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Piped Binding on a Quilt

I have used a piped binding on two quilts I have finished this week.  I have to say that while another step is involved, I find the whole process easier and the finished product superior.  I was first introduced to this technique on Ricky Timms DVD Grand Finale.  I do not own this DVD but I should.  I was able to view a copy from the Bernina store where I work.  It is worth the money.  I also took a binding class at the Bernina store from Teri Debolt where she showed us how easy this is to create.  I don't know why I have waited so long to use it.

You start by cutting your quilt binding strips and sewing them together.  I cut my strips 2 1/2 inches wide and sew them together with a diagonal seam.  The diagonal seam keep the bulk from all going at one spot on the binding.  Once your strips are sewn together, trim the seam allowances and press the seams open.  Press the binding right sides together in one long binding.  This is the typical way that binding is created.  There is some discussion about the strips being bias cut or cut in straight strips across the width of the fabric.  I always use a straight cut unless there are curves in the edge of the quilt that require a bias cut.  My reasoning is that is uses less fabric.

As a side note, I make a habit of cutting my binding as soon as I finish the quilt top.  The fabric is still sitting around in my work area and easily available.  I also know immediately if I have not purchase enough fabric. The real reason is that I move from one project to the next so quickly that I put away fabric getting ready for the next one.  As I search for fabric in my stash, I don't want to use my fabric in the next project and not have it available for me to cut for binding.  I sometimes send a quilt to a long arm quilter and don't get it back for months.  Yes, I use a famous and very busy long arm quilter.  It also encourages me to finish the quilt when it comes home from the quilter if the binding is already made.  By made, I mean, cut, sewn together and pressed.  A scrap of fabric is placed around the neatly folded binding and pinned in place.

This is where the piping arrives on the scene.  I purchase baby piping cord at my Bernina dealers in 25 yd lengths.  More than enough for two quilts.  I cut bias strips 1 inch wide and sew the strips together.  Trim the seam allowances and press them open. I use my foot 31 pintuck foot to create the piping.  I fold the fabric in half with the piping cord sandwiched next to the fold.  The fold with the piping inside fits in the grove of my pintuck foot and makes the job easy.  I use matching thread and move my needle position closer to the folded edge.The next step is to open out flat your 2 1/2 inch binding strip. Place the piping seam line (where you stitched close to the folded edge) over the pressed fold on the binding.  Again using your pintuck foot 31, place the piped edge under the grove in the foot and sew the piping to the binding.  In the bottom of the picture,there is a seam going down the center of the binding on the pressed fold where the piping is stitched to the binding.  Take the binding back to the ironing board and press the right sides together.  The piping and seam allowance from the piping will show on one side and only the piped edge will show on the other side (top of picture).

Attaching the binding is now the same as you would normally sew.  I use a 3/8 seam allowance to sew my binding to the back side of my quilt.  The piping and seam allowance will be showing as you stitch on to the quilt.  Miter the corners as usual and attach as usual when you sew around the quilt and arrive back at the beginning of the binding.

This is where the magic happens for me as I have trouble sewing this part straight and making it look nice.  I also refuse to sew binding on by hand.  Pull the binding to the front of the quilt.  Tuck the seam allowance from the piping well inside the binding.  Use your foot 10 (edge stitch foot) to stitch in the ditch between the binding and the piping.  At this point, I have changed to Sulky Invisible thread and adjusted my tension for monofiliment thread.  I use this thread as both upper thread and bobbin thread.

This gives a nice dimension to framing of your quilt top.  It gives it another subtle pop of color.

If you are concerned about being able to accomplish this technique,  Make a 10 inch square quilt sandwich, practice quilting and then bind.  It will help you understand the steps.  My second binding went much faster than my first one because of my confidence level.


These are great instructions.
I really like this look and am going to have to try this.

Sweet! Thanks for the

Sweet! Thanks for the instructions Sandie, I can't wait to try this!