Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My First Quilt -- part 4 -- Border, Binding and Backing

You've come a long way!  Now we're ready to add borders and make the binding.
Just as a reminder, here's the labels for my fabric. 
So think back to when we originally cut our strips... 
and you still should have 4 each of the Inner strips -- 4 Dark and 4 Light.
Get those out, cause we're about to use them!

Here's where we left off.  We had completed the center of the quilt top. 
Now... I'm not perfect.  See some wavy edges there?  You probably did a better job than I did, but just in case you have wavy edges too -- it's a good time to straighten them up.

Set your center out on your cutting mat, and square it up to about 16" square.  

Just trim off a teeny bit so that you have straight edges and reasonably right angles on the corners.

Now you have a decision to make. 
You need to decide which of your inner prints is going to be the border and which will be the binding. 
I suggest using the lighter one as you border and the darker as the binding.
But do what makes you happy!  Some prints lend themselves to binding, some not....

So take the 4 strips of the Inner fabric you are going to use as your Border.  Lay one on one side and pin.  You will have a bit of extra on either side.  No biggie.

Pin another strip to the opposite side as well.

Sew.  Remove pins. Press.

Then lay your other 2 strips on the 2 remaining sides.  
Pin.  Sew.  
Trim the extra tails from the first 2 sides you sewed.  
Remove Pins.  Press.

And then it will look something like this.

Welcome to Binding!
Take the other 4 strips.  
Mine are the Inner Dark fabric.  Lay one end at a right angle to the next, right sides together.
(You really need a picture to do this)
Take anything with a straight edge and use a pencil to draw a line from corner to corner.
(again, picture necessary)
Repeat this, attaching all of the 4 strips together.

Sew all of them on the line you drew.
Like so.  And then trim off the excess.
Now when you press them, they magically become straight lines.  Neat, eh?
So press all the seams in your very long binding strip.
Then fold it in half and press.  All the way down the strip.  
This gets significantly easier and quicker with practice, I promise.
Try not to burn your fingers.

Neat little stack of binding.  
Now, we won't be needing the binding yet.  But you are about to change the foot on your machine, and your iron is already hot, so for me... it's a convenient time to go ahead and make it.  
Then it's ready to go when you need it.

But before we change that foot... let's piece the backing!

So pull out the scraps you have left over from waaaay back in step 1 where we cut your fabric.
I used fat quarters, and so this is what I had left.

Lay it out in a way that is pleasing to you.....

And in a way that the final product will be larger than your quilt top...

And sew those pieces together.  
You may find it easier to sew pairs together, press, then sew the pairs into the larger piece.
Press it well.
While you're there, give your quilt top another good press.  It will make the basting part easier!


So next up?  Making the sandwich... basting, and quilting.
For the next step, make sure you have safety pins.  I use these which are available at a lot of places and not especially fancy.  They work fine.  40 pins should be just fine.

1 comment:

  1. WOOOO HOOOOOO, I'm here within 2 hrs of starting my first quilt (in 20 years). I'm going to stop tonight and finish up tomorrow with the binding, backing and then basting and quilting.
    Quilting has changed a lot since I did it last - and thanks for this nice re-introduction. This was just perfect. I'll be sending my friends your way.