Decorative Quilt Binding

I had planned to bind my husband’s flannel lap quilt in a traditional manner – sew the French double fold binding along the edge of the quilt sandwich, matching raw edges, then hand sew to the back of the quilt – when I ran into some difficulties.

The quilt was pieced with lovely high qualify flannel and a low-loft polyester batting.  It was all fluffy and soft, which makes for a nice quilt, but not for a nice binding experience, I discovered.  As I tried to wrap my binding around the quilt edge, I found myself tugging and pushing on the binding to make it completely cover the edge.  The three quilt layers were so fluffy that they were puffing up around the edge, making wrapping the binding difficult.

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I am always looking for ways to use the decorative stitches on my machine, so I chose to flatten the edges by stitching the binding to the edges with a decorative stitch first.  I considered stitching only the quilt sandwich seam allowance, under the binding, with a triple zig zag, and this would be a good choice for solving this problem if I really didn’t want any stitches showing on top.  Instead, I chose to practice my feather stitching on the top of the binding, stitching it all the way around the edge with the binding flattened out.  I aligned the left hand edge of the stitch with the ditch of the binding to keep the whole stitch on the top of the quilt.

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This flattened my seam allowances down and I was able to finish my binding. Although I usually hand sew binding, I wanted to get this one done, so I machine stitched it in the ditch from the front.  It worked beautifully after I flattened the fluff.

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Try this out.  Think of all the decorative stitches you can try out!

Additionally, I learned something very important about quilting with flannel.  I knew flannel stretched more than other cottons, but I didn’t realize how much that affected my quilt until I was finished.  I confess my edges came out a little wavy.  Next time I quilt with flannel I will stay stitch the edges before sewing the binding on. 

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