My Favorite Way to Bind a Quilt

There are as many ways to bind a quilt as there are to sew a half square triangle. None of them are wrong.  It all boils down to what method works best for you.   I am sure I haven’t tried every method out there, but believe me, I have tried A LOT, A LOT of them!   Binding is a study in and of itself.


After all of the trials and many errors, this is my fail proof method of making a beautiful binding.  I like it because #1 it is all machine stitched.  #2 there is no apparent stitching on the front. #3 it finishes so pretty on the front and back.

So, without any more introduction, if you have a few minutes to read, here we go:

  • Trim backing and batting to match the top.

  • Sew or serge the edges together.  This is important because if you don’t, the backing will shift as you are sewing the binding down.  Make sure your corners are square.

  • Cut your binding material into 2 1/2″ inch strips and join together by placing right sides together, matching one short end to one long end in a backwards L shape. Sew diagonally from point to point as shown.  I sew these chain style and then trim and seperate them in one step.

  • Press the entire strip in half.  Be as exact as you can.  Press the joining seams open as you go.  This will help with bulk when you are folding the binding over.  Trim the little dog ears flush with the binding.

  • Leaving about a 12″ tail, begin sewing the binding to the FRONT of the quilt.  Start in the middle of one side.  Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Try to leave a slight peak of the backing as you go.

  • Sew to the corner leaving a close guessed 1/4″ inch unsewn.

  • Line the bottom quilt edge up to something that is straight like the edge of your machine, a table, or a quilt mat.  While holding the edge straight, pull the binding back and make it straight with the same  long edge.  Check the fold to see if it looks like a nice diagonal miter.

  • Fold the binding back onto the quilt making sure to hold the miter.  Turn the quilt and continue sewing 1/4″ down the next side.

  • I like to stop about 12″ down and check my corner.  If it doesn’t fold on itself the way I like it, then I only have to remove a few stitches and try it again.   I really suggest you do this.  It isn’t hard if you catch it right away.

  • Continue this way all around the 4 sides and four corners of the quilt.  Stop about 8-10″ from the end of the beginning binding.    (To join the binding together, I like the Perkins Dry Goods Method)
  • With the top facing up,  place the unfinished binding edges on a flat surface.  Fold binding back on itself to the left and to the right and flat against the quilt edge.  Leave about 1/4″ space between the folds

  • Cut the left binding on the fold

  • Open the cut piece and measure the right side binding with it.  Cut the top two layers of the right side binding to that measurement.

  • Fold the left side in on the diagonal and place the right side inside of it like a finished binding.

  • This next step feels a little awkward– Hold the fabric pieces together very tightly.  Open the fabric up, square the pieces together nicely and sew them together on the folded line of the left side.  The quilt will be to the side, pulling a little.  You might want to pin if this bothers you.

  • Open and check your accuracy in stitching, trim the excess fabric and finish sewing the binding down.   Yea!  It fits perfectly every time!

  • Now comes the all important step of ironing.  Your iron is your best friend when sewing anything, but especially when binding.  The iron  wants to help you get those perfect corners and well matched seams on the back.  It does most of the work. I can not stress enough–Use your iron!
  • On the right side, press the binding away from the quilt.  Do not worry about the corners yet.

  • Turn the quilt over, fold the binding down making sure to be covering the stitching  and press AGAIN.

  • When you get to the corner, take care to make the angles opposite on the back from the front.   I sometimes use a dot of glue under the folded fabric and then give it a press to hold it together.

do you see how the press is holding this binding in place? it is ready for sewing:)
Finally, time to sew down the binding!

  • Change to a stitch in the ditch foot or a blind hem foot on your sewing machine.  Most machines have one. It has a small piece of metal hanging down from the foot. The blind hem foot has a little screw on the side to adjust the plate to the needle.   Yours may look different than mine.   Mine is a white blind hemmer and did not come with my machine.  Here are some pictures of a few feet on Amazon.com
  • With the right side up, place a corner of the quilt under the foot and make the needle go directly into the corner.  Adjust the foot so the metal guide is directly in seam or ditch.
The needle is right in the corner
  • Begin sewing.  Watch the edge of the fabric on metal plate. Do not worry about the needle.   It will be in the right place if you get the plate right.   You can sew rather quickly now:).

  • Use your fingers to feel that the backing is folding nicely over the back stitching and every so often  look on the back to check the accuracy of the fold.  This is especially important at the beginning.  If it isn’t catching the back, adjust your needle or the plate to the needle with the screw.

  • Sew all around the quilt making sure to stop in the corners with your needle in the down position and turn.
  • Hand sew the corners closed for a PERFECT corner:). Yea!!  This is optional, but I like how it really matches up the fabrics.


Binding takes patience, but it can really make or break your quilt.  This method takes time, but it is so worth it.   I quilted this king sized quilt in a few hours from beginning to end.

Thank you for stopping by!   Let me know if you have any binding tips.

–Tracy:)

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Oh, It felt like my birthday or Christmas today!  The mail delivered 48 balls of Scheepjes Merino Soft yarn:)!  I was so excited!  Of course I took them out and looked at them and felt them.  Ooooh, they are so so pretty!


So, of course, I dropped all of my other projects and just had to start my Mandala Madness CAL that Esther, from In a Nutshell just finished.  She has even made videos to match.  I have been watching hers grow and blossom into such a work of art that I just had to grab up the yarn pack from Wool Warehouse and make one of my own.  I have a very hard time not wanting to make every beautiful thing I see!  Are any of you like that too?

I headed over to crystalsandcrochet.com and downloaded the pdf files, whipped out my crochet needle, and started the rounds.  What is it that makes starting a new project so fun?  It must be the new colors and techniques.  I just love it.


Each round brought a new technique and added color and texture. I finished part 1 in no time at all.  The instructions are clear with lots of pictures.   I can tell right now that this project is going to be SWEET!


Thanks for dropping by,  I think I will get back to my needle and thread….
–Tracy:)

It’s Another Splendid Day!

This afternoon has been so nice.   I sat behind my beautiful Juki 2010Q, listened to a book, and worked on my Splendid Sampler blocks.   



It’s amazing how quickly you can get behind with a two blocks a week QAL. It’s no problem though.  I am just enjoying the journey one, or four, blocks at a time:)


I followed each block pretty much exactly as the pattern was given except the Lemonade block.   This one just called to have a few leaves added .  I tried green leaves, but the peach leaves blended best with the rest of the colors,  I really like it:)


I am a bit worried that I am going to run out of my fabric.  That would be a disaster!  So I guess I will order more.   It’s all good.  I am enjoying this color palette. It is out of my normal pure brights favorites.   This is a sampler to test the edges and it definitely is doing that!

I hope you are having a SWEET day!  Thank you for dropping by!

–Tracy:)

It’s a Boy or It’s a Girl!

Happy Memorable Monday:). — When my daughter and son-in-law delighted us with the news of our expected first grandchild, my creativity went wild.   I knew I had to make a soft crocheted afghan for our  baby’s cute little fingers to grab onto and peek through the holes. img_1271

I was so excited that I couldn’t wait for a confirmed sonogram picture telling us the gender.  I just plunged right into sewing and made a blue and a pink afghan so I could be ready for either one.  I used Bernat baby yarn with matching Bernat Pipsqueak baby print fuzzy yarn.

I designed this multi textured little blanket  starting with two granny squares that I joined together and then treated them as one square.  I stitched around them granny square style to my desired size.img_1272


I added the fantastic Pipsqueak fuzzy yarn in random rounds working in double crochet in every other stitch.  For the borders I added a plain double crochet edge for the blue blanket and a fancy lace border that I designed for the pink blanket.


Here is the pattern:

Granny square– make two

Round 1 with main color Ch 4, join with sl st to make circle. Ch 3, 2dc, ch3, *3dc, ch3, 3 times , join to top st of beg ch3


Round 2--Sl st over next 2dc. Sl st in ch 3 sp. *ch 3, 2dc , ch 3, 3 dc, in sp.  Corner made.  *3dc,ch3,3dc in remaining 3 spaces.  Join to top of beg ch3.

Round 3&4– sl stitch to next space. Ch 3, 2dc in space, 3dc in each sp to corner.  In corner space work 3dc, 3ch, 3dc.  Cont around and  finish off when back to beg.  Join squares together in spaces with final side of square 2.

Round 5-9-  with fuzzy yarn beg ch 3 in any space, dc in every other stitch to corner. 3dc in corner space.  Join to top of  beg ch3.  For rounds 6-9 do not skip stitches.  Work dc in every stitch.


Round 10 – with mc ch3, 2dc in same st, sk st, *3dc in st, sk st,  to corner.  3dc,3ch3dc in corner.  Repeat from* around.  Join to beg ch 3.

Round 11-23–  repeat round 3.

Round 24&25 – with fuzzy yarn repeat round  5 & 6

Round 26-30  with my repeat round 3

Round 31-40  fuzzy repeat round 5&6

Round 41– mc repeat round 3

Border

Blue–mc repeat round 3 again. ch3,  dc in each st to corner,  3dc in corner.  Repeat around. Join to beg ch3 fasten off.


Pink— mc ch3,* sc, ch5,sc, in space ch3, sk next st, sc, ch3  Repeat from * to corner sp.  in corner work ch3,sc, ch7, sc, ch3.  Repeat around .  Join to beg ch. fasten off.


There you go!  A beautiful baby blanket;). I have a beautiful, smart, most wonderful grandson. He uses  the blue one every night.    It is so soft and cuddly.

Please give me credit if you make a blanket with this pattern.  I would love to see your projects:)

Have a super SWEET week!

–Tracy:)

Quilted and Ready for the Bridal Shower

Yea!  I finished this quilt just in time for my niece’s bridal shower tomorrow.  Nothing like last minute quilting, right?

I absolutely love how this speedy quilt turned out.  It is called “Sunshine Makes Me Happy Quilt” from the book Strip Happy. And I am definitely happy with the finished quilt. If you want to see how I made this quilt in a morning, you can read about it here.

img_1232img_1233I used Aqua minky  on the back so it would be snuggly and cozy.  And since binding is one of my favorite parts of quilting, I couldn’t resist showing the binding and corners. They are so square and pretty!I folded it up  neatly and just added a ribbon around it for wrapping.  I like the look of quilts with ribbon. I hate to cover all of that colorful goodness with a bag or a box.img_1231 I know she is going to just love this gift. I can picture many warm years snuggled up on the couch watching Netflix together under this quilt. It will be SWEET!

Thanks for dropping by–Tracy:)

A Visit to the Heartland

My children are spreading their wings and leaving the nest.  Where did those little kids go?  They are gone and  grown to now.  But I am so happy with the  wonderful new additions  that their spouses are to our family.

This week I visited my #2 son and his new bride in Wisconsin where he is working for the summer.  It was so fun because I went out with my best friend  whose daughter and son in law are working there too!  We had some fun adventures:)

Chicago — We started in Chicago where we went to the Bean.  I don’t really get this landmark.  It is a huge mirror covered bean that you walk under and take pictures.  It is very odd, but kind of hypnotic as well.  It is one of those must sees if you ever go to Chicago.

I, of course, had to have a Chicago style hot dog.  The hot dog is just your normal hot dog.  In fact, the one I got down by the bean was not as good as a Hebrew National.  BUT the toppings did make it exceptionally good.  It had fluorescent green relish (I wonder why it is so green?), hot peppers, sliced tomatoes, and a pickle spear –Yum!

We went to the Art Institute which was FANTASTIC!!  I loved seeing the original art and the beautiful architecture.  I loved the beautiful bold colors of Renoir.  This young girl sewing reminds me of my cute red headed girls learning to stitch:)img_0696I can’t believe how the strokes of Vangough’s brush seem to bring him into the room and he is alive again.
My daughter in law loved loved loved the art especially Monet.   But we both enjoyed the American art as well.  American Gothic and Nighthawks were both quite moving .

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Being from dry, Arizona made me especially appreciate all of the green and the flowers.    There were beautiful little and big parks at every turn.  To quote Dorothy,  “I’m not in Kansas anymore!”  It looks like you just throw out seeds and they grow.  .  You only need a lawn mower,  everything else takes care of itself!

Nauvoo– We also took the time to drive 5 hours to visit the historic city of Nauvoo.  Being a member of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints made this place very special to me.  I could feel the spirit of my pioneer ancestors as I walked the streets.  The old buildings have been restored and the tour guides are all dressed in period clothing.  It  feels like you are in the 1800’s.


We were there while the Nauvoo  Pageant was going on.  It was wonderful!!  The colors, costumes and music were all so big and bold.  It was a great evening:)!



Milwaukee–We of course had to take a trip to Lake Michigan.  I just can’t believe this is a lake and not an ocean. Crazy!   It is beautiful!


Pokemon was the constant activity of this trip as well.  The kids kept trying to get me to join the mania, but I have held strong.  I have too many other time fillers to add this to my day!  They were funny though.  Is Pokemon taking over your world too?


It was wonderful to be with my SWEET children and friends and see this fun part of our country.  I hope your summer is going well too!

–Tracy:)

Merry Christmas in July!

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I am part of a sewing group that gives challenges in sewing and then members post their projects.  This summer’s project was to make 6 items of sleep wear.   I have already made a pair of pj bottoms for me and a baby sleepwear set for my new nephew and now I have finished my final two items with this shirt and bottoms for my grandson.  What a cutie!

I knew that I was going to be making him a pair of pj’s for Christmas this year, so I figured I would save myself a bit of time around the holidays and make them now for this challenge.  Yea! I can always use more time at Christmas:)imageI made these from the Happy Feet Pajama Pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop. I used some Christmas knit fabric that I bought from Hawthorne Threads.com.  I added some red ribbing knit from Walmart to finish the set.imageI printed the pattern on my computer and then cut and taped it to size.   It was  well marked and the instruction were very clear.  I actually like the thicker paper.  It feels like it is quality.  I want to use it again and again.   I’m sure this pattern will be coming out at my house each Christmas for years to come!

I used my serger to sew the seams because knits need a lot of stretch.  I also like how the edges look so finished and professional.  For the feet I used an old plastic type placemat that I sewed fuzzy soft fabric  to and the sewed in.  They work great! Waste not want not, right?

imageThese little pj’s turned out so cute.  I am excited to see him wear these on Christmas.  I think I will give them to him the first week of December or at Thanksgiving so he can enjoy them all month.  He is definitely a SWEETIE pie!imageThank you for stopping by–Tracy:)

The Quilt of Many Colors

imageHappy Monday! For this weeks Memorable Monday project post I am excited to share one of my all time favorite quilts.  I call it “The Quilt of Many Colors” for obvious reasons.  I used the pattern  Morning Star from a book called Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth and Charlene Thode

This quilt is made with beautiful silk fabric from China. A few years ago, a good friend of mine gave me a stack of 5″ silk squares because she didn’t know what to do with them. Her mother went on a trip to China and brought them home for her.  I absolutely loved the colors and was so excited to make a nickel quilt out of them. I originally made this quilt for her, but she quilted it for me as a gift for Christmas!  It was a fun surprise:).

I have taken this quilt on several cruises and curled up with it on the balcony. Flight attendants have stopped me and marveled at it. This one is really that pretty.

image— Funny story about this quilt, my son was having a bonfire out back and decided he needed a blanket to snuggle up in while enjoying the outside party. Yep, the quilt smelled like smoke and I absolutely was not going to wash the silk! I was so angry at that pill!!  But I hung it out on the line to air out and it did clean up well. – Children. What are you going to do?

Thank you for stopping by and I hope yours is a SWEET Monday!

–Tracy:)

Karina’s Wedding Cake

I haven’t made a one layer wedding cake in, well, ever.  My daughter’s friend Karina gets married tomorrow and she chose this very simple one layer cake.   She is going to use it as the topper of a cupcake display.  Easy easy for me, yea!:)

Because this cake was so simple, I decided to to add some gum paste dahlia flowers on top to add a little elegance to the display.   I really thought that I would just knock them out rather quickly, but the leaves were so so so fragile and were constantly breaking as they were drying.  It took me most of the day yesterday to make these three and one more that completely broke apart into little leaves!  I am glad these ones stayed together.  Only a  few petals fell off that I gently glued back in with icing.  It was worth it though.  They are BEAUTIFUL !

She wanted stripes along the side of the cake. I am not the best at perfectly straight piping or painting.  The lines inevitably shake or lean low and then the whole cake looks like it is leaning. So I have learned from my mistakes and shortcomings and used ribbon for the stripes.   I am glad I did because they ended up straight and even.   I made some gum paste pearls for the bottom border and painted them with gold luster dust.

So very very pretty!  The inside is a  lemon cake with a lemon vanilla buttercream filling.  I told you it was simple.

Here it is at the reception. It is absolutely beautiful on the cupcake stand!

Thanks for dropping by:)–Tracy

Fluff Bum Sweetness!

I have been sewing 6 diapers for a custom order today and yesterday.  I just love making these beautiful cloth diapers.  They make me happy knowing that they will bring smiles to everyone who sees them:)
Aren’t the patterns just adorable?   The top is Lime Daisy and the bottom is Galaxy.  These are made with a completely waterproof Polyurethane Laminate outer and a super soft suede liner.  The soakers are 100% organic bamboo /hemp.   They hold A LOT of liquid!
Here is UpTown and Mod Flowers.   I can just picture a happy baby wearing these with a cute little ruffled tee.  So cute!

Purple Roses has a soft airy type of feel. I just love it!  Yes, every diaper I make seems to be my favorite. If you are interested in cloth diapering, I have plenty available in my shop

Don’t hesitate to add a comment here or in my shop if you have any questions

  I hope you have a SWEET DAY!   

Tracy:)