How To Sew Scrappy Quilt Binding
Are you notorious for saving fabric scraps? Use those scraps to make variegated bias tape, trim, or binding by choosing three or more compatible coordinating fabrics. Sewing the strips together in a staggered or offset fashion creates a Barber Pole binding effect. This technique transforms even small fabric pieces into eye-catching finishes.
- Select a group of fabrics that coordinate in color and fiber content.
- Cut fabric strips 1″–4″ wide and at least 18″ long.
- More details on binding application can be found in the Fearless Quilting Finishes three-part series on Sewing With Nancy (Part One, Part Two, Part Three).
Stagger the Strips
- Fold the short end of the first strip down to meet the lengthwise side. Finger press the fold, creating a perfect right triangle.
- Position the second strip even with the first strip’s triangle point.
- Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to join strips.
- Fold the short end of the second strip up to meet the seamline. Finger press the fold, creating a perfect right triangle.
- Add the third strip at the edge of the folded second-strip triangle.
- Repeat these steps to join and stagger all fabric scrap strips.
- Press seam allowances toward the offset strip.
Cut Binding Strips
- Align the strip set along a horizontal line on the cutting mat. Place a long, rotary cutting ruler at a 45-degree angle on the strip set, positioning the ruler to trim off only the staggered ends of the strip sets.
- Trim off the staggered ends, even with the long rotary cutting ruler.
- Align the ruler along the cut edge of the fabric. Make all subsequent cuts 2-1/2″ wide.
Join the Binding
- Join the cut strips at the short ends.
- Align strips right sides together, offsetting the seam edges by 1/4″.
- Join using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Prepare and Apply the Binding
- Press the long scrappy binding in half, meeting lengthwise edges and matching wrong sides.
- Align the two cut edges of the binding with the quilt edges. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to stitch the binding to the quilt back.
- Fold and sew the binding at each corner to create a miter. Join the cut ends of the binding. More details on binding application can be found in the Fearless Quilting Finishes three-part series on Sewing With Nancy.
- Working from the quilt back, press the binding away from the quilt.
- Fold the binding to the quilt front. Pin or hold binding with Wonder Clips.
- Stitch the binding from the quilt front to finish.
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