Three Binding Hacks to make a Table Runner
Making a Narrow Table Runner Using Three Binding Hacks
1. Long Binding Strip
2. One Step Binding
3. Easy Mitered Corners
Have you ever had to throw together a quick gift or do you just want to learn a different way to bind and miter a quilt? If so, then these binding and mitering hacks are for you! For traditionalists this technique may make you squirm but give it a try anyway as you might find it useful for those times when you need something fast.
Making and adding your binding this way is a new skill that will take practice. Remember, this is an alternative way of getting a binding on a project. The sections where the hacks are, are marked for you in case you only want to read about them.
To demonstrate these hacks, here is a small narrow table runner project that you can do. Finished size of our table runner is: 12” x 29”. This project is so small that you don’t even have to quilt it, but if you want to, you can do stitch-in-the-ditch or meander in the center, for our project, we’re not doing either.
· 1 → 6 ½” x 23 ½” focal fabric piece
· 2→ 3 ½” strips, width of fabric of standard folded 45” fabric) for border
· 1→ 11” x 30” backing fabric
· 1 → 11” x 30” piece or flannel or thin batting for the middle
· 3 → 3 ½ strips, width of fabric of standard folded 45” fabric) for binding
· Matching thread
· Self-healing cutting mat
· Cutting ruler
· 45mm rotary cutter
· Wool pressing mat or an ironing board
· Heat Erasable Fabric Marking Pen
· Optional: Stitch-in-the-ditch/edge joining foot
NOTE: We used the same fabric for our focal fabric and our backing fabric.
Instructions for Narrow Table Runner
Prep the pieces.
Cut the top, border, and backing fabrics plus your batting to sizes above or as needed for your project. Don’t forget to cut off your selvages.
For the binding, on this project, we are using a shortcut by not cutting on the bias and that is okay for this small project…therefore cut your strips as listed above. (If you want to cut your binding on the bias, you will need to cut 3 ½” wide by the perimeter of your project. For details on bias cutting see the Quick Bias Tape Cutting blog.)
Start sewing the top
Take your two border pieces, put them together at the short ends with right sides together and sew them using a ¼” seam allowance. Iron the seam to one side and press the remainder of your strip.
Next, place your border along the long side of your top focal fabric, right sides facing and using a ¼” seam allowance sew the border piece to your top piece. Once you get to the end of this long side, use your rotary cutter, and cut your border piece flush to the edge. Do this same step for the other long side. Then, press both long seams out toward the border.
Follow the same steps to add the two short border pieces to your top focal fabric.
You should now have a finished top piece.
Layer the table runner.
Iron your backing fabric, then place it right side down on your work surface. Place your batting or flannel piece on top of your backing and place your top right side up on the batting.
Baste your pieces together with either basting adhesive, basting spray, or basting stitches. Use whichever method you prefer.
Now that the table runner is basted, trim the backing and batting to the same size as the top of your runner.
Hack 1: Making A Long Binding
Take two pieces of your binding, place them at a right angle with a slight offset on each piece. Before you do anything else, pin these pieces together on the diagonal from bottom left corner to top right. Then fold the horizontal piece up to make sure that your fabric is going in the right direction and will make a straight line with a diagonal seam. (If the fabric folds back in a perpendicular fashion, re-pin.)
Now, draw a line from bottom left to top right corner (the same direction that you pinned in) using a heat erasable marking pen. Sew on the line. Then, cut a ¼” past the sewn line to cut off the triangle.
Attach the third strip of binding in the same manner. Then iron the seams to one side and iron the rest of the bias border in preparation for the next step.
Making a single fold Bias Binding.
Cut a small triangle off the tip of one end of your bias binding fabric to make a point.
Next, grab the extra-large bias tape maker (BTM-XL), and an awl, sewist magic wand or a straight pin. With the fabric facing right-side down, feed it into the bias tape maker. Using your awl, pull the fabric through until your folded point is visible. (Note: the two folds don’t meet in the middle and won’t be completely equal but should be close, if they are not, adjust how you are pulling the binding fabric through the bias tape maker.)
Now open out the wire handle of the BTM-XL and pull on it while ironing the binding piece that is coming out the thin end of the bias tape maker. Continue to pull and iron until the whole binding piece has been run through the BTM-XL. You’ll be creating your custom binding quickly without risking burning your fingers.
Prepping the binding for sewing by making an off-set fold.
Because we will be sewing the binding in one-step, you will fold the single fold binding you just made in half with one side a little shorter than the other, so you can see the bottom piece of your binding; iron. This will be very important when sewing your binding onto your project.
Hack 2: One step binding: Adding the binding to your project by sewing around your project once.
We are now ready to apply the binding to our project. Open the binding up a little bit and place the longer width side on the back of your project and the shorter width side on the front starting about half-way down the long side of the table runner. Measure 10” from the start of your binding piece and put a pin in your binding. This is where you will start sewing. Also, put two pins about 5-6” away opposite from the beginning of the binding on your project, this is where you will stop sewing.
To sew…start where the one pin is in the binding and sew a scant 1/8” away from the inner edge of your binding. Make sure you back tack (take a few stitches backwards to reinforce the start and then go forward again). Before sewing too far, check the back of your project to make sure the binding is getting caught in your stitching. Stop ½” from the corner and take your fabric off the machine.
Hack 3: Making a quick mitered corner.
Hold binding at corner edge and turn the binding at the corner so that the binding opens on the backside of the project. Then you fold the top side of the bias tape down to make your mitered corner. Play with your fabric a little bit to make a crisp corner and then start sewing again from the corner and sew toward the edge so you can once again sew the binding down at a scant 1/8” from the inner edge.
TIPS: As you sew, make sure to check periodically that the binding is catching in the sew line on both sides. Keep your fabric taught to help eliminate puckers.
Continue in this manner until you get to the double pins on your project. Back tack.
You should have two tails of binding left hanging. Now we are going to join our binding pieces. They should be overlapping a lot. Cut a 2” piece of this binding off one end. Open the cut piece with the folds going vertically. Open the binding on the side you started and lay it on top of your project. Then layer the opened 2” piece so the edge is even with your starter binding piece. Next, lay the end piece of your binding below/on top so you can line it up with the other edge of your 2” piece and cut to match.
Finish sewing your binding onto your project.
Now, take your end piece and lay it wrong side down on your project. Pull up your beginning piece and place the right side down on top of the end piece. Match up your sides and bottom of the binding fabric and pin from the top right to the bottom left. Then pull the binding gently from opposite sides to make sure that it is not twisted. Once you have confirmed this alignment, take the pins out and draw a diagonal line where the pins were. Sew on that line. (Making sure your fabric is open all the way.) Trim ¼” from the seam line to remove the excess triangle of fabric. Fold your binding over your project (press it in place if needed...we did this because when trying to make sure our fabric was aligned the fabric was stretched out of place).
Close up the binding.
Start a little before one of the unsewn binding and finish sewing a scant 1/8” from the inner edge. Continue past the opening. While sewing make sure to check that the binding is caught on both sides.
You are done!
You now have completed your project while incorporating a few hacks and short cuts. Feel free to iron your project and proudly display it, give it as a gift, etc.
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