Sometimes it’s fun to do something different with quilt binding. Recently I challenged myself to make a small quilt with only two colours throughout. Yes, I know that makes me sound pretty sad!
Everything went fine with the construction of the quilt top and the backing, but I ended up with one of the fabrics in the border of the quilt top and the other for the quilt backing. Which fabric should I use for the quilt binding to provide a frame on both the back and the front of the quilt?
The obvious answer was to use both fabrics in the quilt binding, but it took me a while to come to this conclusion. Then, of course, I had to ponder further because I had the choice of one colour each side, candy stripe quilting – there are always so many choices in quilting.
Making the flange quilt binding
In the end I decided to go with flange quilt binding because I haven’t shown that on the site before and it fitted exactly with how I wanted the quilt to look.
Usually I use 2.1/2″ quilt binding, so for the flange quilt binding I needed to have a total unsewn width of 3″ to allow for the seam allowance. I began with 1.5/8″ width of the light fabric and 1.3/8″ of the dark. This gave only a small amount of the light fabric showing so I opted for 1.3/4″ light fabric and 1.1/4″ dark fabric. This game me exactly the contrast between the two quilt binding fabrics that I wanted, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you can vary the widths of the fabric strips if you are looking for a different effect.
So, using a 1/4″ seam and with right sides together, sew the light and dark strips together. Press this double strip first on the wrong side with the seam allowance towards the dark fabric, then on the right side to make sure that your seam is flat. Then fold the strip in half with wrong sides together and press again. I know it’s a lot of pressing, but it really is worth it. You should end up with a folded strip that is all light fabric on one side and dark and light fabric on the other side.
Sew the flange binding to the quilt
Place the folded binding strip half way along one edge of the back of the quilt with the fold towards the middle of the quilt and all raw edges together. Note that the side of the flange quilt binding that is on top is the light side and the two coloured side is against the quilt backing. Begin sewing a few inches from the beginning of the binding, leaving a trailing end. When you reach the corner of the quilt, finish sewing 1/4″ from the corner, backstitch and remove the quilt from the sewing machine.
Fold the flange quilt binding up away from the quilt backing and then fold down again following the next edge of the quilt backing. Continue sewing from the corner of the quilt and contine attaching the quilt binding all round the quilt backing. Continue sewing from the corner of the quilt and continue attaching the quilt binding all round the quilt backing.
When you arrive back where you began, stop sewing several inches away from the start of the quilt binding. Fold under a small hem in one end and tuck the other end inside the fold. Sew across the gap.
Flip the flange quilt binding to the front of the quilt and slipstitch in place. The light fabric shows up beautifully against the dark fabric to give just the contrast that I had been hoping for.
Meanwhile the quilt backing is framed by the dark fabric. I’m really pleased with the effect given by the flange quilt binding and now I can’t think why I don’t use it more often!
You will obviously need to join together lengths of flange quilt binding to get enough to go all round the quilt. This is done in the same way as normal quilt binding.
Place the two ends of the fabric strips with right sides together at right angles to each other. Check the photo to make sure that you have the strips the right way against each other. Sew across the diagonal and trim the excess fabric 1/4″ from the seam line. This will open up to give you a continuous strip of flange quilt binding.
Here’s the video: