Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Finishes - What size do I cut my binding strip?

When last I wrote about bindings here, the discussion was about using traditional vs. bias binding.  Now that you've selected the binding style that best fits your quilt, how wide do you cut your strips?  Yes, you do have choices.  
My go-to width size is 2 1/4".  This gives me a fair amount of binding fabric to see and I can sew at 1/4" and have my binding be full.  Many quilters use a 2 1/2" width binding because it is easy to pull around and sew to the backside.  If using this wide size, consider sewing the binding on at 5/16" rather than a 1/4."  This will keep the binding full.
When I first began quilting, I was taught to use a 1 7/8" wide binding.  This binding width ensures a full binding if you are submitting a quilt in a juried show.  It is a struggle to bring around to the backside and sew beyond the binding sew line but looks good for judges when done and believe me, it is plenty full.
Take into consideration what the binding can accomplish beyond just finishing the quilt when deciding your strip width.  As a design element on this quilt, the binding was cut to 3" so more fabric would show.  Of course, to ensure a full binding, the binding was sewn on with a seam allowance of 1/2."
I will often use a 2" strip for binding, as in this case.  I wanted the binding to pick up the colors in the quilt but I didn't want it to overpower it.  Binding has the potential to be a strong design element to completing your quilt.  Consider the various options and have fun putting your signature on the quilt you've taken such care to make.

Happy Friday,


Margie said...

Love the clear directions and explanations - and the colors! Thank you

Michelle Pease said...

Thanks for the clear explanation about binding widths.

Marie said...

Great clear explanation ...Thanks