Quilts for Sale

Monday, February 23, 2009

Preserving Points

I changed my mind yesterday about making bias binding for the NY Beauty wedding quilt. Because the pieced outside border has many bias edges, using a straight grain binding will have a stabilizing affect. The leftover long strips of blue fabric, cut lengthwise, worked perfectly.

Early in my quilting I developed a couple of tricks about adding borders/bindings and such to an edge containing lots of points. When I learned to sew, I was taught to place the fabric being added on the top - next to the needle. But because that method covers the points, it's like sewing in the dark. Even with a perfect 1/4" seam, it can lead to disappointment (chopped off points). To avoid this, here is what I do:

Step 1: Baste the entire quilt edge, making sure your stitches hit the points exactly right.

Step 2: Pin binding in place, aligning raw edges of it with the quilt edge.

Step 3: Turn quilt upside down so that the backing is on top, next to the needle. Following the basted line, stitch binding in place.

Step 4: Complete binding. Note: Refer to my January 25 and 28 posts for parts 1 and 2 of my binding tutorial.

Finished binding with sharp points preserved!

A point to remember (pun intended): Fabric has two straight grains: warp (length) which runs parallel to the selvedge, and weft which runs crosswise from selvedge to selvedge. Depending on the weave of the fabric, the crosswise grain can have nearly as much stretch as bias. For this reason, I cut borders lengthwise whenever possible. My thanks to Caryl Bryer Fallert who shared this tip in a lecture many, many years ago.


Linda Teddlie Minton said...

Ellen -- so clever! (One of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments.) Thanks for the tutorial!

Ellen Guerrant said...

Thanks, Linda. It works every time!