Thursday, June 3, 2021

In a Bind About the Binding

Recently I was doing calculations for fabric requirements to finish the Santa Fe Trail Quilt.  I had purchased fabric for the borders and backing based on estimation, but could have used an extra yard so that I wouldn't have needed to piece the backing, but I'm okay with that. 

At the same time I had picked up an end-cut of a pretty green calico, less than a half-yard.  While finishing up the borders my eyes kept wandering back to this pretty green calico.  I did some quick calculations and determined that there was not enough to do the binding.  I was SOOOOOOOO sad.  😭I thought about seeing if I could locate more on-line somewhere, but decided against that because a two-color binding could look interesting as well.  I located some darker green in my reproduction stash and they looked stunning together!  I thought to myself, "Yes!  That's perfect", and set it aside until I was ready to make the binding.  

That time arrived yesterday and I excitedly pulled my fabric, made some calculations and discovered I didn't have enough of the contrasting green.  I did have enough to have the two-color binding in reverse of what is shown, but that wasn't as appealing to my mind's eye. 

I revisited the option of finding more green calico somewhere for a few seconds.  Then I went to my regular stash and found a green that would have worked... but still not what I wanted.  And, it wasn't Civil War Reproduction, which I really wanted to stick with.

I just really, really wanted only the green calico as the binding.  As I stood brooding over the situation I glanced at my two-color binding sample with the "backside" showing and an epiphany happened!

I COULD have just the green calico binding if I used unbleached muslin with the calico to create a two-color binding but sew it on backwards.

All was right with the world!  **happy dance, happy dance**

If you want more details about making a two-color binding, you can find them over on a post I shared in 2018... Binding Techniques.

I will be enjoying a binge session on Netflix today as I hand-stitch this binding. I know that I will have a Friday Finish... and maybe... just maybe I will have a photo shoot to share!

What are some your favorite binding tips?  Not long ago I saw Diane Harris of  Stash Bandit Quilting share that she now presses her binding after attaching it so that it lays nice and flat when turning it and her 2-1/4" wide binding is easier to sew down.  

I prefer to use 2-1/2" wide binding so that there is a skosh more room... I tried pressing the binding as Diane suggested and it really does make the turning of the binding easier... And I have lots of room... so much so, I may consider reverting back to the 2-1/4" wide, double fold binding.

Do you have any binding tips to share?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear what you have learned.

Sew Happy!


Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts


  1. My Best binding tip... find a friend that likes to do it and BRIBE them!! haha!!
    What did you binge watch???

  2. My tip is to give it to a friend who likes to bind, even pay her if you have to! LOL

  3. Admittedly, I don't really mind hand stitching the binding. It gives me an excuse to watch a good show or two (and keeps me from snacking while I do). I usually use a 2-1/4" binding, and I do press it once it's sewn on. Another tip I use is to stitch the angle at each corner, if you know what I mean. It makes that turn clean and crisp.

  4. I would hand stitch binding while waiting in carline for my grandsons. As for tips, one of our guild members did a binding class because he always got great remarks from the judges. He taught us the Sharon Schamber technique. I don't follow all the steps anymore unless it's a show quilt, but I do press it open after stitching the binding on the front. I also like to use just a touch of Roxanne's glue baste or Elmer's school glue, in the mitered corners to make sure they form nicely. Sharon's technique uses glue on the back side and presses the binding in place before stitching down. But my BEST tip is this: Everytime I can find a match, I buy Moda bias binding on a roll and use it! I don't mind stitching it down, but I strongly dislike making binding!!

  5. I once had a wonderful quilt teacher who would remind us that there are TWO sides to every piece of fabric, and we should feel free to use either or both of them! She was the most creative teacher I ever had. Her color sense was terrific and she used fabrics no one would think of looking at. God bless you, Connie, stitching away I hope in Heaven!

  6. Glad that binding worked for you, Melva! I've learned that I need to make a sample each time I make 2-color method. Can you say directionally challenged? LOL!

  7. Happy end! Your binding is going to be perfect. I like to finish my latest quilt with the facing method, easy and invisible ;)
    Thank you for linking up today!

  8. Great solution! I will have to remember this. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap

  9. So nice that you found a solution that allowed you to use your preferred binding. I've come to doing almost all of my binding by machine these days and love it. I don't have any great tips, but I do like the binding tutorials by Heather Peterson of Anka's Treasures.

  10. Genius solution. I wasn't thrilled with the muslin but I see what you did, used it to make it work, not make a smart.

  11. Clever you for finding the solution! Green on white calico is not an easy fabric to find, glad you were able to make it work. I like 2.5” wide binding strips for regular sized quilts too.

  12. Those green fabrics are so pretty together! I learned so much from reading the tips shared in the comments. My favorite binding tip? is like Annie's, I use 2.5" binding and enjoy the hand stitching! I am learning to machine bind, but hand binding is my favorite!

  13. Hi Melva,
    My way of hand sewing the binding (using 2 and 1/4 double fold) is that I don't pin it very far ahead of where I am stitching. I do press the binding open after sewing it to the front, and it bends to the back so easily. But I only use two or three pins and move them as I go along. No clips or anything like that. Thanks for linking with Design Wall Mondays, Judy