, but once I started timing it - the trimming of the loose threads, the sandwiching, measuring and making the backing and batting, choosing the quilting design, quilting, making the binding, sewing it on, hand stitching it, labeling it, etc., now I know that more than half of the job still needs to be done once the top is finished.

  2. I read your instructions somewhere else that you always add a hanging sleeve. I didn’t follow that advice and started the binding on a quilt that I may want to enter in a show. I ripped out the binding and added a sleeve. I may not enter the quilt, but the sleeve is there just in case.
    Do you put handling sleeves on quilts that you are giving as gifts?

  3. I’ve got to ask.... the last photo: did you do that quilting on the blue border or was that from a long arm machine? Beautiful quilting!

  4. Phyllis, I do put a hanging sleeve on every quilt I make, from small wall hanging to king size bed quilts.

    The dark blue border you asked about was quilted by a Longarm quilter.

  5. It is a big job to bring a quilt to its completely finished state. I have a few flimsies because I find that part so difficult. You are so productive.

  6. Barbara, I am so relieved to read that it takes 10-12 hours for you to stitch down the binding on a queen size quilt. I dare say I am close to that, but because one of my quilting mentors told me she could do it while "watching" a couple of movies, I always thought something was wrong with me. Her work was excellent quality, but I don't know how she did it that quickly. I never saw her actually do the stitching, and she has passed away.
    I once watched another friend stitch down a binding, who couldn't believe how slow I was. She took such large stitches I felt they were almost toe-catchers. I didn't want that! :)

  7. Janet, my stitches are about 1/8” apart. Slow but steady gets it done.