Like most quilters, I use a mitered edge on my quilt binding. I’ve tried several methods for getting that angle corner correct.
Here’s a tutorial on a method that I tried a few days ago that worked out pretty well.
I cut my binding strips fairly wide–this one is 2-1/2″. It’s a pieced binding using fabrics from the quilt top and back. I turn and iron a 1/4 inch edge –I’ll use that when I hand sew the binding to the back. As normal, I sew the binding strip to the front of the quilt using my walking foot. (Experiment with the stitch length that works on your machine. You might have to lengthen the stitch length so that you are not pulling the binding too tight. )
When I am about 3 inches from the corner, I stop and back stitch about 4 stitches. Then, I slide the quilt out of my machine. I fold the binding up to my right at a 45 degree angle, and finger press the 45 degree angle.
Then, I unfold and carefully draw a line on that folded angle. I will use this line to stitch my 45 degree angle. I use a ruler to make sure my line is straight.
Then, I put the quilt back into the machine, and proceeded to stitch starting from where I left off. when I get to my drawn line, I stop with my needle down ON the line, and pivot the quilt so that I can stitch precisely on the marked line to the corner tip of the quilt. I cut my thread.
Next, I remove the quilt from under the needle, fold the strip up and then back down, using that stitched line as my guide for the 45 degree angle. This is the standard folding technique we all use for mitering our bindings.
This method seems to give me a cleaner corner than other methods that I’ve tried and I’ll keep working with it to see if I can get a ‘perfect’ corner someday. Here’s the result–I think I could have gotten that tip a bit crisper–I must have made my fold a bit off from the edge of the quilt. But, it’s good enough–this is not a show quilt.
The backing fabric is a 108″ wideback called Newspaper Clippings By Windham. Here’s a link to the fabric.
Some Hand Binding Tips
After I sew the binding to the front, I turn it to the back to finish it. I know that quilters either love this step (it’s meditative….) or they find it boring and slow. Here are a few tips to help with the boring/slow part.
I do my hand binding in front of the TV and I’ve set up a simple workstation using a TV tray.
Here’s the workstation. I keep a small rope bowl with a few batting scraps in it on my table. It’s where I drop the loose threads. The batting keeps them from littering the whole table. I keep my needles in a magnetic case that’s usually closed in between sessions. No more hunting for the binding needles.
I thread 5 or 6 needles at the same time and stick them in the arm of the sofa. The threads seem to get less tangled. And, it does not hurt the sofa. I use Fons & Porter quilters binding needles (found them online). They are shorter and stronger than regular sewing needles. The needle tip is really sharp and that helps me sew faster.
I nearly always use Superior Threads 50 wt. SoFine for hand binding in a color that blends with the binding. The combination of the 50 wt thread and these needles works well for me. The binding needles are easy to thread, by the way. When I sew, I never use a thimble and my fingers are fine. The needle and thread glide pretty easily through the fabric and batting.
And those small clips shown in the photo below are great for securing the binding–no sticking myself with pins as I sew the binding down on the back.