The 3 Best Tools for Perfect Bindings

The pattern is selected.  The fabric is purchased or rescued from the stash.  The pieces are cut.  The pieces are sewn together.  The backing and batting are prepared.  The beautiful top, the batting, and the backing are layered and quilted.  Now for the last step - the binding.

Over the years I have struggled with sewing the binding strips together.  But of late I have been very happy with the whole binding process because of 3 rulers/tools that I now use for them.

The first you'll readily recognize.  It is the 2 1/2" x 12" ruler.  It is perfect for cutting bindings.  Depending upon what I am making, my binding will either be 2 1/2" or 2 1/4".  I find it easy to line up without having to over think the placement of the ruler.  Cutting binding strips goes quickly with this ruler.

The next step is to piece all of the binding strips together.  In the past I would always use the less than perfect "let's just eyeball it" method.  All too often my eyeballs played tricks on me and my joined binding strips would be a bit whacky to say the least.  My latest find is the "Folded Corner Clipper" template by PrairieSkyQuilting .  The template can be used to make a variety of blocks in addition to being a fantastic tool for biding.

This photograph shows the binding pieces and the ruler lined up.  This is a 2 1/4" binding so you'll notice that the binding is lined up at 2 1/4" marks on the template.


You end up with the perfect 1/4" seam for your binding seams - see the arrows below for the starting and ending points.  So now instead of using my less than trustworthy eyeballs to figure out where to sew the seam, I use the starting and ending points along with my 1/4" foot to make perfect seams everytime for my binding.


After the binding strips are all sewn together, press them, and then sew onto the quilt.  Sewing the beginning and ending tails together is the last step.  For this I use the Fons & Porter Binding Tool.  In this photo, the tool is placed on one of the tails for the appropriate binding width - 2 1/4" in this case.


Then bring the the other binding tail over the tool and cut it even with the bottom of the tool.  


This gives you the perfect length for attaching the beginning and ending tails of the binding.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, sew, trim, and finish sewing the binding to the quilt.


All that is left is to hand or machine stitch the binding to the quilt.  Here are two photos of the finished binding where it has been pieced togehter.  Which one was made with the Folder Corner Clipper Template and which one was made with the Fons & Porter Binding Tool?



Bindings are so much more fun these days now that I have found these 3 tools - the 2 1/2" x 12" ruler, the Folded Corner Template, and the Fons & Porter Binding Tool!  Happy Binding!





2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tool talk! I have another ruler for the final step called "The Binding Tool" by TQM Products; it works great but it requires a 12-inch gap and a 10-inch binding tail on each side. I like that the F&P one you used has all the markings for different widths and looks like it would work just as well for smaller projects.

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    Replies
    1. Yes - I use F&P Binding Tool for both quilts and table runners. It works just fine on the smaller projects.

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