Monday, January 24, 2011

An Alternative to Binding

This idea would work for wall hangings that are relatively small.

I love the look of binding but sometimes its a bit of a bother and then I opt for a "pillowcase" method of backing my small quilts.  I am sure you know what I mean - sew the quilt wadding & backing together with the right side of the backing facing the right side of the quilt, sew around it remembering to leave a gap to turn it the right way out.  Then I had the problem of trying to make the sewn up gap look as neat as the rest.  (and I never could.)  Then I had a flash of brilliance - well I thought it was pretty clever.!!

Sew - try this:

Start with 2 pieces of fabric you can use for your backing - in this case I used the same width as the 'quilt'  [tiny baby thing it is] and made my pieces more than half the length - confused ? - read on!
Sew the seam across the backing - I sewed to the first pin mark - did a locking stitch - changed my stitch length to a lot longer- sewed until the next pin mark and then reduced my stitch length to normal, did a lock stitch and sewed to the end.

Iron the backing and trim to the size of the quilt top.

Put the  quilt and the backing right sides together and sew all the way around the quilt.

I usually do locking stitches in the corner but that is optional.
Trim the corners

Now - you unpick the seam in the backing where you did the larger stitches - and because you did do longer stitches it is easy enough to do.  You can't really see that here - but use your imagination!

Now you can turn the quilt the right way out and push out the corners with your favourite instrument - I use a "Purple Thang" and if you don't have one it is certainly worth the investment (not much).  I tidied up the corners a bit after this picture was taken.

Voila!!  you have a neat little quilt and all you need to do now is sew up the small gap in the backing.

You might like to then use either a triple stitch or machine quilting stitch around the quilt.  I haven't done that on my sample that I used here - but I have used triple stitch on this one - the effect is similar to binding in the same fabric as your border.

Now, there is a drawback to this - as I found by experience - your quilt will end up smaller than if you had used regular binding - after all your 1/4 inch seam allowance is now INSIDE  instead of under the binding - that is why I showed you this red sample instead of my original - but then I have a motto - You can learn something from every quilt you make - I certainly did this time.!

Hopefully you found that interesting - else you can just forget all about it.


Wendyb said...

what a great idea, Susan....will have to try this out next time I do a small wallhanging!
sounds so easy!
sugary hugs
XX Wendy :O)

Anonymous said...

Such a good idea! If this is for a wall hanging you can add the hanging tube and stitch it before adding the backing to the front side.