Monday, August 7, 2017

Flange Binding-Tail Connecting

If you've been by my blog before, I'm pretty sure you know by now, if I'm going to bind a quilt, more than likely there will be a flange involved.

Why? For me personally, I do not mind a binding done on the machine as opposed to by hand.  It's a bit sturdier and I want my quilts to be well loved, so it's just a good option for me.  Also, I think it can add a "wow" factor to the quilt.  Who doesn't love adding a small inner border to a quilt before you add a bigger border?  Think of it as a small binding before the binding.  A tiny POP of color and an unexpected detail that leaves most people going, "how in the world did they do that?"  And you always want people to think you are magical.

I think the hardest most intimidating part to this process is combining the where you started point to where you end...the tails.  So that is what this post will focus on.  There are many great posts talking about how to make your binding strips and attach them to your quilt.  I learned this process from reading Marti at 52 Quilts post called Susie's Magic Binding Method (she also has a great video).  Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts also has a wonderful tutorial on this binding method and can be found here.  Both of these tutorials have you work with a binding that is 2.5".  If you happen to like a slightly smaller binding, say 2.25" then check out Sandra at mmm!quilts tutorial to construct a smaller binding.  All of these tutorials are wonderful and will get you to what I'm talking about today.  A closer look at connecting the tails.

Actually let's start right after you make your binding strips.  They are all sewed together and pressed so that you have a nice crisp little flange peeking out from under your binding what?

The first thing I like to do, is figure out which end I need to start with.  The end on the right side of the ironing board, will be my starting point when I start sewing it to the quilt.  The raw edge of strip to the raw edge of your quilt.  Always remember the flange fabric should be facing you.

Now that I have identified where I need to start, I take the other end of the strip and begin wrapping it around my hand, keeping the flange fabric on top.

Rolling your binding will help keep things neat and ensure that the press you made to create your flange stays nice and crisp.

I like to take my little binding doughnut and place it around one of my extension table legs.  If your machine doesn't have an extension table or your machine is recessed in a table, you could easily use a spool of thread or anything that will stand up straight to keep your binding from unraveling and flopping all over the place (until recently, I have been a floppy binding person).  Now you are ready to sew your binding to the back side of your quilt.

As you can see, I like to leave myself with long starting and stopping tails, maybe even a bit too long, but that's okay (trimming an overage is easier to fix than having to little).  I visually pick a spot that I will aim to make the meeting point for the strips.  I like to take my time and pin the binding strip on my left to the edge of the quilt until I get to the point I've chosen.  Then I fold the strip back on itself like in the picture below.

Then I place a mark about 1/4" away from the strip.  This will be the stopping point for the right binding tail.  Then I pin the strip to the quilt and fold the excess back.

You end up with something that looks like this.

Next, I press the two folds using my iron.  Creating good creases is very important, because it is these lines that will aid in lining your two tails as accurately as possible.

I remove the pins from the tail on my left and open the tail up so I can see what I am working with.

Using a blue water soluble pen, I have marked the lines created from pressing my strip so that you can see them a bit better.  There is a horizontal and vertical line you will use when lining things up.  When joining the strips, these are the lines that will match up with the other strip.

Now I unpin the tail on the right side of the quilt.  The above pictures shows how the strip will lay across the other tail.  The arrow in the upper right hand corner points to a pin.  I like to fold the quilt up and pin it, so I'm not fighting the strip while I'm trying to line things up.

You want to line up the crease of the right hand side binding strip with the crease in the left hand strip, the marked lines in the above picture.

I simply place my finger inside of the strip to hold it in place then flip the strip open, making sure that every thing stays lined up.

Once everything is lined up, you are ready to pin your strips into place.

I always pause for a moment to think about drawing my diagonal line.  Make sure your extra tails will be what you are cutting when you trim.  I can't tell you how many times (other than too many)  I have sewed the wrong diagonal and trust me, the last thing you want is to cut the wrong thing.  

Now you are ready to head to your machine and stitch your seam.  A great suggestion from Marty at 52 Quilts is to use a bigger stitch length (2.5) then check your strip.  

Does your seams all match up?  If so, simply open your strips back up and stitch over your seam with a smaller seam to secure it.  If it doesn't....well, rip your stitches and try again and be thankful they aren't teeny tiny stitches.

Once I'm happy with how my seams match up and I've made sure that my newly joined binding strips fit the space of my quilt, I pin the strip to the quilt and finish sewing on my binding.

I usually take another peek to make sure everything looks correct.  My flange didn't 100% match up this time, but it is well within an acceptable range for me.  All that is left to do is fold the binding over to the front and stitch it down.

I will use a blue colored thread in my bobbin to match my backing fabric and a pink on top to match the flange.  After a leisurely stroll around the quilt with my walking foot, I now have myself a completed quilt.

And that my friends, is really all there is to a flange binding.  I promise it is easy peasy.  I hope that these more detailed photos will help you in trying to match up your binding tails.  This was the part that tripped me up for the longest time, because I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking at.  I figured I couldn't be the only one.  Let me know if you find this tutorial helpful, or if there is something that you think I have left out.  There is always room for improvement with most things.  Thanks so much for stopping by...and give the flange a try.


Danette said...

The flanged binding is so cute. I have not sewn one yet, I have a quilt top done that would add and extra "cute factor". Thanks for the tutorial.

Jayne said...

I do love a good flanged binding Tish! Thanks for the great tutorial. I have cut my binding too soon before as well...not a happy camper when that happens! I have a binding ruler that my sister sent me and it has been one of my favorites for binding.

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

Great tutorial and the photos are just right! Leaving that little bit of a gap (1/8 to 1/4 inch) makes such a big difference. I used to fight puckers all the time but once I master that gap it is so much better. :)

Nancy J said...

Turning it back and ironing, and leaving that small gap, then marking so you can match it up when pinning, all together a wonderful tutorial. I struggle to get the flange meeting perfectly, and so many times have undone it, that I need to start all over again in a different place. Thanks for this. specially as my bindings are almost always with a flange. For all you younger quilters, hand sewing might not be a problem, but for my older/ quite old/ well, now they are 77 years old.. fingers, holding a needle and stitching neatly is not an option I want to pursue. Super photos that show it all so well.

Stitchin At Home said...

Great tutorial Tish! As others have said leaving that little space makes for a nice fit. Since I've been using flange bindings they are quickly becomming my favourite,

piecefulwendy said...

This is a really great tutorial. It's all explained so well. I haven't tried a flange binding yet, but I really do like the look of them. Thanks for posting this!

KaHolly said...

Very well explained! 👍

Preeti said...

I have absolutely zero excuses left. I have to try faux piped binding. Very good lesson, Tish. You rock. And so do all your quilts :-)

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

I have never flanged . There. I've said it . I have tried piping within a border but the result wasn't great . Flanging is the way to go I think . I must admit that although I mitre all my other binding joins I don't mitre the last join . I should do . Would be so much neater than my usual ram the two little bits of fabric under the machine

Lorna McMahon said...

Your quilts all look so pretty with the flanged bindings and you certainly have become a master at it. Thanks so much for sharing the tips you've learned along the way!

Sandra Walker said...

This is really good info on the pressing and then lining up the folds atop one another! Your meeting of the minds, er bindings, lol, the join is pretty darn perfect-looking!

Susan said...

Getting those two colors to match up correctly can certainly be a challenge! Thanks for the tips and great tutorial!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Thanks for sharing the tutorial. I keep saying I'm going to try this, but then I forget.

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

Thanks for linking up! :)

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