Friday, May 29, 2015

Striped binding

Ta-dah!  Striped binding!  I have never used stripes for binding before, partly because I haven’t seen one that went with what I was working on, and partly because I thought joining stripes would be fussy.  I really don’t want the seams in the binding to jump out at anyone.

I found a bright green vertical stripe print that will be a nice accent to finish off a runner. After auditioning it, I decided diagonal stripes would have a bigger impact, which meant bias binding instead of straight grain binding.  All the tutorials I found about matching stripes in binding were for straight grain binding, so in the end I just cut and joined some bias strips and hoped for the best.

Here’s what I found out.  Joining binding strips at a 45 degree angle reduces bulk in the finished binding.  Depending how I cut those 45 degree cuts at the ends of the strips, I got two different looks.

Cutting across the stripe on the ends of each strip

resulted in a seam that looks like this:

Cutting parallel to the stripe on the ends of each strip

 gave this result:

Guess what I preferred? (In case you aren’t sure: I chose option #2.)

Of course I figured this out after sewing strips together willy-nilly, with the angled ends of the strips in whichever orientation they ended up from cutting the bias strips from the rectangle of fabric.  I decided it was worth cutting out the seams that didn’t match up and recutting the strip ends parallel to the stripe.

Trim tip
If you’re wondering why the tips of the angled cuts are cut off, here’s what’s going on with that. I used my corner trimmer to trim the tips to avoid guessing whether my strips were offset correctly to sew to end up with a straight joined strips.

Guessing where to line up
Trimmed tips line up with edges perfectly

The trimmed tips just help me line everything up just right.

Now that I have the binding made, and the backing prepared, there’s nothing left to do but quilt the runner.  I’ve been putting it off because I’m not entirely sure what to quilt, but there’s a deadline approaching. Tomorrow I’ll just have to get started and hope that inspiration strikes by the time I have finished all the stitching in the ditch!

Unrelated to quilting:  Can anyone recommend a blog editor that I can use to write my posts offline, then upload them to Blogger?  I used Live Writer, which let me format things the way I wanted, but it has recently stopped getting along with Blogger.  The built-in Blogger editor is driving me batty!  I suppose I'll get used to it, but if you can suggest anything else, I'd be grateful!


  1. What a difference the angle made. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Thanks for,the tip on a nice, clean join on bias-cut striped binding. I am confident that I wouldn't have realized the difference.

    I have always used Live Writer, too. I couldn't get my last post to publish as Blogger wouldn't accept my log in. I was hoping that it was just a temporary problem, but I'm guessing not? I hope you'll share if a reader provides a suitable substitute. ;-)

  3. What a great idea to use the corner trimmer to sew your binding strips together! Thanks, wonder why I didn't think of that!

  4. I love striped bindings and by chance I have done some of them the 2nd way. I don't think I had a clue about it, but will know now. Also I like the tip about cutting the tip off. I'm not sure I even have one of those type of ruler, though. I never seem to get them lined up correctly and just manage to get the binding finished anyway. And, I don't have a clue about the editing problem, so good luck with that.

  5. The second way sure makes it hard to see where you joined the strips Joanne. That stripe makes a great binding!
    I'm no help with your editing question, since i write directly on Blogger.

  6. Neither do I know anything about the editing problem, but I do have a hint on how I do my striped bias bindings. I simply take the two bias strips I want to join, lay one end of one out, then fold the end of the other strip along a line and lay it on top of the first strip, overlaying the matching strip. Hold on tight and fold the top piece back so the strips stay in place, pin, and sew diagonally along the beginning of that stripe. When it is folded back like you first layed it, it matches for me everytime, like your second one. (I hope this makes sense!) I have the little corner thingy, but forget to use it most of the time. It does work well though. ---"Love"

  7. This is a fabulous tip, Joanne! I love the look of striped binding but I have never put one on a quilt! This really needs to change! I bought a LOT of striped fabric at one point and I guess I just forget that it's here. . . neglected. . . unused haha

  8. I love striped binding--it's going to add a lot of interest to your runner!

  9. Great tip - I need to find those trimmers and put them to use as I have some binding making coming up very soon! Hope inspiration strikes.

  10. Welcome to the Striped Binding Club. Wait till you use Spots!

  11. I love using striped binding. The little tool you have is wonderful... thanks for sharing!

  12. I love stripped binding and thanks for the tip. I will remember that, yours looks so nice.

  13. I personally love a striped binding, and have used several. I've sewn it like option #2, and thought nothing of, sometimes I've left it as option #1, I'll admit.. Thank you for writing about it!! I'll think a little more about it in future!


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