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If you’re using a two-sided fabric for binding, when you join the strips it can be easy to mix up which is the front of the strip and which is the back.  Sometimes I would end up with a seam allowance on the front of the strip instead of the back.  ARGGHHH!!!  It’s frustrating to have to go back and re-sew the seam in the other direction.  (Two-sided fabrics are through-dyed rather than printed, so both sides look the same. Solid colors and batiks are the most common.)

So, here’s how I now avoid that problem: I press my binding strips
BEFORE I join them.  That way, the direction of the fold tells me which is the outside of the strip.

I begin with 2-1/2″ strips of fabric and press them lengthwise down the middle.

Lay the first strip face up on the tabletop – the fold is facing up (like a mountain):

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Lay the second strip face down on top of the first one at a right angle, with the fold facing down (like a valley).  Notice that I let each strip extend about 1/4″ beyond the edge of the other strip.  This helps guide my joining seam.

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Stitch from the “V” where the strips meet at the top left hand corner to the “V” where the strips meet at the bottom right hand corner.  (I’ve added a line so you can see the stitching line clearly.)

Binding

(In case you’re new to binding techniques, here’s why you sew a diagonal seam: When you fold the binding strip in half, and then fold it in half again over the edge of your quilt the diagonal seam distributes the bulk.  If you sewed a straight seam, each fold would pile the seam upon itself and the bulk would make a lump in your binding.)

Trim away the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.  If you cut in the shape shown in the picture, you’ll get rid of those pesky “ears” at the same time you trim the seam allowance.

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For a PDF of my step-by-step illustrated instructions for binding, go to https://spiromaniacs.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/binding-a-quilt.pdf

See my next few blog posts for more binding tips and tricks.

Happy quilting! ~ RaNae 🙂

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