Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Asian Inspired Wall Quilt - Part 5

The Binding and Finishing Phase

This, in my opinion, is the most enjoyable part of making a quilt.  The piecing is complete, the quilting is done and we're almost at the finish line.
Pieced and Quilted
Determine Width and Length of Binding
It's now time to decide how to finish the quilt.  I like French double-fold binding which gives a professional finish to a quilt.  For this wall hanging a half-inch binding will look good, so I cut the strips three times that width multiplied by two, to accommodate the double fold.

Width of binding strip = 1/2" x 3 = 1-1/2" x 2 = 3".

To determine the length of binding needed, multiply the width and length of the quilt by 2, add the two numbers together and add a fudge factor of at lease 10 inches.  In this case, the wall hanging is square and each side measures 14-1/4".

Length of binding = (14-1/4" x 2) + (14-1/4" x 2) or 14-1/4" x 4 = 59" + 10" = 69".

Considering the width of fabric from selvage to selvage is about 40", I need two 3" strips for the binding.

Attach Two Strips of Binding
Once the strips are cut, lay one strip right side up, horizontally, on the ironing board.  Lay the second strip right side facing down, perpendicular to the first strip and fold down the top end at a 45 degree angle.  Press to form a crease.
Lay two strips on ironing board
Open the fold and pin the two strips on either side of the crease.
Pin the two strips together
Sew along the crease, trim 1/4" away from the seam, press the seam open and trim off any protruding triangles of fabric even with the edges of the strips.
Attaching two strips of binding
Repeat this process to attach the required number strips, always placing the last attached strip face up and the new strip face down and perpendicular to the last attached strip.

Once all the strips are sewn together, I find it useful to place a quarter inch strip of double-sided adhesive tape at the end of the last strip.  The end is folded down at a 45 degree angle and the adhesive strip placed a little more than a quarter inch away from the fold.  A glue stick can be used for this purpose, but if glue is used it will have to be applied later.  This trick comes in handy when the finishing touches are applied to the binding.
Fold end at 45 degree angle and place adhesive strip
Fold the binding down the length of the strip and press.
Fold binding and press
Attach Binding to Quilt
The end with the adhesive strip is the beginning of the binding.  Leaving a length of about 6 to 8 inches, align the raw edges of the binding with the edge of the quilt and begin sewing about two-thirds of the way down one side of the quilt.  Since the binding finishes at 1/2", stop sewing 1/2" from each corner of the quilt.  With the needle in the down position, lift the presser foot and turn the quilt so the corner is at the top.  Lower the presser foot and back-stitch off the edge of the quilt.  
Begin sewing 2/3 of the way down one side
Remove the quilt from the presser foot without cutting any threads.  Fold the binding up at a 45 degree angle, aligning it with the corner of the quilt.
Fold binding up 45 degrees and align with corner
Fold it down again, even with the top edge of the quilt and align raw edges with the side of the quilt.
Fold binding down again
Begin sewing at the top edge of the quilt and all the way around, treating each corner as demonstrated above.
Sew binding to quilt all the way around
Leave a long tail so that the two ends can be sewn together.  This takes some manipulation.  I'll try to be as clear as possible.

Open up the beginning of the binding and remove the protective paper from the adhesive strip.  If using a glue stick, now is the time to apply it.  Make sure to leave a 1/4" clearance beyond the 45 degree fold.
Expose adhesive on strip
Nestle the end of the binding over the adhesive strip and within the fold of the start of the binding. Cut it even with or even a little longer than the raw edge of the 45 degree fold.
Cut excess from end of binding
Fold the beginning strip over the ending strip and press to adhere the two strips together.  Now open both strips and maneuver the two until the crease is on the top.  Pin on either side of the crease and sew along the crease.
Sew beginning and ending strips together
Trim 1/4" from the seam and press the seam open.
Trim and press seam open
Fold the binding in half with a snap and Voila! we have a perfectly lump-free binding.  Sew the remaining binding and we're almost done!
Sew rest of binding
Trim away excess batting and backing fabric, leaving 1/4" around the edge of the quilt.
Trim 1/4" from edge of quilt
We're now ready for the finishing touches!
All  ready for the finishing touches
Finishing the Quilt
I found these cute little hair clips at the dollar store.  They were perfect for holding the binding in place while folding the binding to the back of the quilt.
Fold binding to back of quilt
Make sure the binding on the back covers the line of stitching from the previous step.  Fold the binding past the corner and then fold down the corner for a perfect miter.
Cover the stitching from the previous step
Pin the corner, if necessary, to hold it in place.
Pin corner
Turn the quilt over to the front and quilt in-the-ditch to finish the quilt.
Quilt in-the-ditch
And here's the finished quilt!
The finished quilt
This brings us to the end of my journey as I've taken this little 15" square quilt from start to finish.  I'm so glad it didn't end up in my UFO (unfinished object) bin!  

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