Friday, 31 December 2010

Quilt Binding with Flange


Well, another year is drawing to a close.  At least the weather here in Ludlow has improved and we are now basking in temperatures a little above freezing. 

Sometimes I bind all my quilts with the same 2.1/2" double binding - it's quick and easy and I know what I am doing - but sometimes I want something a little different.  Recently I challenged myself to make a small quilt with only two colours throughout - yes, I know I ought to get out more!

The construction of the quilt top was no problem, but I ended up with one of the fabrics in the border of the quilt top and the other one in the quilt backing.  Which fabric should I use for the quilt binding to provide a contrasting frame on both the back and the front of the quilt?

The obvious answer was to use both fabrics in the quilt binding, but it took me a while to come to this conclusion.  Then, of course, I had to ponder further because I had the choice of one colour each side, candy stripe quilt binding ..... there are always so many choices in quilting!

In the end I decided to go with quilt binding with a flange as that would use both colour fabrics.

I prefer to use 2.1/2" quilt binding, so I needed to have a total unsewn width of 3" to allow for the seam allowance.  I began with 1.5/8" width of the light fabric and 1.3/8" of the dark.  This gave only a small amount of the light fabric showing, so I opted for 1.3/4" light fabric and 1.1/4" dark fabric.  This gave me exactly the contrast between the two quilt binding fabrics that I wanted, but it's worth bearing in mind that you can vary the widths of the quilt binding strips if you are looking for a different effect.

So, using a 14" seam and with right sides together, sew the light and dark strips together.  Press this double strip first on the wrong side with the seam allowance towards the dark fabric, then on the right side to make sure that your seam is flat.  Then fold the strip in half with wrong sides together and press again.  I know it's a lot of pressing, but it really is worth it.  You should end up with a folded strip that is all light fabric on one side and dark and light fabric on the other side.

You will obviously need to join together lengths of flange quilt binding to get enough to go all round the quilt.  this is done in the same way as for normal quilt binding.

 Place the two ends of quilt binding that you wish to join with the right sides together at right angles to each other.  Check the photo to make sure that you have the stripes the right way against each other.  Sew across the diagonal and trim the excess fabric 1/4" from the seam line.  This will open up to give you a continuous strip of flange quilt binding.

Place the flange quilt binding half way along one edge of the back of the quilt with the fold towards the middle of the quilt and all raw edges together.  Note that the side of the quilt binding that is on top is the light side and the two coloured side is against the quilt backing.

Begin sewing a few inches from the beginning of the flange quilt binding, leaving a trailing end.

When you reach the corner of the quilt, finish sewing 1/4" from the corner, backstitch and remove the quilt from the sewing machine.

Fold the flange quilt binding up away from the quilt backing and then fold down again following the next edge of the quilt backing. 

Continue sewing from the corner of the quilt and continue attaching the quilt binding all round the quilt backing.

When you arrive back where you began, stop sewing several inches away from the start of the quilt binding.  fold under a small hem in one and tuck the other end inside the fold.  Sew across the gap.

Flip the flange quilt binding to the front of the quilt and slipstitch in place.  The light fabric shows up beautifully against the dark fabric to give just the contrast that I had been hoping for.

Meanwhile the quilt backing is framed by the dark fabric.  I'm really pleased with the effect given by the flange quilt binding and now I can't think why I don't use it more often!  You might find it easier to watch how to make flange quilt binding:

Thanks for visiting my blog. 
You'll find more quilting ideas at quilt and sew.
All best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

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