Finishing a quilt is often an afterthought. We can become so focused on the top and quilting, that we forget there is one final step before it is done. But how it is bound can have a huge effect on the final product. Some of the options you have is to use premade binding, make the binding from a fabric in the quilt, or use the backing to make binding. But what if there is no premade binding the right color? What if there isn’t enough backing or top fabric to make binding? You may still be able to make scrappy binding.
We recently made a quilt we named “Strawberry Strudel”. It was made from a jelly roll and white backing fabric. We wanted to use up our left over 2 ½ inch strips, so we made scrappy binding. I think the finished effect is perfect for this quilt and it really wasn’t difficult to do. Why not make your own Strudel quilt? It can be any yummy flavor you choose. Simply download Mavis Reynolds’ free Strudel pattern, or get the Strawberry Strudel Quilt kit we’ve put together. It includes everything you need to make your own Strawberry Strudel quilt top!
What you will need is strips of fabric, cut on grain or bias. The width is not terribly important, though I wouldn’t want them to be less than maybe 1 ½” or larger than maybe 6 ½”. If the strips are too thin, you’d end up with a lot of seams that could end up overlapping and making the binding bulky. If the strips are too thick, the changes could become too infrequent to really get the scrappy feel we are looking for, though the binding would still work. The length the strips would work best if they were uniform, but the exact measurement is not as important. The strips pictured are from the Expressions Tjaps Batiks Jubilee 2 1/2″ Rolie Polie.
Once you have all your strips ready you will sew them together along the long edge. But don’t start with the ends matching. You will be cutting these at a 45 degree angle, so there needs to be a square of fabric before each new strip is added. Fold the corner of a strip down until the left outside edge is aligned with the bottom edge forming a 45 degree angle. Start the next strip on the edge of that angle.
You can now cut your 2 ½ inch (or other width) binding at a 45 degree angle across the sewn strips. All the seams will now be at an angle to help prevent them from being too bulky once you are finished. Sew these strips together and press in half lengthwise to finish your binding. You can now apply it as you are accustomed to doing.
Ta Da! Scrappy binding and not as hard as you might have thought. You can use up a leftover jelly rolls, or just scraps of fabric from your quilt. Use all the same width strips, or mix it up. It’s up to you. Imagine the possibilities! Connect with us on Facebook or Instagram. We’d love to see what you come with!