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Finishing a Quilt

Handy Hints

BACKING

The backing needs to be 8” longer and wider than the quilt top if you are long arm machine quilting. If you are quilting yourself 4" longer and wider will be enough.
It is convenient to use wide-back fabric (108” wide).
Or you can piece together any fabrics to make a back the correct size. Remember to always cut selvedges off before joining.

WADDING/BATTING

Use what ever type suits your needs - cotton, wool, bamboo, polyester, cotton/poly blends, wool/poly blends.

100% cotton is good for warmer climates.
Wadding comes in many widths:1.5m (59”), 2.4m (95”) and 3.1m (122”).
The wadding also needs to be 8” longer and wider than the quilt top.

QUILTING

For professional machine quilting just take the quilt top to the quilter and either purchase or bring wadding and backing of suitable size. 

If you wish to quilt it yourself you will have to form the quilt sandwich (backing - wadding - quilt top), baste this together (pins or running stitch).

Quilt by hand or machine.

BINDING

After the quilting is complete it is time to add the binding. If the excess around the quilt is not great leave it as is for the moment otherwise trim the batting and backing to about 2” from the edge of the quilt - this is only to reduce bulk - nothing more

Cut the binding strips.
For a binding approximately ¼” finished, cut the binding strips 2½” wide.
Cut as many strips as you need to go around the whole quilt.

Join the strips of binding
Form one continuous strip of binding by joining all the strips you have cut.
Join the strips using a diagonal seam.
To do this cut each end of the strip at an angle of 45˚. Make sure both ends slope the same way.
Join the strips to form one long strip. Iron the seams open.

Fold and iron in half lengthwise wrong sides together.

Attach the binding to the quilt.
With the raw edges of the quilt and the binding lining up, pin the binding to the quilt, leave the first 6” of the binding unattached. You do not need to trim the quilt first, you can do this after the binding is attached.
Start sewing using a ¼”seam.Use a walking foot if you have one - it helps the binding and the quilt feed evenly through the machine.
Stop sewing ¼” away from the corner.

Fold the binding away from the quilt at a right angle, the fold forms a 45° angle in the corner.

Then make a second fold bringing the binding strip even with the edge of the quilt.

Using a ¼”seam sew down the side starting ¼” away from the corner.

Continue sewing on the binding until you are back near the beginning.
Leave a big enough gap to enable joining. The photo shows a small sample. On a quilt I often leaves 'tails of about 10").

Cut the binding down to the correct length and rejoin to finish the binding ends. An easy way to find the "correct length" is to firstly cut the tails off square, overlap them by 2 1/2", cut the 45˚ diagonal on each end.


Sew down the final edge of binding.
Trim the quilt edge as necessary.
Fold the binding over and hand stitch in place, the binding should be "full" of wadding.



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