Monday, January 31, 2011

Quilt Binding Basics - Part 1

Binding Tutorial Posts
Basics Post #2 - Bias Binding
Basics Post #3 - Scrappy Bias Binding
Single Fold Binding (for mini quilts & small projects)   

It's no secret that I love binding!! While many people dislike this step I enjoy each part of it. From selecting the fabric, to making the binding, and all the way to sewing it on by hand!! I get a lot of questions about binding and as a result I thought I'd put a few posts together that have "binding basics" information. This is a long post that goes over many topics. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them in an upcoming part of this series.

As a response to all of the amazing questions brought up over the weekend I filmed a video to answer some of them.

Included in the Video
- Bias vs. Straight of Grain
- Mitered Corners
- Binding Clips
- Hand Stitching Tips


What is binding?
Binding is the last step in completing a quilt. It serves the purpose of covering the raw edges of the quilt top, backing, and batting by encasing them.

I'm a personal fan of stripes cut on the bias for bindings.

Straight of Grain or Bias Cut?
Remix stripe cut straight of grain and on the bias

I get asked this question very often. I've learned the difference between the two over the years by working at a quilt shop, taking classes and reading many books. The #1 reason to use bias cut binding over straight of grain binding is strength. Please look at the video for a full explanation on why bias is stronger.

Here is a table that shows the pros & cons of straight of grain binding versus bias cut binding. Keep in mind I use both and let the project decide which is best. Also note that the design of a print may also dictate which one is best.

Straight of grain Bias cut
Easy to cut A bit harder to cut
Limited waste More waste if you don't plan well
Less strength More strength
Less stretch More stretch
Straight sides only Works beautiful with curves

Here is my personal recommendation.
Use SOG for wall quilts and things that will not get a lot of use.
Use BC for bed quilts, lap quilts as well as anything you plan on washing frequently.

I will show a few options on how to cut bias strips in Part 2. 


How to calculate binding

Unless you are making a tiny quilt, chances are you'll have to piece multiple strips together to make the length you need of binding. To calculate the length of binding you'll need add all the sides of the quilt up and add 10" to that number.

Ex: A Quilt that is 64" x 42" = 212" + 10" = 222" Binding

If you are making SOG binding take that number and divide it by the useable WOF of your desired binding fabric. In general I use 38" to account for seams and error on the side of making more rather than cutting it close. Round up to the next whole number and that is the number of binding strips you need to cut.

Ex: 222" / 38" = 5.84 - Cut 6 Binding Strips

The method for finding out how much binding you'll need is the same for SOG and BC. Bias cut binding can be made from single bias cut strips added up to the length needed or in a continuous manner. I'll go over how to make continuous binding strips in part 2. 

Below are 3 ways you can piece the strips together.

How to piece Straight of Grain Binding
1. Match SOG pieces as shown and
sew a diagonal line to piece the strips.

2. Trim off the excess fabric.
3. Press the seam open.
4. This is the result

How to piece Bias Cut Binding
There is also a method for making BC binding that is 
continuous and I'll show you that in Part #2.

1. Match ends RST as shown and sew
a 1/4" seam.
2. Press the seam open. If you have
"dog ears" at the ends of your seam
as shown below trim them off.
3. This is the result

How to piece using straight seams

1. Sew end to end with a 1/4" seam
and press the seam open.
2. Fold the binding in half as usual.
Note that this method does show
more bulk and is not recommended.

Once the binding strips are pieced together I iron them in half WST since I do double fold binding. Often I'll wrap the binding around an empty spool of thread until I'm ready to put it on the quilt.

Still to come in Part 2, Part 3... etc.
- Step by step photos of how to do mitered corners as shown in the video
- Machine binding
- Odd corner angles, scalloped and curved edges
- Self binding
- Choosing binding fabric
- Options for cutting bias strips
- Binding width options


This post is in addition to the other 2 binding tutorials I've done.
The goal is to fill in lots of questions I've been asked as well as 
go over the basics for those just getting started in quilting.

Personal Note:
Every teacher teaches things different & every book shows you things in slightly different ways. At the end of the day there really is no right or wrong as long as you are happy with the result.

© 2011-2022 Julie R. Herman. All rights reserved.
No part of this tutorial may be reproduced without written consent of Jaybird Quilts.
For more information visit

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Stash Report - Week 5

This week has been all about pillows and pillowcases. I made a few more pillowcases for the Philly Modern Quilt Guild's project that ties in with the APQ Million Pillowcase challenge.

February is pillow month at Sew Mama Sew & I'm working on a few new things to share with all of you! Make sure to check it out as there will be inspiration every day of the month!


shocking i know... but with the snow i couldn't get out to shop and UPS/FedEx couldn't get to me to deliver anything!!


fabric for a few pillowcases...
that i apparently forgot to take photos of!

fabric for a few new pillows
i'll show you them in a few days... for now you just get a sneak peek

I also whipped up this simple version of the Mini Miranda Bag by Lazy Girl designs for my friend's daughter who is a girl scout. I used the Girl Scout "Patch" fabric on the outside and Quilter's Linen for the lining and handles.

Here I am yesterday buying my girl scout cookies.
I have a serious addiction to Thin Mints.
I may or may not have bought 8 boxes total...but this is a stash report not a cookie one.


Sunday Stash Report - Week 5 of 2011

0 in
5.01 out

2011 totals
purchased: -23 yds
busted: 28.71 yds
net: 5.71 yds

5.71 yards in the positive might not seem like much
but last year at this point i was at negative 131.71 yards!!!

Check out how everyone else is doing!


and WOW you guys want to know a lot about binding!
thank you for all your comments... i've added a lot of content to the post{s} i have planned for you!

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Binding Basics... what do you want to know?

Binding Tutorial Posts
Basics Post #2 - Bias Binding
Basics Post #3 - Scrappy Bias Binding
Single Fold Binding (for mini quilts & small projects)   

I'm working on a big long post all about Binding Basics for next week...
and before I finish it..
I want to know... what do you want to know?

I'm planning on covering
Bias Cut vs. Straight of Grain
Single Fold vs. Double Fold
How to calculate binding
Different methods of piecing binding strips

Is there anything else you want to know?

PS... this post is going to be in addition to the other 2 binding tutorials I've done.
The goal is that it'll fill in lots of questions I've been asked as well as go over the basics for those just getting started in quilting.

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit

Friday, January 28, 2011

A few random things.

#1. Angela is having a giveaway. If you want a chance to win a set of my patterns as well as a bunch of other rocking stuff you should check it out.

#2. I've been busy making pillows. It might have something to do with Sew Mama Sew Pillow Month.

#3. Cherri House is doing a quilt a long and Robert Kaufman is doing a giveaway for the fabric you need. I'll be making the orange version.

#4. I posted this to twitter yesterday & I was pretty successful at staying off of everything all day and it felt really really nice.

 Julie Herman 

burried under snow & work and decided i'm taking the day off from email/blog/fb/twitter all of it. if you need me i'll be back tomorrow.

#5. You have till tonight to enter the MBS Book giveaway. If you don't see your comment you probably didn't follow the rules or it is in comment moderation. As of right now {8:27am} all proper comments have been posted. The rules are really quite simple yet clearly some people decided not to read them as I got over 50 comments that said things like "pick me" "i want to win" "love this book i want to win" and so on. If you left a comment like that, or if you are a no-reply and didn't leave your e-mail chances are your comment was deleted. Don't say I didn't tell you...

#6. With the help of some neighbors my driveway is finally clear and I can get out of the house for the first time in 48 hours. This was my car yesterday morning.

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

snow.. snow and more snow.

these photos don't show it all.
but they were from early this morning.

my poor car
she hates it when it snows

it came down heavy overnight and all morning

for a while shoveling was pointless as it just wouldn't stop snowing

it slowed and then stopped and we have had a few hours of a break
but they expect another 10+ inches tonight 

i wish i could say i enjoy it
but i'm so over the snow & i want to go back to california.

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Moda Bake Shop Progressive Dinner

Take a seat.
Yup.. that one.. it's for you.
oh don't forget to leave room for sweetwater
they are coming to dinner too.
and there is 3 of them... so everybody slide on down a bit.
now we're ready.

welcome to the table!
are you ready for dessert?
i hope so!
How about some chocolate?

I've made a step by step tutorial for you on how to make some yummy homemade chocolate treats

Click here to read more and enter the Moda Bake Shop Progressive Dinner Giveaway

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit

Homemade Chocolate Treats

Whenever I get invited somewhere and I have to bring something... chances are I'm bringing some form of chocolate. These Homemade Chocolate Treats look complicated but they are easy as can be!


1. Chocolate - Get the kind that is made for melting. I used dark and white.
2. Sweetened Banana Chips
3. Salted Cashew Pieces
4. Spoons
5. Cookie tray
6. Baking cups
7. Glass bowl
8. Glass measuring cup with a spout
8. Small bowls
9. Microwave
10. Melt & Mold decorator bottles

Step #1
Place Baking Cups on a cookie tray.

Step #2 
Place Sweetened Banana Chips and Salted Cashew Pieces in two bowls.

Step #3
Break up Banana Chips into smaller pieces.

Step #4
Melt chocolate as shown in Loaded Chocolate Covered Pretzels Tutorial.

Step #5

Place 4-5 spoonfuls of Sweetened Banana Chips and Salted Cashew Pieces into the melted chocolate.

Step #6
Mix the Sweetened Banana Chips and Salted Cashew Pieces into the melted chocolate. Add additional spoonfuls of  Sweetened Banana Chips and Salted Cashew Pieces until there is only a small amount of liquid chocolate left. Be careful not to over add!

Step #7 
Use a spoon to scoop out some of the mixture into a baking cup. Repeat until bowl is empty. Let sit at room temperature for the chocolate to harden.

You can stop here... or you can do so much more!!


Step #8
Melt white chocolate in a measuring cup with a spout.

Step #9
Carefully pour melted chocolate into the melt & mold decorator bottle.

Step #10
Squeeze chocolate on top of the clusters as they were finished in step #7.

Step #11
Tap the tray to release air bubbles and flatten the surface of the chocolate.

Step# 12
Another option is to drizzle the white chocolate on top of the clusters.

Step #13
As the clusters dry you can begin to make your display.

Step #14
A fourth option is to drizzle dark chocolate on the white clusters from step #10

Step #15
If you get good with the decorator bottle you can even make letters. Remember these are homemade and don't need to be perfect!

Step #16
A 5th option is to fill the clusters with more dark chocolate similar to the way you do with the white in step #10.

Step #17
I hate to waste chocolate. At the end I take whatever melted chocolate is left and put it in a few cups and then drop a few cashews on top.

You'll end up with a yummy assortment of clusters! Display on a cute tray...

... or fill a box to give to someone special. 
(I'm glad you liked them mom!!)

fyi... if your family is anything like mine these will be gone in no time!!


If you are looking for the 
Fresh Fabric Treats Giveaway Post it's here...
the giveaway has ended.

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit