My mini landscape quilt binding will be a smaller, but more detailed and artistic version of the larger quilt binding that I did in my last video on YouTube: Free-Motion Quilt Binding & Fix Flaws | Part 7 Landscape Quilting Tutorial. Again, this tutorial is not intended to replace the video, but to shrink the project to a more manageable size, as well as cover a few issues beyond the scope of the video.
At the same time, at this miniature size, I am able to show you a more complex and artistic binding that can be achieved using more than one layer of fabric. Taken to the extreme, this technique allows you to integrate the edge of your design with the face of any raw-edge appliqué project. And so to switch things up on this mini, I’ll scissor cut both my perimeter and binding fabric, and then incorporate two layers for an irregular and artistic binding that “frames” my little quilt.
STEP ONE: Prepare for binding
Photo a) Wash and dry your piece by machine. Washing and drying relaxes and shrinks the materials, resulting in a quilt that has a visually rich texture.
Photo b) Press piece from behind with a lot of steam. Then trim and clean away the fray with curved embroidery scissors and a lint roller so you can see what you have to work with.
Photo c) Trim the perimeter with scissors to create an irregular shape. It is critical to make this appear deliberate. Otherwise it will just seem sloppy. A few good notches on the sides and angling near the corners is usually enough to accomplish this. Avoid sharp inside corners for now.
Photo d) Cut 1 or 2 layers of fabric and layer them as shown. Please start with one layer on your first project. Place the wrong side of your quilt against the right side of your binding(s). At this size, I like to cut my fabric larger than my piece by up to an inch or so (as shown) and forgo pinning. Please do whatever makes you feel comfortable. For larger work, I would scissor cut my piece and binding fabrics all irregularly to match each other and then pin them like in the video.
STEP TWO: Bind Mini Landscape Quilt
Photo e) Stitch around piece between 1/8-inch and 3/16-inch from the edge of your piece with a tight stitch length (2 mm or 12 stitches/inch or less). Stitch around a second time. I do mean TWICE. This creates a much more stable edge that won’t pull apart.
Photo f) Carefully trim close to the stitched edge leaving an 1/8-inch seam allowance beyond the stitching. I like to do this with the binding layers facing up. This way, I am less likely to cut too close to the stitching. Do not angle your scissors sideways (as you would to grade a seam allowance), or you may accidentally bevel the layers and cut one or more of them too closely.
Photo g) Clip corners a little to reduce bulk.
Photo h) Cut out the center of your binding layer(s), leaving a “frame” that is a few inches wide.
Photo i) Poke all your corners and edges out with a bodkin, chopstick, or screwdriver.
Photo j) Press binding well with steam from the back and then the front, making sure edges are properly turned out. Make relief cuts in the corners.
Photo k) This is my back…
Photo l) Sketch/plan on paper.
Photo m) Then sketch reminders to yourself on the fabric with chalk. I do not want to stitch over my tree trunk on the side, so I mark its location.
STEP THREE: Free-Motion Quilt your artistic binding, Keep it simple for your first projects. Gradually work up to more complexity.
Photo n) Stitch the black batik, varying the width of your free-motion quilting. Then trim the batik. In some areas you can trim away the second fabric, unless you want it to be a continuous element all the way around the piece.
Photo o) Stitch your second fabric. Nail brush. Trim and clean with lint roller.
Photo p) Here it is, ready for a hanging mechanism and a little embellishment next time.
This binding is pretty strong visually for this little piece, but I wanted to show you the potential for framing your art quilts this way. Thanks, Beth – Zazu
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