Wednesday, June 27, 2012

{Zig Zag Quilt Along}: Binding Your Quilt

Hey Everyone!! How did quilting your quilt go last week? Is everyone ready for the final step!?! Today we are going to bind our quilt!

Step 1: First you are going to trim off your excess batting and backing fabric. (For this step I just use fabric scissors and cut as straight as I can) At this point you can check to see how "square" your quilt is. If you are off by just a bit, I wouldn't worry about it too much... If your quilt is noticeably un-square you may want to take a straight edge ruler and trim off a bit here and there to make your quilt square.
** When I first started quilting- squaring my quilt gave me fits! I wanted it to be perfect and with one quilt, I seriously ended up cutting off the majority of my large border/sashing to make it square and even then it wasn't "perfect"... so to be honest I don't even really square my quilts now... I just kinda eyeball everything and do my best when I am piecing the quilt to keep everything even so that at the end I won't have to square my quilt.**

When you are all finished cutting off the excess your quilt should look like this...

Step 2: Lay your quilt aside for a minute and we are going to make the binding. Take out your 7 strips of fabric for the binding that you cut back at the beginning of the quilt along. You should have 7 strips of fabric that are 2 1/2 by 44 inches. You are going to put each of the strips right side together (2 at a time) and piece them until your strips are one long strip measuring approx. 2 1/2 x 308 inches. Once your long string of fabric is pieced, take it over to the ironing board and press open all of the seams that you just sewed together. Next fold your fabric in half wrong sides together and press.

When you are all done, you should have a long strip of homemade biased tape ready to add to your quilt's edge.

Ok... there are many ways to sew on your quilt binding. I always use this method- that I learned on Diary of a Quilter- that involves sewing your binding to the front side of your quilt with your machine and then hand stitching it to the back side, but with this quilt I decided to try out the "easy" method by sewing the binding to the back side of the quilt and then folding it over and sewing it to the front side with my machine. No hand stitching involved with this method. So it is totally up to you and what you want to do. The method I am teaching on my blog takes probably an 1/8 of the time the long method takes, but in my honest opinion- I think the long method with hand stitching looks a lot nicer. So if you would like to do the hand sewing method- refer to this awesome tutorial by Amy. If you are short on time and wanna finish this puppy quicker, use this method.

Step 3: Lay your quilt out flat on the ground so that the back of the quilt is facing up (the zig zag part should be facing down). Use your straight pins and pin the quilt binding all the way around the edge of the quilt. The raw edges of the binding should be facing towards of the outside of the quilt or lining up with the raw edge of the quilt.
When you get to a corner of the quilt, put one pin at a 45 degree angle and then fold the binding to go down the edge of the quilt and add another pin at a 45 degree angle to keep it in place... (refer to picture below this one)

When your binding is all pinned on the corners your fabric should look like this

Step 4: When you get all the way around the quilt, you are going to open the binding and sew it to the other piece that has wrapped all the way around the quilt to meet back up. (make sure that you sew it exactly where the binding meets so that once it is trimmed, it lays totally flat) Once it is sewn, trim off the excess, and then pin that portion of the binding to the quilt.
It will look like this when the binding is all folded back up.

Step 5: Now you are going to sew your binding to the quilt. I used a scant 1/4 inch seam for this part. So I just line up my presser foot a little short of exactly lining up to the edge of the presser foot or you can even set your needle a notch to the right (if that makes sense- but measure your presser foot and figure out where you need to line yours up to give you what is called a scant 1/4 inch seam)
When you get to a corner sew almost all the way to the edge, then without trimming your thread, lift the needle and presser foot up, fold the flap of the fabric that is on the corner up towards where you have just sewn, turn your quilt, put your presser foot and needle back down, and start sewing down the side of the quilt again. (Diary of a Quilter shows step by step how to do this if it isn't making sense...)

Step 6: Once your binding is all sewn to the back or your quilt, you are going to fold it over to the front of the quilt and pin it all the way around.
When you get to a corner, fold it like this.
Step 7: Now you are just going to sew the  binding to the front of the quilt, taking the pins out as you go. Sew as close to the edge of the binding as you can and keep it consistent throughout sewing the binding on so that it looks nice and neat.

That is is- YOU ARE FINISHED! Take a deep sign of relief!

I like to wash my quilts right when I finish them- just to give them that crinkly goodness that quilts are famous for. I always throw a shout color catcher in with my quilt to catch any bleeding colors (especially if red is in the mix of fabrics). I use a teeny tiny bit of detergent and wash mine on the cold water setting. Then I throw it in the dryer and when it's all done- your quilt is all crinkled and soft and ready to be snuggled with!

And as always- I need to thank my "quilt model" for holding up the quilt for pictures... This time it was my hubby- Jeff! We had a lot of fun fighting the wind while our neighbors looked out and thought we were crazy running around the yard with a flapping quilt in the breeze! ha ha Love ya babe!

And a VERY VERY big thanks to our sponsor of this quilt along... THE RIBBON RETREAT!! Love this shop! Make sure to give them some love!
Remember that all Mommy by day Crafter by night readers get 10% off on all orders... use the code Mommy10 at checkout!

I think the thing that I have been most excited about with this quilt along- is seeing how your quilts all turn out! So Rach and I thought it would be fun to do a link party and let everyone link up their quilts for all to see! So... drumroll please... here are your quilts!!!! Both the Zig Zag and Ruffle Quilts.

Be sure to stop by Family Ever After to enter the quilt along giveaway to win an awesome fat quarter bundle from Riley Blake!!



  1. Ack! How did everyone find time for this? I haven't even begun quilting the quilt yet! Thanks for hosting this quilt along, I'm really looking forward to finishing my first quilt (eventually).

  2. I really messed up on mine. Most of it I can tolerate but I'm going to have to try and fix one corner or do some major improvising. I've really enjoyed this and learned a lot of things, lots of what not to do's and even more what to do's. I hope to have the binding finished after the weekend.

    Thanks so much for hosting this. I've had a blast and I love my quilt.

  3. Just gorgeous and great instructions!

  4. I got behind Father's Day weekend, but hope to finish my quilt over this weekend. I absolutely love it, and hope that my Daughter-in-law will as well (it is a Christmas present for her). Your pictures were great, and the instructions have been very helpful. Thank you so much Rachel for taking the time to do this. You are awesome!

  5. Ack! My binding is four inches too short! Gonna have to improvise...

  6. Love your quilt! The colors are great. So bright and cheery.

  7. I've fallen behind... just up to pinning the layers. Hope the linky will stay open for a while.

  8. I love this quilt! It looks so great Ash! Once again, you amaze me my sweet friend.

    ps- Love your quilt model. ;)

  9. Well I'm behind! Time to head to the basement and whip out a quilt : )

  10. Yay!!! I've finished!!! Thanks so much for hosting the Zig Zag Quilt Along, Ashley and for all the work involved. Your instructions were clear and easy to follow. I've linked up my quilt...

  11. Finally finished! Thank you SO much for all the hard work you put into this : )

  12. I'm finally finished. Thanks so much for such a great tutorial and all your time dedicated to it.

  13. Yeah, yeah, the quilt is very pretty & everything.....Where in the WORLD did you get those short the Hub has on? I am dizzy w/ green right now!!! I SO want a pair of those for MY Hub!!! Those are stinkin awesome!!! FYI: I did NOT know about or follow this quilt proj but am in the process of making my FIRST (Ta-Da insert curtsey here) quilt for "Quilt For Kids"!! Wish me luck & after that is done I AM going to follow this tute as it looks so easy to follow!!! You all who do tutes, I take my hat off to you!! Y'all are extra-ordinary, which as I see it, makes you so stinkin SPECIAL!!!! God Bless you & again....... the shorts?!!!!
    Thanks in advance

  14. Hi Lady.
    Are you using any sewing machine for all the dresses here?
    I love it. I know it is hard to do it manually that's why am asking. :D

    I love my Brother xl2600i!

  15. Yahoo! I finished! I am in love with my quilt :)

  16. I finally finished my quilt in February of this year.. and finally blogged about it!!!

    Thank you for your awesome tutorials!

  17. I like this way for finishing a binding, and I don't even know why it's only mentioned here, all other tutorials mention the other method. I figured it out with my first quilt ever but thought it was "wrong" since it wasn't mentioned anywhere. I'm glad I found your tutorial and can do my other projects using this method guilt-free.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley