Machine Minute: Better Binding
Hi, I'm Jennifer, here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. Now, I'm going to tell you something that might sound a little controversial: I love binding. That's right, I love binding! It's my favorite part of the quilt-making process. Maybe it's because I get to hold that finished quilt at the end, but I really do enjoy it. So let me show you the trick to turning corners when it comes to putting your binding on by machine. I like this method because I don't have to cut any of my binding on the bias. I can make the most of my fabric, cut it on the straight grain. I have no curves. I'm not trying to bend it around the corners and make them come out square. This method will work every time and it really is simple. Let me show you how. Now I've prepared my binding, I've folded it in half at the double-fold binding, and I've got it placed against the quilt top. I like to sew with the quarter inch foot in place because I want a quarter inch of the binding to show on my quilt top when I finish it. So I start a couple inches in from my binding and I just sew along the edge. Now I like to begin my binding on the side of my quilt rather than the top or bottom and I try to never put it in the middle, I think it's less noticeable where it joins together if you set it off from the middle or the center where your eye often goes when you're looking at a quilt. So I'll come to the corner and I'm going to stop a quarter inch from the edge. And when I do, I'll put my needle up and my presser foot up and then I'll pull the quilt out from under the needle. Now this is where some people get a little nervous. I have my threads still attached. I haven't cut them, but I'm going to make that mitered corner, and the way I do that is first turning the quilt so its parallel to the needle. This is the edge I'm going to sew on next. I take my binding, and I flip it up. Here when I flip it up, I want the binding edge and my quilt edge to be the same one long straight edge, so once I get it folded up so that edge is all the same I'll finger press a crease right there and I'll take my binding and fold it back down holding that finger press in place with my left hand. And here when I fold it down I just want the creased edge here to be parallel to this side, so when I pull that down in place and just hold it with my fingers what I've really got is a little triangle of fabric right there at the corner. Hold it down and go back under the needle and just push those threads out of the way. I'm going to start sewing again right on the edge, put my presser foot down and needle down and begin sewing again. Let me show you again as we get to the next corner. I'm going to sew all the way up until I'm about a quarter inch away from the edge, raise my needle and raise my presser foot, turn the quilt so that the next edge I'm going to sew the binding on is parallel to the needle, then I'll take my binding strip and fold it up. Here's the part again where I'm going to make a finger pressed crease and you can see that the line goes straight here from the binding to the quilt edge. It's all straight. That's where I'll get a nice miter when I turn it back. So I finger pressed that diagonal there, then I hold it with my left hand and bring it back down with my right. Here I'm aligning these edges and at the top edge where the crease is in the binding or the fold I just want to be sure it's parallel with the top edge. So again what I have then is a little triangle that is formed by how I folded the binding up by taking that strip up finger pressing it and folding back down. That's how I create that little extra fabric. So I'm ready then to again slide it back under the needle, keep those threads out of the way (I haven't cut them) and again lower my presser foot, lower my needle, and I'm ready to begin sewing down that edge. So when you're ready to turn your binding, what you'll do then is you'll have that little triangle of fabric there, simply fold back or turn back the one side of your binding. You have a nice quarter inch binding and right here you can see you have that little miter, that's caused by the way you flipped up the binding and folded it back down. And what you'll end up with when you turn that back is a beautifully mitered corner on the front of your work right there and its nice and square and on the back side of your work you'll also end up with a nice miter where things will match up, so it's a great way to get nice sharp corners on your quilt without having to cut bias binding. I hope seeing this binding corner technique in action has given you the emphasis to try it yourself. I'm confident you'll have nice corners in no time.