Now for finishing those placemats that were quilted in the last blog…
You need to choose a fabric for your border. This will be the final frame on your piece and should complement the fabrics used in the item well. Measure around your piece and make sure you have cut enough strips to go around your item and a few inches for the diagonal seam. Cut strips 2 inches wide. This is the most common size for your average quilted item, unless you have very thick batting, then you might want to make your binding wider to enable it to cover the outer edge.
You will then need to sew the strips together to make a continuous binding. The best way to do this is with a diagonal seam (see below). This makes the seam almost invisible and also makes it less bulky. After cutting and sewing then you will iron the binding in half lengthwise.
Now lay your binding along the back of your piece in preparation to begin sewing it on. Leave about 6 inches and begin sewing with 1/4-inch seam allowance.
For the corners…sew to within a 1/4-inch from the edge of the piece. I measure it and put a pin in to mark my 1/4 inch.
Raise the presser foot and take the piece out when you have reached the 1/4-inch edge pin marking. No need to cut the threads.
Now fold the binding over with a 90-degree angle and raw edges of the binding and your piece even with each other. You may pin it in place if desired.
Fold the binding back over onto itself and make the right side even to the end of the piece. Pin in place if desired.
Carefully turn piece to sew down the next side, keeping binding in place (pinning is a good idea until you are accustomed with the technique). Continue with 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Do this for each corner of your quilted item.
Once you have reached the end you will connect the ends using the diagonal seam.
Lay the pieces of binding carefully along the edge of your piece. Make sure they are taut, but not stretched so you do not have the binding bunching up. Measure a 2-inch overlap (or same size as the width of your binding).
You will cut the top binding only at the 2-inch overlap.
You now have a 2-inch overlap and the binding is ready to connect using a diagonal seam.
You will make sure your piece is in your lap and the raw edge is up. Then take the left side of the binding and open it up with right side out. Take the right side of the binding, open it up and lay it right side together on top of the left side binding with outside corners matching. It should look like the picture.
Pin and mark down the center for the seam you will sew making sure to pay attention to the corners of both ends of binding. Add pin to other side of marked line.
Carefully maneuver the binding to sew on the marked line between pins. Sew the seam.
Carefully trip to about 1/4 inch.
Finger press the 1/4-inch seam allowance open.
Now fold the binding back in place and sew the final bit down.
Your binding is completely sewn into the back of your project.
The final step to complete your binding is sewing it down to the front. Flip your piece over and turn the binding to the front side of your piece. You will sew right along the inner edge of the binding making sure that you completely cover the first binding seam sewn. Use thread that matches the binding on the top and bobbin thread that matches the back of the piece.
When you reach the corner, fold it down and make a nice tuck and fold back up over the next side.
Pin in place, making sure to cover the first seam completely.
Sew to the corner, catching the edge of binding. Raise presser foot and turn the piece. Sew down next side with the seam on the inside edge of the binding. When you reach the end match up seams to finish.
The final thing is to blind stitch the corners, back and front with matching thread.
The finished placemat!
12 x 18 inches