Tip of the week: Try a new binding

We’re all used to seeing the familiar double fold, continuous strip, sew on by hand binding at quilt shows and show-and-tells. For the new year, how about trying a less common technique?

Self Binding

This type of binding is also known as back-to-front binding. In this technique, you cut the backing a couple of inches larger than the quilt top– twice the width you want to show on the front. Fold the excess backing in half and fold it over to the front of the quilt. Now you can sew it down by hand or by machine. Here’s a how-to article.

Knife Edge Binding

This isn’t exactly a binding but it is a very tidy way of finishing your quilt. Both the top and back fabric are folded in and whip stitched to close the seam. There is no visible binding framing your quilt design. You often see this technique on antique quilts and among Modern Quilting afficianados. If you plan to use this finishing technique, make sure your commercial quilter know so that they don’t quilt to the edge. Here’s an article with step by step instructions.

Prairie Points

Prairie Points make a nice alternative to standard binding. They are very eye catching because they are unusual these days. They’re also great for using up scraps. Ruffles also can make a nice edge using the same approach. Here’s an article on how to make prairie points.

French Facing

A French Facing gives you the look of a knife edge binding with less muss and fuss. With this technique, sew a double fold continuous strip with the binding on the front of the quilt. Carefully trim as much batting away from the seam as possible then fold the entire facing to the back so that no bit shows on the front. Not sure how it works? Here’s a tutorial.

There are even more methods to be explored. Do a Google search for quilt binding alternatives and consider the possibilities.