February 21, 2012

Self-binding quilt

My flannel quilt is almost done. As I was trying to figure out which fabric to use for the binding, I decided to try something different: self-binding. This is a quick way to finish the quilt, most commonly used when the edge of the quilt has an irregular shape. I prefer the traditional binding, but since I want to finish this quilt quickly, and it is for my own use... Here is how I did it:

Baste backing to batting using large stitches. I basted all around the quilt, as well as across the middle.

Place quilt top over backing, right sides together (I also pieced the backing of this quilt, that is why the previous picture shows a brown fabric with pink polka dots basted to the batting, and the picture above shows flowers).
Pin quilt top to backing/batting (place pins around the edges of the quilt and a few in the middle to prevent fabrics from shifting), and sew around three sides of the quilt. The side not sewn will be used to flip quilt inside out. Notice how the backing is a bit larger than the top. I used a walking foot due to the thickness of the sandwich.
Trim excess backing/batting leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Do the same on the side you did not sew.
Trim corners to reduce bulk, but do not do this on the side of the quilt which you did not sew.
Remove pins and pull quilt through the opening so batting will be inside.
On a flat surface, smooth quilt to ensure unfinished edges match, fold edges in about 1/2" and pin.
Top stitch the edges using the walking foot, topstich needle size 90/14, and contrasting thread (I used varigated Sulky thread).
Close opening as you topstich, quilt as desired.

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