Flanged Binding Tutorial
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.
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.
Cut your strips of the MAIN binding fabric (flowered) at 1.50″ wide. Cut your FLANGE strips (yellow) 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.
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.
Now back to the Flowering Table Runner binding examples for the remainder of the tutorial.
After you have joined, trimmed and pressed the strips for each fabric, with right sides together, sew the strips together along the length using a 1/4″ seam.
Press the seam to the MAIN fabric. View from the right side.
View from the wrong side.
Then press with wrong sides together along the length matching the raw edges.
I always wind my finished binding around a piece of card stock to keep it flat and neat.
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.
Leaving a 10″ tail, apply the binding to the BACK of the quilt with the FLANGE fabric facing up. Keep the raw edges of the binding even with the raw edge of your backing and use a 1/4″ seam. Backstitch at the beginning of the seam, then continue.
Sew the binding all the way around the quilt until you are about 12″ away from where you started. Backstitch and stop sewing. Remove the quilt from your machine.
Lay your starting tail out flat along the edge of your quilt. The tail ends at the 8″ mark on the ruler.
Fold your ending tail down across the starting tail and overlap by the width of the binding. This would be 2.5″. However I cut my tail a little shorter to ensure that binding is taut and there is no sag or ruffle.
Open your tails as shown. Mark a diagonal line on your starting tail, 2.5″ in from the corner on the bottom, up to the corner at the top.
When making your final joining seam, it can be a bit tricky to get the seam to match. Notice the pin is helping to line up the two seams on the tails.
Sew along the diagonal line being careful to have your needle land in the hole made where the pin is matching the two seam lines.
Open up your seam to have a look before cutting your tails. If your seams don’t line up well, remove the stitching and try again. I made two attempts before being satisfied with this join. Trim the seam and press the seam open and as you did when joining the strips to make your binding. Then place the quilt back on the machine to finish attaching your binding. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your final seam.
Now take your finished quilt over to the ironing board and give the binding a good pressing. Press the binding out away from the back of your quilt towards the front.
Flip the quilt over to the front and, with long thread tails, begin sewing the binding to the front of the quilt. Setting my stitch length to 3.0, I use a slightly larger stitch length for this, as I do for quilting. Stitch in the ditch between the flange and the main fabric. If you have a stitch in the ditch foot for your machine, this would be a great time to use it.
When nearing your first corner, fold the bottom edge of your binding up and pin in place.
Then fold the side you are working on down over the corner to make a nice mitered corner and pin or hold in place. Continue to sew your binding all the way around the quilt, mitering the corners as you go. When you reach your beginning, try to land in the same stitch hole you started in. Raise the needle and remove your quilt from the machine, leaving long thread tails.
Pull your top thread tails to the back of the quilt and tie them securely in a knot.
Using a standard hand sewing needle, bury the thread tails, pulling the knot into the batting and trim the tails.
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.
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