I apologize for this taking so long. Has anyone finished the quilt body? Is anyone ready for binding yet? Please send me a picture when you’re finished with your baby quilt. So, why put on a quilt binding with your serger? First, it is fast. Second, you end up with an evenly wide seam allowance, which means when you wrap your binding to the other side, your binding is even. Third, if you use fusible thread in your lower looper, you fuse the binding down to the other side of your quilt and it holds it there, without pins, for you to sew down with your favorite sewing technique, either hand or machine. If you are just joining us, you can find Part 1 of this baby quilt here, and Part 2 is here.
Serger Quilt Binding
Materials: 1/2 yard binding fabric for straight grain binding decorative serger thread
- if using embroidery thread, you need 2 spools of at least one color
water soluble glue, such as Sewline glue stitck, Scotch permanent glue stick, Elmers blue gel glue, or equivalent Construction: Cut four (4) 2 1/2 x WOF strips of binding fabric.
- If quilt is larger than planned, cut 5 strips. Cut one strip in half and sew each half onto the end of one of the other strips, so that two of the strips are longer than the other two.
To serge strips together: Lay one strip end perpendicular to the other strip end, right sides together with bottom strip going east-west and top strip going north-south. If desired, draw a line from upper left to lower right of the square formed by the intersection of the two strips. Serge with the needle stitches falling on this line and with the knife cutting off the extra.
Press seam to one side.
Fold strips in half lengthwise and press. I wanted to add a piped detail to my binding, so I used the wave stitch on my serger. You could also use a rolled hem or a narrow hem just as well. Set your cutting or stitch width to the widest setting you can for the stitch you select, and set your stitch length to form a satin stitch, probably around 1.5mm. Although I like the sheen of embroidery thread on rolled hems, I find it is too fine for good coverage. I fix this by putting two (2) threads through the same looper. Since I have a Baby Lock, that means putting them both into the same looper port. On a different brand serger just thread the loopers with the two threads as though they were 1 thread. It works for all rolled hem applications.
I then serged the wave rolled hem on the folded edge of the long strips of binding. I chose to use a squared off binding, but you could also try this with a mitered binding. I worried that the piped effect might get in the way with mitering, so let me know if you try it out!
Place the raw edge of the shorter piece of binding against the edge of the WRONG side of the quilt sandwich, and use a 4 thread overlock stitch, only trimming enough of the edge to even it out, to serge the binding to the quilt. Repeat this on the other short edge.
Fold the binding to the front of the quilt and use water soluble glue to hold the binding in place while you use a sewing machine to stitch in the ditch of the faux piping to attach the binding to the quilt. Trim the ends even with the long edges of the quilt using a rotary cutter or scissors. Why didn’t I let the serger trim the ends? I wanted to be sure the serger didn’t get hung up on the multiple fabric and thread layers.
You can also make this quicker by using a fusible thread in your lower looper. Then when you press the binding to the finished side, you fuse the binding in place so it holds still while you stitch it down.
Repeat this process with the long strips of binding on the long edges. Make sure that the binding extends about 2 inches beyond the quilt at either end. But what to do with those ends when you stitch it down? The piped edging made it too thick for a traditional fold at the end. Fold the tail back on itself to the right side of the quilt, tuck the piped edge underneath the tail, then fold the binding down over the tail and stitch it in place.
Beautiful, embellished binding, both front and back.