Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Flanged Binding Tweaked - A Tutorial

By now you know that I quite like a flanged binding. Tish got me onto Susie's Magic Binding at Aunt Marti's 52 Quilts.  It makes a really great binding.  My problem was that at 2.5" it was too wide, especially for wallhangings, and I ended up cutting off points when I applied the binding, despite there being ample seam allowance.  Solution? Trim the quilt sandwich to larger than 1/4" seam allowance or adjust the binding widths.

I elected to adjust the binding widths, to end up with a 2.25" wide binding, my preferred width.  Here is what I've come up with.  Thank you to Jean of All Points of the Compass for the suggestion to have it out before the Freefall QAL final parade of quilts on June 15.  Which is just around the corner--like how?? There's a little update about that at the bottom of this tutorial.

All right. Let's do the binding.  I used pictures of Harbinger of Spring, my version of Tish and David's first oh-so-pretty pattern available on Craftsy, still at a reduced price, to do this tutorial. You can see the pop of yellow just inside the perimeter of the quilt.

1. You need two colours, your main, (mine is the striped) and the flange, (mine is the yellow).  The flange will be your pop of colour.  Something that struck me as a bit odd is that your flange is cut wider than your main colour, but so it is.  Cut the main 1.25" and the flange 1.5".  Cut enough strips to go around the perimeter of your quilt plus about 10" extra for joining the ends. Join them as you would any binding, on a 45° angle, pressing the seams open or closed.

A note on pressing: I've done both; because of the 45° angle, the seams are evenly distributed across the binding edge, so it really doesn't matter, and I do tend to think pressing to one side is stronger.  Some of my quilts are a little over 20 years old now, and the binding edge has started to fray; I've even had to repair some hand stitches on a couple of quilts, so they do wear... and that's a good thing! That means they're loved and used.  Here there is a little extra bulk because of the joined strips of two colours, so I will usually press the seams open.

2. Now sew the two lengths together on the long long edge.  Before starting to sew, read step 3!

3. Worth noting: try to avoid what you see below. Before starting to sew the binding strips together along the long edge, run them through your hands together to see if they will be a little more offset than you see mine here.  Again, it will help to reduce bulk.  Mine ended working fine; I was not ripping this out after sewing 180+ inches together!

4. Press the seams towards the main fabric.  Having a quilt inspector for this step, along with that Steamfast little iron which I just love, keeps everything in line. (Affiiliate link there, but I would never steer you wrong on a great purchase.)

5. Then, align and press the raw edges together.  This is what happens because of the different widths of each binding strip:
A very narrow stripe of the flange colour will appear at the bottom. That is perfect.  Look at the flange (all-yellow) side; all you see is yellow!
6. Sew the binding to the back of your quilt using your walking foot, with a 1/4" seam allowance, and having the main fabric against the backing of your quilt; the flange side is up.

I tend to align the binding a hair's width inside the edge of the quilt sandwich. This just allows that 'leetle' bit extra when folding it around to the front.  Below you see what it looks like after you've finished piecing it to the quilt back.

Join the ends as you would your regular binding.  Here is the final join.  I'm getting pretty decent at nailing the alignment of the binding and the flange!

My own tutorial is here for getting a lovely 45° angle join of the two binding ends.  One thing I've found with this technique is that it is pretty tricky getting the joined strips of binding to line up nicely but if you stab through the layers with a pin straight up and down, leaving the pin like a nail at that join, and then pin regularly through the layers on either side of the 'nail', you can get a pretty good alignment. This will make sense when you actually do the join.

7. Press the binding away from the quilt back, nice and flat, as you see below.

8.  Then bring it around to the front of the quilt and press it flat again.  You could glue it down; I've done both: glued and not glued.  I prefer the glue method (Elmer's School Glue - it's non-toxic and washable) as it makes the stitching mindless.  Stitch in the ditch between the flange (yellow) and the main (stripes) binding.  I match the thread to the flange, so here I used yellow, with a white or cream in the bobbin.

It looks relatively neat but for the stitching line, on the back.  However, once the quilt is washed, that pretty much melts into the quilt back.
Ta da!  Pretty slick, no?

Freefall Update!
You have one more week to finish up your quilts.  Originally I thought the parade would be for finished quilts only, but you know what? Life happens to us all, and it certainly has been a-happenin' to me as you well know, over the past couple of months.


I have lots of prizes and I'd love for each one of you who has faithfully been quilting along, to be eligible for a prize.  I know that life stuff, some good, some not so good, has happened to some of you over the past little bit, so a flimsy in my books is good enough for entry into the parade and draws.


Good.  I thought so.

Linking up:
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilt Fabrication


  1. Piped binding always adds a great element! Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers!

  2. I've done binding similar to this once before but before I do it again, I'll check the widths I used and follow your guides..thanks for the really clear tutorial :-) {and the reassurance that teh stitching on the back disappears...!}

  3. My hand stitching is not good at all, so this binding is the very best for me, and now with your narrower size, perfect for a quilt or wall hanging that has points that I do not want to vanish. And the 45 degree angle to join, thanks for that as well, that is the real struggle, this will be such a help . A flimsy, I had hoped to be further on by the 15th, we'll see, downward rows, done, all ironed and ready to be joined together, done, backing and batting sorted, done.

  4. I prefer the narrower binding myself also. Since I've started doing flange bindings it sure has sped up the whole binding process.

  5. Love that binding. I did my first a few months ago and think it is a brilliant technique. I'm very glad flimsies are accepted in the final linkup! I haven't had time at my quilting machine and I really want to do a little more than the basic quilting.

  6. Great update. I think I'm about to migrate to a 2 1/4" binding myself away from 2 1/2". For years I used 3" and loved the wider frame it gave a quilt. :) Looking forward to linking up my finish; I enjoyed the QAL so much!

    1. I used your flanged binding tutorial when I did my first flange binding last summer; it worked perfectly. Thank you so much for linking up with the Tips and Tutorials Festival!

  7. Now it has all become clear . It works well on yiur tish and Dave quilt . And , I can't believe I'm finished for your link up , well the sewing . Still got the blog post to write

  8. I've just tried Susie's Magic Binding and I loved the result. I'll use it again someday. I may have to try to the narrower size too.

  9. This is a great reference! Thanks for sharing so much detailed information and photos. I know that is time consuming. I know that people often note that the stitching shows on the back with this method, but I think that makes a very neat finish, and really it's no different from a quilting element. And a lot less stressful than trying to maneuver the stitching so that it goes in the ditch. Lovely quilt! Lovely pattern!

  10. I've used this binding method a couple of times and live it. The join is a bit tricky but I'm getting better. Clean and easy to understand instructions.

  11. I just might have to try this with the smaller binding strips when I get Freefall all bound up :) I'm so close!!!

  12. Wow, I love this tutorial! I've never done a flange. I am definitely going to try it.
    I'm pretty inspired now after coming back from a Shop Hop!

  13. I love this look, have done it twice and I have been very happy with both outcomes. Thanks for showing us the tutorial.

  14. Brilliant tutorial Sandra, thank you so much for sharing with us. So easy to follow...I had really wanted to join in with the Free fall along... But where does the time go... I need to do a time management course or spend less time on Social media I think.... Everything you do is so beautiful, you are a very talented and kind lady..

    Hugs xx

  15. Thank you for the tutorial.
    I have my Freefall top done, despite life kicking me in the a**. Am looking forward to sharing. Thanks for making people like me eligible for prizes still. (I have actually managed to partially quilt 5 blocks so far. )


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