‘Summer Bouquets’ – how to finish and bind the quilt

The 'Summer Bouquets' quilt on a bed
The 'Summer Bouquets' quilt on a bed

The 2021 Quiltalong

This post is part of the 2021 Quiltalong and is all about how to finish your quilt by trimming it to size and how to bind it successfully.  The plan is to complete a double-bed quilt by the end of the year. The fabrics used here are from ‘Summer Bouquets’ collection, available from Spoonflower (here).

The starter post with all the fabric requirements is here. Cutting instructions are here. The first block is here. The second block is here. Making the columns is here. Adding the sashing is here. Attaching the internal borders is here. Putting on the outer borders is here. Layering up the quilt is here. Adding the quilting is here.

Finishing the quilt

1 Measure across the centre of the quilt top, then measure the top edge of the quilt top and finally measure the bottom edge. If the measurements are uneven, you will need to trim the quilt carefully. Insert pins to mark where you need to cut, then lay a long ruler on the quilt and trim off the excess wadding and binding. Use a large square quilt-ruler at each corner to make sure you have a perfect 90 degree angle.

Preparing the binding

2 The binding is made with fabric D, Twin Roses

Fabric-D, Twin Roses, needed for Summer Bouquets quilt

3 Cut the fabric across the width in strips 2¼” (57mm) wide. Work out the length of your binding by adding the length of all four sides of the quilt together and then adding 10″ (25cm).

4 Join the strips at the short ends until you have the required length (worked out in step 3). Press the seams open.

5 Fold the strip of binding in half lengthways and press with an iron.

Sewing on the binding

6 Place the folded binding on top of the right side of the quilt, against the right-hand edge, part-way down one side so the raw edges of the binding line up with the raw edges of the quilt.

7 Leaving a 5” (12.5cm) ‘tail’ of binding at the beginning, machine stitch the binding in place ¼” (6mm) in from the raw edges.

8 Insert a pin ¼” (6mm) in from the first corner.

9 Stitch as far as the pin, then take out the pin and make the final stitch at the spot where the pin was inserted. Then lift the presser foot lever, swing the work round on the needle and stitch straight out to the corner at a 45 degree angle to the previous line of stitching.

10 Take the work out of the machine. Turn the quilt so the side you just stitched lies horizontally in front of you. Now fold the long free end of the binding upwards. It should fold exactly along the short line of stitching you did out to the corner.

11 Next, fold the long end back down again on itself, enclosing the 45-degree angle fold. The top fold should align with the raw edges of the previous side.

12 Beginning at the fold, stitch down the next side of the quilt. You should see the second binding strip lying neatly on top of the first binding strip. Repeat steps 8-11 three more times.

Joining the ends of the binding

13 On the final side, stop stitching down the binding at a point about 6” (15cm) from where you started. Take the quilt out of the machine and fold back the two loose ends of binding so that the folds meet. Mark the folds with pins. Trim the ends to about 1” (25mm) beyond the fold.

14 Finger–press the folds. Open the ends and mark the position of the fold, inserting the pins at right angles.

15 Now pin the two ends together along the folds.

16 Then stitch the seam to join the two ends, carefully folding the rest of the quilt out of the way. Re-fold the binding and check that the fit is right.

17 If the binding fits perfectly, open up the binding strip and trim the seam allowances to ¼” (6mm).

18 Re-fold the binding again and machine stitch the final piece of binding into place, a quarter inch (6mm) away from the raw edges as you did before.

Hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt

19 Turn the binding to the back of the quilt and slip-stitch the binding to the quilt. To do this you need to knot and secure your thread, then slip the needle through the fold of the binding…

…then make a small stitch into the back of the quilt

Once you have stitched the binding all round your quilt, it is almost finished! It’s very important to add a label to your quilt too. Look out for the final instalment of the ‘Summer Bouquets’ quilt in December!

Amanda Jane Textiles offers unique fabrics for sale here, quilt patterns here, classes here and quilts for sale here

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am a quilt-maker, designer, writer and teacher.

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