Nov 06

Choosing a Quilt Binding

Choosing a quilt binding for your baby quilt should be done once the quilt is assembled.  It is difficult to make a decision on what type of fabric should be used and how it will look on the quilt. 

 bias binding quilt binding

Place your finished quilt top on either your design wall or lay it out on a bed or clean floor space.  Now, you will be able to place potential fabrics alongside of the quilt top.  Step back.  Exchange fabrics and repeat. 

The quilt binding width needs also to be considered.  If your choice of  a baby quilt design is without borders, a ¼ inch  wide binding is not only the easiest to sew but that width will match up with the ¼ inch seam allowance.  This is standard in most baby quilts.    If you choose a border, or a series of borders for your quilt, the size of the quilt binding is not a problem.  It is just as simple to sew on a binding wider or narrower than ¼ inch, since the seam allowance will not matter.

Single-fold binding is a type of quilt binding that should be considered if you want to reduce corner bulk in baby quilts with butted, rather than mitered corners.  This is a good choice for quilts have scalloped edges or curved edges, since the single-fold binding is easily manipulated around curves.  Most quilters also trim the batting and backing even with the straight quilt edge to produce the ¼ inch binding on the front of the quilt.  The acrylic ruler and rotary cuter are used for straight edge cutting and ease of measuring.

To construct this type of quilt binding, a long strip made from a single layer of fabric is sewn to the baby quilt; the unsewn edge is folded under, wrapped to the back of the quilt, and blind stitched to the backing.  The closer together you make the blind stitches, the more durable your quilt binding will be.  Since baby quilts get plenty of love and will have plenty of trips to the washing machine and dryer, durable stitching is needed. 

 To determine the width of the fabric strip use the following:  2 times the finished binding width + (2 times the seam allowance.) 

 Another option for a baby quilt binding is a double-fold binding, or sometimes referred to as French-fold binding.  As the names implies, the fabric is folded in a strip lengthwise with wrong sides together and machine stitched to the front of the quilt.  After turning to the back of the quilt, the binding is held securely in place with invisible hand stitches. 

Just as in the single-fold method, trimming the batting and backing are advisable to cut the bulk. 

When cutting a double-fold binding, an extra width of fabric is needed since the quilt binding extends farther into the quilt back when it is stitched in place.  

 To determine the width of the fabric strip use the following:  (2 times the finished binding width + seam allowance) X 2

Make a fantastic finish for your baby quilt.  Take time and choose the best fabric and quilt binding that compliments your quilt.

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