Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
Binding a quilt with scallops such as wedding ring or flower garden requires the binding to stretch around curves without bunching or cupping.
I do a test piece at this point to determine how wide I want the binding cut & how wide it turns out sewn. But read the rest through first so you know how to bind your spare unit for testing, as well as the actual quilt.
Here is the binding fabric. washed & pressed. I fold it down 44" (since that's how wide it is), and make a crease along the fold. Next I open the fabric up again and cut along the crease line.. I've measured around the quilt.Each strip on bias yiealds 58", so I needed 7 cuts, but made 8 to be safe.Each strip is 2 3/4 " wide, but you may wish to do yours narrower, depending on your test piece.(my binding will be 3/8" finished)
I cut, then move the ruler up & continue, being careful that the width stays uniform. I found that cutting 1 at a time like this the best instead of trying multiples.
I trimmed the selvedges off as I went, so I wouldn't distort the fabric while it was on the cutting table.Here I'm sewing the pieces together,(right sides together if using a print, of course).I used 3/8" seam al.
Next, I take it all to the ironing board. I place the seams facing up & press them open. Then a good spray of starch (I've covered my ironing board cover with a clean cloth).
I fold the stip so that the seams are inside. I'm careful to lift/press, not iron like a shirt. We don't want to stretch the binding in any way.
As you can see, I'm generous with the starch.
You can see I've left 6" of binding loose for when I need to join. My quilt has a flat top, but you can start anywhere. My seam allowance is 3/8"for 3/8" binding. You may prefer 1/4"( for 1/4" binding).Sew with the raw edge of the binding even with the edge of the quilted top.
Then on the inside curves DO keep the binding quite taut (but not stretching too hard).
These steps are necessary to keep binding from cupping on outer curves, and bunching on inner curves when turned.
Here I've gone all around , and I stopped 5" before the loose end of my binding beginning.I've pinned the starting piece open over the tail of the end. With pencil & ruler I mark the slanted line along that cut edge. Then I leave a 3/4"(2 x 3/8) seam allowance BEYOND that and cut on the same slant. Careful now don't cut on the wrong side of that line!
Now I "scrunch up" the quilt in order to sew the binding end & start together.
You can now see it starting to take shape.
Here the quilt is all trimmed up. I've turned it over, and I'm pressing the binding so that the fold JUST covers the stiching line. No steam is used because your fingers are very close to iron tip. Also note that the iron is on the binding area only,(we don't want to squash the edges of the quilt.)
Voila! It's done.
By the way, here's that test piece I did on a spare circle. I'd already played around with it while deciding how to quilt this(this was my discarded machine quilting idea).When I made the binding finish at 1/4 ", I decided it was too narrow to "frame" the edges , so I decided to make the quilt's binding 3/8". (Which makes it slightly deeper on the back).
ALWAYS do a test piece. I have found that, depending on the bat used, you will need to check how wide to cut those bias strips. Always treat the test piece exactly the same way as the quilt's ,(starch, pressing etc,)Hope this helps you. Happy stitching! Riana.