Let’s Talk….Binding

Let’s face it. By the time most of us get a quilt pieced, basted and quilted we just want it to be DONE.  The last thing we have to do is trim the quilt and put on the binding. The last thing we want to do is put on the binding. I admit, sometimes I don’t give it too much thought and will just use fabric I have on hand.

But, before you throw on any ol binding you really should take a step back and think about this final step.

Just how important is the binding? A good binding will enhance the overall look of a quilt. It will also affect the tone of your project. Here is a great example:

Placemat with Pink Binding

On these placemats I used two different bindings (out of necessity as I ran out of the pink dot fabric). I started with the pink because 1) it was in my stash and 2) pink was the most prominent color I saw when looking at the prints.  I think the pink binding makes these mats look playful, fun, and a tiny bit juvenile.  Which, by the way, was NOT my intent.

Quilted Placemats Binding

Example of two different bindings

I had to use a different fabric for the last mat and chose a teal binding. The mat still has that fun, playful poolside vibe I was going for, but with this binding, they look just a bit more grown-up. Do you see what I mean?

I had the same experience when I was doing the binding on the Disappearing Nine Patch I made for my sister. I started with a light yellow binding that was the same color as the backing. Due to a snafu on my part, I ended up ditching the yellow binding and making a scrappy one instead.

The difference in the look of the quilt when I added the scrappy binding was amazing. The yellow binding actually “brought down” the mood of the quilt. It was such a happy piece but the binding messed with that some. The scrappy binding enhanced the scrappiness of the quilt and brought the mood of it back up.

Binding on Nine Patch

These two experiences have shown me just how important the right binding is. Now when I get to the end of the quilt making process and I just want to ‘get it done’, I’m going to force myself to slow down and give as much attention to the binding as I have to all the other parts of my project.

What is your experience with using different bindings? Have you ever changed a binding or wish you would have? I’ll admit, in order for me to take off a binding it would have to be pretty darn bad!  I’ll unpick stitches for a lot of reasons; I’m not sure I would do it for a binding that was already sewn on…..

As a reminder, today the final group of bloggers will be posting for the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop organized and hosted by Beth of Plum and June.  Please take some time to visit these blogs and leave a comment – you’ll find some amazing people and lots of great quilty tips!

Serena @Sew Giving
Deborah @ Sunshine Through The Rain
Jane @ Where Jane Creates
Jennifer @ A Quarter Inch From The Edge
Carla @ Granny Maud’s Girl
Jenny @ Jack’s Room
Sharon @ Color Girl Quilts
Carmit @ Quilting Rainbows
Jehn @ Jehnny And The Boys
Elli @Lovelli Quilts
Sharon @ Motherdragon’s Musings
Cynthia @ Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Sally @ Wonky Patchwork
Bee @ Pink Almond Quilt
Debbie @ Quilting Makes My Heart Sing
Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
Karen @Capitola Quilter
Marcie @ Marcie’s Quilt Therapy
Jane @ Jersey Jane Quilts

Have a great day!




About Beth

I’m a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get “licking the spoon” mixed up with “licking the fabric”!!

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5 Responses to Let’s Talk….Binding

  1. I really like this placemat design! So simple yet very elegant. I will be making some of these for sure. I agree, binding can make a huge difference. I did an experiment on binding color, you can see here – http://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/binding-color-match-or-contrast/ – the color does change the whole look. Love your teal!!

  2. Jasmine says:

    I have had to take off a binding before, but that was because it was a bad fabric and it was coming apart. I couldn’t stand unpicking it, so I just cut it off. Thank goodness the quilt had a simple border which just ended up narrower.

    I like to piece my binding when piecing the top, because then it is more fun to put it on.

  3. Joanna says:

    I’ve been selecting binding fabric when I’ve been selecting the top and backing fabrics. I try and think of them as all part of the process. If i don’t have binding picked beforehand, i at least try and think of it before I get the quilting done, but sometimes I have changed my mind on my first choice when I’ve finished the quilt. Luckily I’ve stashed away larger cuts of fabrics to use as backings and bindings so I have a bit of choice (though it certainly doens’t stop me from buying any specifics when I need them LOL).

    There are some binding choices that always seem “safe” just because it’s the obvious choice, and I’m trying to fight against that when choosing fabric (I’m not always good at it 🙂 ). One of my favourite bindings is the one on this quilt: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepatchproject/10530511273/ originally my plan was to use the white I used as a border, but when I added the border I was then going to use pink for binding. It was a quilt for a girl and there’s pink in the quilt. Matches and would work, right? But then I saw that blue fabric and it sang to me! It brings out the few blues in the top, and the print features the other colours from the other fabrics. I know I made the right choice because being able to see the blues within the quilt pop out makes me see that a pink binding would have been too wishy/washy and TOO pink and those other colours would have been drowned out.

  4. Kate Yates says:

    Hi Beth, I feel like I spend a lot of time thinking about binding fabric–almost as much time as I spend thinking of the fabric for the rest of the quilt. I often change my mind a few times before I get started. Once I start cutting and pressing the binding, I’m committed–it would have to be pretty bad for me to rip out that many stitches and start over.

  5. I agree that binding choice makes a difference in the mood and look of a quilt. I actually try to think about it and plan ahead when I am purchasing my fabric or laying out my quilt top (if I am pulling from my stash). I don’t always *love* my choice in the end, but I do try to think about it before hand. Because, like you mentioned, otherwise I’ll just be in the rush of the finish energy when I get the quilting done! I loved the scrappy binding, by the way; it worked really well for that quilt!

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