Monday, July 20, 2015

How To: Scrappy Quilt Binding Tutorial

Happy Monday! Over the weekend I got the scrappy binding machine sewn to my "Go Four It" quilt along quilt. I just have the hand sewing left to do, but I took a few pictures and thought that today I'd share a little bit about my process for piecing and sewing a scrappy binding.

If you have left-over binding bits and pieces from other quilt projects, you can sew together a pieced scrappy binding in a hurry. But even if you're just cutting strips from your scraps or stash, this is a great way to make a fun binding. The first couple of times I made scrappy bindings I was super concerned about what size to cut the strips and even emailed some of my friends to ask what size strips they used. I really appreciated hearing their thoughts, and so hopefully some of these ideas will be helpful.

I generally use scrappy bindings when my outer border isn't too "busy." With the neutral colored outer borders on this quilt, a scrappy binding was definitely a good option (I also thought about binding it in just one blue or scrappy blues to bring out the blues even more, but I finally decided on a multi-color scrappy binding).

I keep all of my left over bindings in a box, and so my first step in making this binding was to sort through for all of the left over Fig Tree bindings.

I pulled out my favorites and even had extras I wasn't sure I needed to use. I had lots of green left overs, so I knew I didn't need to use all of them.

I cut all of my left-overs into lengths close to 11" long. Most were right at this size, but some were a bit smaller and some a bit bigger depending on what I had to work with. Next I put them in a row so that the colors were distributed evenly.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but some of these piles have just a couple of strips in them while others have all depended on what was in my scrap box!

I stacked them up to sew together, and when one pile ran out I sometimes shifted the piles a bit to keep the contrast between the strips. I joined everything with diagonal seams and was able to chain piece them all.

 After trimming and pressing the new seams I rolled it all up so it would be easier to manage while stitching to my quilt top.

Here's how I figured out how many strips I needed: I knew my quilt had an outside perimeter of about 420" (king sized). I figured some extra for going around the corners and decided I'd make 450" - 500" of binding. Since my strips were an average of 10" - 12" long, I knew 50 sections would give me about 500" of binding. That's what I made, and I ended up with 60" of left over scrappy binding after I was finished. I put that back in my binding scrap box--I have the beginnings of another scrappy binding ready to go!

 I was pretty happy with the glad I went with scrappy for this quilt instead of with just one color or even with a scrappy version of one color.

One of my favorite tips for binding is to press the binding out away from the outer border after I've machine stitched it to the quilt top and before I do the hand-stitching. My grandmother taught me this over 20 years ago, and it's a step I never leave out with straight of grain binding. It really makes the binding look crisp; however, if you are using bias binding you can sometimes distort the binding when ironing, so I don't iron when using bias binding.

For more information on quilt binding, here are a couple of binding tutorials you can watch on my You Tube channel for even more information:

I also have an earlier binding post you might be interested in:

Hope this week is a great one...thanks so much for stopping by!


KathyinMN said...

Very pretty. Great instructions.

Chrissy said...

I have never thought of ironing binding before. Maybe I need to read your other binding posts.
I love a scrappy binding. Your quilt looks great.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I have never pressed it after sewn on but other than that I make my scrappy binding the same way. When I get done with my quilting this week and get the binding on I need to remember to try that step

Needled Mom said...

I always press mine out too. The scrappy binding is beautiful on that quilt.

Rhonda said...

I've never thought of ironing the binding! Good idea for my next quilt finish - thanks!

Hildy said...

I love scrappy bindings! It gives a quilt a playfulness that wouldn't be there with an one-color binding. I know I'll use a scrappy binding on your Summer Sew-along quilt ... I want it to be extra cute:-)

Judy said...

I have only used two fabrics to make the binding but yours is so pretty! You have the most lovely scraps! I will ck out your binding tutorials. I have such a hard time doing the "tails" at the end. I cross them at the 45 but it's not tight enough. Maybe I need to leave 12 inches or more to do it. I usually have about 6" on each side. I just did one last night and has trouble. I can sew it straight without a problem but getting that 45 is hard. Thank you for the tips. I will try them. I sure enjoy learning from your blogs!!

Judy said...

Just watched your binding tutorail. Thank you very much!! I will do this on my next quilt!!

jenni said...

This is extremely helpful! Thank you!

chapman1531 said...

I'll try NOT'll be hard, as a 60 year old lifelong seamstress, it was drilled into me "sew, press, sew, press!"

Stacy said...

I love scrappy bindings and use them quite often. The problem I have is not knowing how many inches I'm losing when joining on the diagonal. I don't like ending up with an odd sized strip at the end. Any tips?

Lynne Tilley said...

Thanks for the ironing tip! I'm going to do that from now on. Makes sense to me!! Your quilt and binding are just awesome!

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