Two-Toned Fold-Over Binding - How-to Part 2

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Thank you for coming back for the second post in the series about how to do two-toned fold-over binding! We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience. Our normal blogging schedule was impacted by some behind-the-scenes changes we're making over here. We should be back to normal now.

In part one, we worked on making our binding strips. Today, I’m going to take you to the end. This part is more complicated, so here we go!

1. Make sure you have your walking foot!

This is a vital step! Get your walking foot attached or engaged, or whatever you have to do.

2. Sew to back of quilt - Leave a tail!

Leaving a 6 to 9 inch tail, begin sewing the right side of the binding strip to the back of your quilt. In my example, this meant that the navy blue was facing down toward the back of the quilt.

3. Stop short - Leave another tail!

Once you make your way around the quilt, stop short of sewing to the tail you left. You’ll want about a foot, maybe slightly more, between where you started and where you stop. Leave another tail (it should overlap with the first tail).

4. Trim excess

You’ll cut your threads and step away from your sewing machine for a moment. Lay the quilt flat, backside up, and let your tails overlap each other, lined up with the edge of the quilt. Trim the tails so that they overlap in the middle of your 12+ inch gap by .25 inch. (NOTE: You can have them overlap more, but you need to know how much because you need to use that overlap for your seam allowance in the next step)

5. Attach tails

This is an awkward step, and one that I’m not great at. But let me try to explain! You will now open up the two tails and arrange them right-sides together. Try to line up the seams (pins help!). Then, smoosh them into your sewing machine and sew them together with a .25 inch seam allowance (or more, if you left more in step 4 above).

6. Open seam

Once they are attached, open the seam. Folding it over to one side or the other will make this seam lumpy.

7. Re-fold

Fold the now-attached binding strip back in half. It should lie flat across the back of the quilt now, and you are ready to sew it on.

8. Sew the rest down

Get the quilt back on your machine, and begin sewing with a little overlap of where you left off at step 3. Your first move should be to tie off the thread (you can either sew backwards/forwards a couple times, or use the tie-off feature if your machine has it). Then sew until you have a small amount of overlap with where you started sewing in step 2. Tie it off again.

9. Select threads that will show

The one downside to this method of binding is that you must top-stitch the binding on, and your thread will therefore show on both the top and the back. Select a thread that matches the backing (put in the bobbin) and the thin strip that will show (thread this through the machine). In my example, I used the same fabric for the back and for the accent in the binding, so I used the same thread for both.

10. Fold over

Now, you fold the binding over from the back to the front. You’ll want to get it as tight as possible, folding along the very edge of your quilt. (NOTE: it can be helpful, especially if your quilt is very thick or your binding strip is very stiff, to iron your binding strip open in the back so it doesn’t try to pull itself back away from you as you work)

11. Sew along seam

Begin to sew. You want to line your stitches up closely with the seam between your accent fabric and the main binding fabric. This will hide them as much as possible - but they will be visible - both on the back and in the front, as you see in the pictures above.

12. Tie off

You’ll have to round all the corners by folding them over themselves, but once you get all the way around, overlap your final stitches with your first stitches from step 11. Tie off, trim threads - DONE!

I’m planning a “rounding corners” tutorial for binding soon, so stay tuned for that in the future! For now, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for two-toned fold-over binding.

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  • Carolyn Knees
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