Putting It All Together.
There are many written information regarding the “How To’s” of quilting; from preparing the needed materials to be used for the quilt to finishing the top quilt, and then sewing it together with the backing, with the batting in between. But do you know that you can still “fine tune” the stitched 3-layered material by learning how to finish a quilt?
Quilts are generally used as a means of providing warmth, especially when sleeping at night, or during the cold temperatures of the winter season. It usually made of three layers: the top of the quilt, the batting or middle insulator, and the backing or backside of the quilt. The combinations of these three layers thus make up the final product – which is the quilt. Depending on the kind of fabric to be used, the quilt may vary in weight and texture.
The quilt top, which is the top-most layer of the quilt, is primarily used for presentation and design. Here you can create different patterns by piecing together cloths of different cuts, shapes or sizes. There is usually a pattern that is followed as a guide for the required outcome of the design. The middle part of the quilt, also known as batting, serves as the insulator.
It gives the quilt the thickness, the weight, and the warmth that it creates. These qualities of the quilt rely heavily on the material of the fabric that is being used (cotton, wool, polyester, bamboo, cotton/poly combination, fusible, needle punch, and bonded). The backing serves as the bottom and last part of the quilt. It usually has a 3-inch allowance across all sides larger than the quilt top.
The process of creating the finishing touches on the 3-layered quilt is called quilt binding. It is used to hide or cover up the edges of the trimmed quilt, act as added security factor to hold the three layers together and provide a neat and seamless edge. Strips of cloth are used for the binding process and are usually 2 in width.
Let us go about the process of quilt binding.
Trimming and Squaring the Quilt
• Lay down the attached 3-layered quilt flat.
• Using either a square ruler or an L-shaped ruler, cut and trim the all the excess edges straight.
Setting Down the Binding
• Place the binding strip across the edges of the quilt top.
• Make sure that there are no exposed seams on the corners.
• To keep the binding from slipping and moving, you may put pins, clips or glue to keep them in place.
• Now sew along the edges starting about 6” to 8” away from the corners, and leaving a 6” to 8” of “tail” thereafter.
• To make the stitching uniform, stitch about ¼“ from the edge of the seam.
Create a Miter on All Corners
• About ¼” from a corner edge stop stitching and sew it off.
• Now fold the binding strip up until the corner part of the quilt. Make sure stays aligned with the edge of the quilt.
• When you see that it forms a small triangle at the corner part of the quilt, then you are on the right track.
• Lay down the binding strip back on the edge of the quilt. This will form a “tuck” of fabric underneath the corners of the quilt.
• Now you have the mitre on your quilt top.
Stitching at All Sides
• After finishing the initial side, continue stitching the next side.
• Move on stitching from corner to corner until you finish all sides.
Joining the Angled Overlaps
• When you finish stitching all the sides of the binding strip to the quilt edges, the front and end part of the binding strip should meet.
• Cut and join both ends of the binding strip at a 45-degree angle before completely sewing them up.
• As soon as you finish sewing from one corner to another, you may turn the quilt over and do the same process on the back/bottom side of the quilt.
• After stitching the binding strips one on the top quilt and one on the bottom quilt, you are done.
• Make a quilter’s knot to secure the final edges of the binding.
You may hand stitch the binding strip to the top and bottom parts of the quilt, or utilize a machine for faster stitching.