Binding Curves Tutorial


1. The first step is to create something with curves.  For this tutorial I wanted to show you inner & outer curves so I cut this shape from pre-quilted fabric.  It is about 38" long and 10" wide.  I drew the curves by using a dinner plate.
2. Prepare bias binding for your project.  I have tutorials for basic bias binding or scrappy bias binding that you can follow for this step.  Your binding needs to be BIAS when working with curves.  The slight stretch will help you ease in and out of the curves.
3. When I sew binding onto straight sides of quilts I use my 1/4" foot.  When working with curves I use my walking foot because it helps make it easier around the curves.  Before I start sewing I use blue painters tape and a small ruler to set up a 1/4" guide.  Place a ruler under the foot and slowly lower the needle onto the 1/4" line.  Don't use your machine's foot petal as you are not trying to sew through the ruler.  Place the blue tape as shown & remove the ruler.
4. Use clips to hold the binding in place on the front of your project.  I clip about 12" at a time.
5. Start sewing the binding in place on an outer curve as shown below.  Leave a tail about 8" long loose from the quilt.
6. Slowly sew around the project.  Add and remove clips as you go.  The key to binding curves is to sew slowly and ease the binding in and out of the curves.  The bias will stretch and do what you tell it to!  If your project has any corners, follow the directions found here on how to sew them.
Keep sewing until you get 12" to 14" away from where you started.  Backstitch and remove the project from your machine.
7. Open the remaining binding and clip the one side around the curve.
8. Open the tail from the beginning in step #5 and clip it in place as well.  Draw a line where the bindings meet. Measure 1/2" past that line and trim off the excess binding.  {By past I mean 1/2" longer & not 1/2" shorter.} The 1/2" will provide you with the 1/4" seam allowance needed on each end of the binding.
8. Open the tail from the beginning in step #5 and clip it in place as well.  Draw a line where the bindings meet. Measure 1/2" past that line and trim off the excess binding.  {By past I mean 1/2" longer & not 1/2" shorter.} The 1/2" will provide you with the 1/4" seam allowance needed on each end of the binding.
This diagram shows the two drawn lines.  The lower one is the exact match and the upper one is 1/2" away.
9. This is what it should look like.  Chances are it'll be hard to match up the colors exactly if you have a scrappy binding but as you can see I got lucky with this project.
This diagram shows the binding end once it has been trimmed.
10. Match the cut ends together and pin with the right sides together.  It helps to fold the project in half or  bunch the area together when doing this part.  Sew a 1/4" seam to attach the two ends together & press the seam open.
This diagram shows the binding ends pinned together. 
11. Once you sew the ends together it should look like this.
12. Use clips to ease the binding in place around the curve.  If you have too much binding you can un-clip and remove more.  If you don't have enough you can usually use the stretch of the bias to help.  If your measuring was way off and you need more binding you may have to add a piece back in.  Take the project to your machine and finish sewing the last 12" to 14" in place.
13. Use the clips to wrap the binding around to the back & hand stitch in place.  When working with a scrappy binding I suggest using a thread that matches most of the binding fabrics or choosing a thread that matches the project.
Here is the front and the back finished.  Sometimes the binding around curves does not want to lay flat initially.  A good press with your iron will fix that.
Here is the finished runner.  It matches the placemats I made for Perfect for Precuts.
Note
The clips I used in this tutorial are the new Wonder Clips!  I was lucky enough to get a sample of them at Quilt Market. & they are my new favorite clips.  I use them to hold binding in place, when sewing with laminates as well as many other things. 
Credits: http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/2011/06/binding-curves-tutorial.html

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