Instructions for Quilting Double French Binding

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Adding binding to a quilt is the final step in making a handmade quilt. Because the binding covers the edges of your fabric and batting, it is a necessary task to secure the quilt. While there are a number of binding methods, double binding, also called French binding, is the most durable when it comes to quilts that will be used often. While it can take a few hours to attach your binding, once you are done, your quilt is finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Binding fabric
  • Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
  • Iron
  • Quilt
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle and thread
  • Cut your fabric into 2-inch wide strips. The length of the binding strips needs to equal the length plus the width of your quilt times two plus 12 inches.

  • Sew the ends of your strips together to form one long strip. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, working a few inches at a time, and press the fold with a hot iron to make your entire strip one inch wide.

  • Place the raw edges of one end of binding along the raw edges of one side of the quilt. The bind should rest directly on the quilt top. Pin the binding to the quilt down the side.

  • Start sewing a 1/4-inch seam three inches from the end of the binding. Sew all the way down the side until you reach the corner. Stop sewing 1/4-inch from the corner and pull the quilt from the machine.

  • Create a mitered corner by holding the quilt with the attached binding running horizontally. Flip the next portion of unattached binding up vertically, creating an angled fold in your binding that points toward the corner of the quilt. Pin the angled portion of binding down.

  • Fold the unattached binding down to create a horizontal fold at the top of the corner. Pin the binding to the corner and down the entire next side. Start sewing a1/4-inch seam at the top of the quilt and continue until you reach the next corner.

  • Repeat steps five and six to continue to sew around the entire quilt until you are three inches from where you started binding. Stop the machine, but leave the quilt under the presser foot.

  • Tuck the start of your binding inside the tail of the binding. Pin the binding to the edge of the quilt. Sew over the ends of the binding and stop at your starting seam.

  • Fold the binding over the raw edges of the quilt to the back. Pin the folded binding to the quilt all the way around. Hand stitch the binding to the quilt backing until the entire binding is attached.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a walking foot on your sewing machine to attach the binding to your quilt if the batting is thick to keep the fabric from shifting and puckering.
  • When choosing your binding, select a color that will blend in with the outer border of the quilt or choose a complementary color that will allow the binding to act like as a frame for the quilt for a more visual effect.

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References

  • "Making and Displaying Quilts"; Sarah Hoggett; 2003
  • "Foolproof Machine Quilting"; Mary Mashuta; 2008
  • Photo Credit quilts image by Christopher Martin from Fotolia.com
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