I finish my quilts.
I've tried a
whole bunch of different methods, and this
seems to work the best for me. Give it a
shot and see what you think. The
steps below begin after you've finished quilting
but before binding. (I apologize for the
quality of the pictures - someday I'll grow a
third hand so I can do a better job!)
all layers of the quilt "sandwich" a
scant 1/4" from the edge of the quilt top;
baste each edge separately, starting at one
corner and ending at the other. (I like to use
Before you tie
off the basting thread on each side, lay the
quilt out flat. If the edge of your quilt is
"wavy" or the corners stick out too
far, pull up on the basting stitches to ease in
Trim batting and backing to within 1" of
the edge of top. (Leave at least 1/2".)
the basted-but-unbound quilt
"sandwich" either by hand or machine
on delicate cycle, in regular laundry detergent,
is a commercial detergent available at Dharma
Trading Company. It's less expensive than
regular laundry detergent, has no fragrance,
bleaches, brighteners or softeners, and since it
suspends loose dye molecules in the wash water
so they don't stick where you don't want them to
go, is essential if you're not sure your fabrics
are colorfast. Orvus is just detergent
without anything else in it. If you're going to
use it, please - don't pay a quilt shop just for
a pretty label. Buy it from any feed
store for a fraction of the cost - even with
excess moisture from the quilt - just roll it in
a towel (like you would a sweater) or use your
washer's spin cycle.
the quilt into its finished shape. Lay it flat
on an old bedsheet or towel and pat it into
shape just like you would a sweater. Pay special
attention to the corners - make sure they're
square and smooth, and that the width of the
ends isn't greater than the middle! This is a
great time to fix goofs like wavy edges, blocks
that got a bit distorted in quilting.
the quilt dry until just barely damp. Then stick
it in the dryer for a few minutes to add loft
and remove wrinkles.
the excess batting and backing with your rotary
cutter so that they are flush with the edge of
your measurements as you cut! Make sure the
width of your border stays consistent, and that
your quilt doesn't suddenly curve outward at the
Binding with Mitered Corners
"French" binding. Bias binding is a
pain to work with and is really only necessary
if you've got curves in the edge of your quilt.
For a 1/4"
finished width, cut 1.75" wide fabric
strips on the crosswise grain; this will make
the edge stable but still provide a little
"give" so your quilt's corners won't
"wave hello" at
Join them by
stitching on the diagonal. Press seams open to
Cut off one end
of the strip at a 45 degree angle. Then press
the strip in half lengthwise.
binding just about 7/8" wide.
Lay the binding on
the quilt so that the binding's raw edges are
flush with the quilt's raw edge.
Start at least
5" from the bottom of one of the sides, and
leave a "tail" of several inches of
Sew the binding
to the quilt using a scant 1/4" seam.
when you get a scant 1/4" from the corner.
Stop with the needle UP.
the presser foot. You don't need to cut the
pull it out a bit.
the quilt one turn to the left. This will put
the edge you just stitched toward the top.
the binding UPward, creating a right
angle in the binding's folded edges and aligning
the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of