Now it's time to sew finish the binding by hand. I love this part of the process. You can sew by hand on the couch watching a show or on a road trip in the car. Quilting usually isn't very portable... except for this step!
(This is part three of the three steps in binding a quilt. Click here for part one and here for part two.)
Flip the binding over to the over side and start pinning it down. I usually only pin down 12 or so inches at a time.
Grab your hand sewing needles. It looks like I'm about out of mine...
Take an arm lengths' worth of thread and fold it in half. I like to use thread that matches the neutral background on the front of my quilt or the binding fabric.
Thread that fold through the end of your needle.
Pull the folded side down (on the left in the picture below) and leave only a few inches of the other side (shown on the right in the picture below).
I sew my binding from right to left, heading clockwise around the back of the quilt.
Insert your needle into your quilt just above your quilt binding and bring it up catching the very top fold of the quilt binding.
Make sure that your needle and thread never go through to the front of your quilt. As I sew, I keep my ring finger on the other side of the quilt to feel for the needle and make sure it doesn't go through to the front.
Pull the needle and thread through until the fold at the end is about an inch away from where you inserted your needle. Put your needle into that loop and now pull tight.
Now you are ready to take another stitch. Insert your needle again into the quilt just above where your needle last came out. Move it inside your quilt about a quarter inch to the left and come up out of the quilt binding right on the fold. Keep a finger on the other side of the quilt to make sure your needle hasn't gone through to the other side. I will often pause with my needle in the quilt (as shown below) and look at the other side of the quilt. If you can see the needle on the front, you will see the thread when you pull it through! At this point you can back the needle out and insert it again if you need to. When you are sure that you haven't poked through to the front, go ahead and pull your needle and thread through.
Your stitches should be almost invisible. It gets better with practice :) Keep going around your entire quilt, removing pins as you approach them. When you finish a pinned section, go ahead and pin another 24 inches or so and then start hand sewing the next section.
When you get to a corner, continue folding over the binding like you have been doing.
Pull out the next side and make sure you have a crisp diagonal fold at the bottom corner.
Flip that side over for a perfect mitered corner.
Pin it in place.
Hand sew the binding up to the corner.
Remove the needle holding binding down at the corner. When you get to the corner, make sure you pull your needle up through the bottom and side binding right at that corner.
Pull the thread tight.
And continue sewing.
To finish, make a knot in your thread.
Insert your thread as if you were making another stitch.
When you pull your needle and thread through, pull firmly to pop the knot into your quilt.
Trim your threads.
And you're done with that section. Continue until you have hand sewn the binding all around your quilt!
Whew! You're all done!
Oh, I almost forgot! Have you made a label? I'll do another post about labeling your quilts.
One of these days.