A few months ago, at a day-long sew-in, I sat next to a quilter who was sewing a flange binding on to her wall hanging. I LOVED the look, it gives the quilt a special little pop and finish. That day, she showed several of us fellow quilters how to do it, but I didn’t have the right quilt to try it out on until now.
This is my friend Brandy’s quilt; she hired me to do the binding work on it. She graciously gave me permission to experiment and play with adding a flange.
After I measured the perimeter of the quilt and determined the length of the binding – 310 inches – I cut several strips of pink at 1″ wide, and several of yellow at 1.25″ wide. I like a fairly narrow binding; you can cut yours wider if you wish. The easiest thing to remember is to simply cut your flange fabric 1/4″ wider than your binding fabric.
After sewing all the strips together so I had one long pink strip and one long yellow strip, I sewed them, right sides together, lengthwise.
I pressed towards the binding (pink), then folded it lengthwise with raw edges even, and pressed again. You can see the yellow flange peeking out at the bottom.
I sewed the binding on the quilt. A flange binding is different from a regular binding in that you do not first sew it on the front - you sew it to the back. I aligned the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the back of the quilt quilt, and sewed.
Notice how I sewed with with flange fabric facing up. If you sew it with the binding fabric facing up, call me, I’ll bring my seam ripper and a couple of bottles of wine.
When you get to the corners, you treat them exactly the same as you would with normal binding:
Stitch along the edge until you get 1/4″ away from the corner, turn and sew off the corner.
Fold the binding diagonally and up so the raw edge is even with the raw edge of the quilt.
See how my finger is holding the bottom left corner of the binding in place? You want that corner to stay right there. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
Fold the binding back down, keeping the raw edges of the binding aligned with the raw edge of the quilt (on the right side). The binding fold at the top should be even with the top edge of the quilt.
Starting from the top edge and keeping raw edges aligned, sew with a 1/4″ seam down to the next corner.
Lather, rinse, repeat.Here is how I join the ends of my bindings. This method works perfectly no matter how wide your binding is or what kind you use – with or without flange. First, measure how wide the binding is. In my case, it’s 1 3/4″.
Then I overlap the ends by that measurement – see the green dotted line? That’s where I cut the end off that strip. Don’t cut the bottom strip, though, or you’ll need to start all over and I’ll have to bring more wine.
I stuck a pin through the seam where the pink and yellow fabrics met. More green dotted lines to help you see exactly where…
Here’s the inside view. You can see how the pin goes right through the center of those seams.
Then I stitched the two strips together diagonally, making sure I went right over the spot where the two seams met. See the red dotted line? That is where you sew.
Press that last section of binding together, raw edges even, and finish stitching it to the back of your quilt.
Now it’s time to flip the binding around to the front of the quilt and sew.
I used a color of thread that blended well with the yellow, and stitched in the ditch, right at the edge of the pink binding.
When I got to the corners, I folded the binding into a miter and held it in place with a stiletto. I stitched as close to the corner as I could get before I turned the quilt. I reduced my stitch length on a couple of corners because doing that enabled me to get right next to the pink binding without stitching into it.
And it’s done! Here’s the front:
Front and back together:
I was very pleased at how quick and easy this binding was. Brandy loved it and really liked the extra detail provided by the yellow flange. I hope this inspires you to try a flange binding on your next quilt!