This week at the Material Girls Guild of Leominster, MA, I was discussing tips with one of the members about binding. She commented that she was not happy with the finish of her mitered corners. We determined that she needed to use a narrower strip of 2 inches (she had been using 2 ½” strips for binding). I asked her if she pressed her strips in half to which she said she does. I shared with her a tip to save time by not pressing the strip in half before applying it to the quilt. (I learned this from Barb Lecheler, who was one of my early quilting friends in Allen, TX.) Instead of pressing with an iron, I now just fold the binding in half as I apply it to the quilt. To prevent the top layer from shifting and creating a tuck, I pull slightly on the bottom layer of the binding. This also helps keep the edge of the quilt from stretching and rippling. The way I see it, there is more of the binding strip needed on the outside of the binding than on the inside of the binding. Therefore, the fold does not need to be in the middle, and we sure would not want to try and guess where the fold should be. By using this tip, she will save at least 30 minutes on each quilt that she makes in the future. If you are not sure about this tip, try it and see how it works for you.
Try this on your next binding. I hope you find that this saves you time and you can make even more quilts! Please let us know what you have found to be helpful on your bindings.
Enjoy your quilting!