Wednesday, June 29, 2016

3-Yard Quilt Binding 101 (economy binding)

When I came up with the concept of 3-yard economy quilts, I wanted to make the largest quilt possible with just 3 yards of fabric. I knew that I couldn't get the traditional double fold binding from 3 yards and still achieve my goal of making a big quilt with a little fabric. You see, a traditional double fold binding uses 1/2 yard for a quilt the size that I can make with 3 yards and I preferred to put that fabric in the quilt top. That's how the single fold, economy binding became the standard for the 3-yard quilt designs. (If you prefer a double fold, you will need to add 1/2 yard fabric to make it).'

Watch this clip on how to cut and press the binding.
Once you cut the 1 1/4" strips of fabric, sew these strips together end to end and press as shown in the video clip above. Place the right side of the strip to the right side of the quilt top, leaving a tail of fabric of about 4 or 5 inches loose. When you begin stitching, use a scant 1/4" seam allowance.  (a scant quarter inch is about one stitch less than a regular 1/4")You can see where I began stitching the strip to the quilt top in the next photo.
Sew to the first corner. Lock stitch or take a couple of stitches back. Remove piece from the machine.
Now fold the strip at a 90 degree angle and secure with a straight pin.

Next, fold the strip back over itself.
Return to the machine and begin stitching a scant quarter inch from the edge.
Repeat this for all 4 corners. Once you get close to the place you began, stop stitching about four inches from the starting point. Lock stitch. You will have a long tail at the beginning and end of the binding.

Bring the two ends together and place a pin where they meet.
Check to make sure the binding matches securely with the quilt. Now fold the excess quilt away from the binding and place a pin to hold it out of the way.
Stitch the two ends of the binding together where it is marked with the pin. Remove pins from quilt and binding.  Check to see if the binding fits securely next to the quilt.

 Once you are confident the binding and quilt match up, trim the long tails 1/4" from stitching.
Press 1/4" seam open. 
 Stitch binding and quilt together closing the opening.
Turn the binding to back of quilt and blind stitch in place. The corners will fold nicely into a miter. Here's the back.
Here's the front. 
If this tutorial was helpful, let me know. If you have questions, I would like to know those as well.