Why I Attached My Binding Before I Quilted the Outside Borders

This is a short post today to share how I stitched the ribbon candy design on the outside border of my Orange Crush quilt and kept the binding from cutting off the bottom of the design.

I’m pretty sure this method isn’t the ‘correct’ way, and there’s probably a few really good reasons why I shouldn’t have done it this way. But, it worked for me and sometime you might need to do the same thing and maybe it will work for you. Cause you know, quilty rules are meant to be broken, right?

I really, really didn’t want the bottom loops of those ribbons hidden by the binding. So I decided to trim the quilt — without quilting that outside border — and then I stitched the binding to the top of the quilt (it’s the orange piece).

How I stitched an outside border with binding onAfter the binding was attached, I pressed it away from the top of the quilt. This allowed the binding to lay mostly flat. It didn’t lay flat in the corners, but I was able to move the binding out of the way when I needed to.

By attaching the binding before I quilted the border, I had a perfect visual of the space I could quilt in.

Ribbon Candy quilt design in outside borderI know I could have marked the border and that is probably the most recommended method. But I know myself – I was afraid I would get stitch crazy and quilt some of the bottom loops past the marked line. Having the binding there, I was extra careful. After all, I didn’t want to stitch on top of the binding! And I’m happy to say I didn’t. 🙂

Ribbon Quilting Stitch in Border

You might ask why I didn’t just go ahead and stitch the binding in place on the back before quilting. My answer: My bindings are always wider on the back than the front. This means I would have been stitching on the back binding when quilting the design. Because the stitches ‘disappeared’ in the backing fabric and only the texture is visible, binding over the bottom loops on the back didn’t bother me.

This method really worked for me because the border was so small, only 1″ wide. I hope, if you find yourself in a similar situation sometime and you try this, you will find that it works for you as well.

P.S. If you want to know more about those blue circles in the pics above, you can read about them in my blog post about gloves and free motion quilting.

Have a great week!


Post explains how to prevent the quilt binding from cutting off the edge of the quilted designs in borders.




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”!!

This entry was posted in Tips & Tutorials and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Why I Attached My Binding Before I Quilted the Outside Borders

  1. Tish says:

    I have to say I’m excited to see that you broke the rules and did this. I have thought about doing it so many times and didn’t. Usually I just mark 1/4″ and hope it’s good enough. I will be giving this a try.

  2. Kate says:

    Beautiful stitching. I can see why you broke the rules a bit.

  3. Jasmine says:

    I have done this before too. It worked for me as well. I have also marked the space with a Hera marker. I would just be hesitant to add the binding first if the border quilting was really dense. Tight quilting can shrink the quilt a bit.

  4. dezertsuz says:

    Perfect solution. I was watching the APQS video on this quilt design two days before I read your last post, and it was so neat to see you had done that in this tiny space. Who makes these silly rules anyway? =)

  5. That is a BEAUTIFUL accent to the border. And a really great tip!

  6. Excellent tip! It also probably helped the fabric stay in place because when I am quilting so close to the edge sometimes the fabric has a tendency to move around and pull into the quilt a bit.

  7. Karen Goad says:

    great idea and if it worked for you – rules are meant to be broken – too many people think quilting has to be done a certain way but when you need to change the rules change them!

  8. Shasta says:

    I have done binding before quilting before – mostly by accident because I decided it needed more quilting after the binding was already on. I think you do run the risk of distorting things, and not squaring up after all the quilting is done, but then again the binding keeps you from distorting things too.

  9. I think that if I were going to do a design like this on my long arm that I would need to mark it, but this is a really appealing method and something I will definitely keep in mind when I am quilting on my domestic. It turned out beautifully!

Comments are closed.