Sunday, July 3, 2011

Two Color Binding

I love this technique.  It allows you the have the binding match both the front and the back of the quilt.  It also lets  you stretch some of your fabric.  For the 3-D Mariner’s Compass Quilt, I had very little for the paisley print left.  I could get by with the 1 inch strip for the perimeter of the quilt.  I also could cut up whatever for the back of the binding.  I didn't have a lot of choices as I was at retreat.  This white on muslin print I thought was pretty safe.  I finished the binding in the traditional way by hand tacking it. 
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For the table runner, I had plenty of fabric but I wanted it to match either the batik side or the Christmas side. 
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The paperwork I have is from Dorothy Hook, photographs by Marcia Cameron.
This link is a visual of the technique.  I am sure there are other links.  This link has good pictures.
7 Easy Steps
1. Cut strips according to the table.
2. Sew the strips together if necessary for proper length around the perimeter.
3. Sew the 2 different colored strips together w/ right sides together. Try not to have the above seams line up.
4. Press (I pressed mine toward the front binding fabric, it gives the binding some good body.  Some talk about pressing open.)
5. Press in half lengthwise wrong sides together, matching raw edges, as you would any other french binding.
6. Sew on binding (w/appropriate seam allowance--see table) being sure to miter corners at the beginning and end as in other french bindings.
7. Roll to the back and finish sewing binding down (by hand or machine).
The paperwork I have includes the following table:
Seam Allowance for sewing binding onFinished Front BindingFinished Back BindingCut Front BindingCut Back Binding
1/4" Seam Allowance3/8"1/2"1"2"
1/4" Seam Allowance3/8"3/8"7/8"1   5/8"
1/4" Seam Allowance1/2"3/8"1"1   5/8"
1/4" Seam Allowance3/8" 1/2"7/8"1   7/8"
3/8" Seam Allowance3/8" +3/8" +1   1/8"2"
3/8" Seam Allowance3/8"3/8"1"1   7/8"

I like to choose the back binding larger than the front binding, if I am finishing the quilt by machine.  The extra 1/8” lets you top stitch the back binding nicely, and not stitch through your binding on the "front side".  Also keep in mind front and back are relative terms.  You choose what side you want to role the binding onto for the final sewing.  This might be the front.  (I kinda think of the batik side as the front of the table runner, even though, when I was layering it, I pretended it was the back--bottom of the sandwich.)  Sooo, if I am going to machine sew the binding down, I like the back of the quilt to be the front binding (in the table), and to roll that (back) binding to the front of the quilt and topstitch it down.  This topstitching will just look like a row of quilting on the back of the just 1/4" around the perimeter of the quilt.  NOW, if you understand that you have had your coffee for the morning!

I think a sit n sew group put all the information together and did a little class one day.  I missed the class, but a friend grabbed me a set of the paperwork.  I keep just such stuff in a 3 ring binder with clear sheet protectors.  I keep different patterns or techniques in there that I will or just might need in the future.  I like to be able to pull out the information get the binding done and slide the paperwork back into the sheet protector when I am done.  I am terrible about sitting the paperwork for something like this down and then it getting shuffled into some other stack of papers.

Enjoy the family this holiday weekend!  More about the day with my brothers' family on the next post.

Just Another Quilter


  1. I have to try this! Don't know when but someday...


  2. Though I don't know when I'll use this, like Liri, someday I'm sure it will come in handy and hopefully I'll remember where I saw the instructions! Have a great holiday!

  3. Sounds like a great idea! I've added it to my Favorites/Quilting Sites so I can find it someday. I too keep a notebook of techniques I want to try someday. ---"Love"

  4. What a clever idea! Thank you for providing the necessary details. Ann :-)

  5. Neat idea, I haven't tried this. Thanks for the info.

  6. Thank you for this tutorial! Very easy to follow with great instructions and pictures. I'm very appreciative.

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