Bind the Edges, Part 2: Join the Ends
For this step we will need the almost-finished organizer with the bias binding sewn partially to the lining side of the fabric (see Post #17).
We will need:
We will also use these tools:
- Sewing machine with 1/4" foot
- Pins, extra-fine
- Stiletto/pressing tool
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Quilter's rulers
- We like to use small triangular rulers when marking the points for joining the binding strips. Their pointed shape enables us to get into tight spaces where a larger ruler would be awkward. Their shape is also perfect for marking 45 degree angles.
- The Omnigrid #96 and #98 are designed for making half-square triangle blocks but they are perfect for use when marking the ends to join bindings. The #98 is especially helpful since it has lines marked parallel to the diagonal edge which are perfect for marking a ½" seam.
Objective:We will join the ends of the binding strip with a diagonal seam for a lump-free, smooth, beautiful finish using Annie's favorite method.
Note from Annie: This is the method that I use to join the ends of the binding strip any time I attach a binding, whether a binding on a quilt or on a purse or bag. I get great results every time. I hope that you will enjoy this method, too.
Let's get started:
2. Position the strip on the right on top of the pinned strip. In the next steps, we are going to mark the strip on the bottom (the strip coming from the left) at the points where the strip on the top (coming from the right) intersects it. These points will determine the length at which the bottom strip will be cut so that it can be sewn to the top strip and fit perfectly in place.
3. Note that each part of the binding strip has a top (right side of fabric up) and a bottom (wrong side of fabric up).
First we are going to mark the TOP of the bottom strip at the point where the TOP of the top strip ends. (This is the point on the top strip which the tip of the stiletto is marking in the image below.)
4. If we pull the top strip away, you can see that we want to mark the TOP of the bottom strip at that same point. (This is the point on the bottom strip marked by the tip of the stiletto in the image below. Note that it is on the TOP of the bottom strip.)
5. Realign the top strip on the bottom strip and use a pin to mark the point of intersection as described in steps 3 and 4 above.
Note that the yellow-head pin marks the TOP of the bottom strip at the same point as the end of the TOP of the top strip (marked by the tip of the stiletto in the image below).
6. In the same manner, we will mark the point where the BOTTOM of the top strip (as marked by the tip of the stiletto below) intersects with the BOTTOM of the bottom strip.
To do this, you'll need to fold the top of the top strip slightly out of the way.
Mark the point on the bottom of the bottom strip with a pin.
Note that the point on the BOTTOM of the bottom strip is marked with a blue-topped pin (left hand pointing to it) and the point on the TOP of the bottom strip is marked with a yellow-topped pin (tip of stiletto pointing to it).
7. Remove any extra pins leaving just the yellow-top and blue-top pins marking the intersection points.
8. Move the strip on top (coming from the right) out of the way and open the strip on bottom (coming from the left), flattening it on the cutting mat.
Note that the points marked with pins show the spots where the other strip would end. In order to join the strips, we need to add a seam allowance. Since we will be sewing with a 1/4" seam, we need to cut this strip 1/2" beyond the marked points (1/4" seam on top strip plus 1/4" seam on bottom strip = 1/2" seam allowance.)
9. Mark a 1/2" seam allowance by aligning a ruler (the #98 Omnigrid is perfect) on top of the strip with the 1/2" line aligned with the pins marking the points on the strip.
10. Slide the other triangle ruler up against the first ruler and double-check the 45 degree angle by aligning the short side on the edge of the strip.
11. Remove the first ruler. Move the second ruler toward the pins just a little bit, 1/8" or so.
12. Cut along the edge of the ruler, removing any pins that might be in the way.
13. Fold the binding strips and check alignment to be sure that the strips aren't twisted.
14. Bring the strips together, right sides together, and match diagonal ends, offsetting tips on each end.
15. Pin the seam to hold together. Put in several pins to hold securely. You'll need to fold up the organizer in order to get the piece to lay flat.
16. Sew the strips together with a 1/4" seam.
17. Press seam open. A wooden pressing tool makes this quick and easy and avoids a trip to the ironing board.
18. Trim the dog ears on the end.
19. Match the raw edges of the binding to the raw edges of the organizer and finish sewing the binding to the organizer with a 1/4" seam.
If you need more help with bindings, check out these video tutorials from my website:
Make A Simple Project: Join the Binding, Part 1:
Make A Simple Project: Join the Binding, Part 2: