Like a frame is designed to complement a photo or painting, a quilt is not complete with out its frame, the binding. Binding nicely applied is even, has sharp mitered corners, and the quilt fills the binding.
In The Quilt Show video below, Julie Cefalu demonstrates a technique to make sharp mitered corners and another technique for a nice finish. Add these techniques to her previous video and you are all set to perfectly bind your next quilt.
Although the video is made demonstrating the techniques on a domestic machine, the same techniques can be used when stitching the binding to the quilt using a longarm.
This past summer I had the opportunity to be the scribe for quilt judges at a local show. Having this responsibility opened my eyes to what the quilt judges look at as they make their decisions on each quilt. Judging criteria varies considerably depending on the quilt category (art, traditional, etc), but one thing that is consistent across all categories is the binding. Judges look with a critical eye at the binding. They look at how even the binding is applied, is the binding full (of batting), are the corners nice miters and flat, are the seams diagonal and pressed open. The binding is the frame for the quilt and if the binding is done well it nicely frames the quilt and makes the quilt look good. Poorly applied binding can diminish the affect of even the most beautiful quilt and quilting.
Part 1 of this series on binding from The Quilt Show teaches how to construct the binding strip, how to apply the strip to the quilt to get the best mitered corners (I learned a new technique), and a quick method for a mitered finish.
Note that in the video she uses a 2 ¼” strip. This width works very well with thinner batting. If using a slightly thicker batting, a 2 ½” strip would work better. Binding is usually stitched from 1/4 from the edge of the quilt sandwich. All of the techniques in the video are the same regardless of the width of the binding strip.
After viewing this video on binding, you should be able to make your bindings shine in the eyes of any quilt judge.