Monday, November 2, 2009

a little bit about binding

I have a sort-of tutorial here for you today to tell you about something I have learned that helps me with my binding process. I get pretty picky about my bindings, they have to be neat, flat, straight, sharp corners, etc. I watched a video by Sharon Schamber that carries bindings to a whole new level, and while I don't feel the need to follow each step of her process to the letter, I did find one or two things that have benefitted me. Today I am telling you about bindings and starch. This pertains to the preparation of the binding strip before it is even near the quilt.
Here's what you need:
a fabric strip, spray starch, iron and ironing board.
My fabric strip in this case is 2" wide which is all the wider I wanted for this project. It used a very low-loft batting and needed to look narrow in the end, so 2" is plenty wide. This fabric happens to be the same color on both sides. I LOVE Niagara spray starch in the aerosol bottle, but it can be a little hard to find in stores so I have even ordered it online. Type of iron doesn't matter, and my ironing board got covered with a clean piece of muslin so all the stains don't show in the pictures!
With the wrong side of the binding strip facing up, lightly spray the starch.
Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together with your fingers, carefully matching up the raw edges. The damp starch will help you stick the layers together with just the pressure of your fingers. Just work on a section at a time, however much is laying on the surface of the ironing board, you want the fabric to stay damp so you can't work too far ahead.
With a hot iron press the folded strip.
This will give you a crisp folded edge and a little more body to the fabric.
The starch actually kind of glues the layers together, as you can see in this picture of a partially pressed strip.
Then you are ready to sew it to the quilt edge, and I find that it is easier to sew neatly if it has been starched this way. There is little or no shifting or twisting of the two layers of the binding fabric and it ravels less on the raw edge. And that's what I know about binding prep!

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