2021 Mystery Quilt Along - Month 12

Kimberlee Tanner

It is the final month of our annual free quilt along and we have so enjoyed sewing along with you this year! Don't worry, if you aren't done, you can always come back to these posts. Prefer a pattern that you can print out? We now have it available in our shop! Spark is available as either a PDF for instant download or a printed pattern.

This month we are binding our quilt. If you missed the last video, we talk all about quilting ideas and moving it through a domestic machine. You can find that here:

2021 Mystery Quilt Along - Month 10

For this quilt, we are going to hand bind our project. This works great for this project to help make sure we don't lose the points along the edges of the quilt. If you have any quilts without borders, adding your binding this way will make sure your blocks look just right at the end.

How to Make Quilt Binding

To make our binding, we cut 2 1/4" strips x the width of the fabric. Since we are only binding straight edges, we don't need to worry about it being cut on the bias. Cut off the selvedges and then sew them together. We do like to sew them on a 45 degree angle. By using an angle, you'll distribute the bulk of the seam across a bigger area and it lays a little flatter.

Then. After you've sewn the strips together, cut to 1/4" seam and press the entire length of binding in half, wrong sides together. Now you are ready to sew it on the quilt.
Want to bind your quilt by machine? Grab the tutorial here:

Sewing the Binding to the Quilt

Now we are ready to attach it to the quilt. We like to start in the middle of a side. You are going to leave about 12" of binding free (for attaching to the other end of the binding later) and pin the raw edge of the binding along the edge of the front of the quilt. We don't pin the entire strip of binding, just a few pins to get started. Sew the binding to the front. Mitering the corners.

How to Miter a Corner for Binding

When you get to the first corner, stop sewing 1/4" from the edge and backstitch a couple stitches. Take the quilt out from under the foot. Now, flip the binding backwards at a 45 degree angle. Holding that angle in place, fold it back, even along the edge of the quilt. Put a couple pins in to hold in place. Rotate your quilt and continue sewing the binding along this edge. Repeat on all four corners.

How to attach Binding Edges

Continue adding the binding until you get to about 12-15" from the start. Backstitch. Overlap the two ends 2 1/4" (or however wide you cut your binding). You'll want them to overlap in the middle of the 12-15" section. Unfold the binding and lay them at a 45 degree angle from each other, Draw a line from corner to corner and sew on this line. Double check that the binding lays flat and then cut 1/4" seam. Continue sewing the binding to the front, backstitching as needed. For a visual, head to 11:15 in this video

How to Hand Sew the Binding

Now we are going to be finishing the binding by hand. You'll have a perfect 1/4" seam and binding on the front of the quilt. Grab a needle and thread. We use two strands tied off. Bury the knot in the edge that will be covered by the binding. Use a couple pins or clips to hold the binding in place. We start with a couple and move them along the quilt as needed while finishing the binding. You are going to take small stitches from the binding, grabbing just a few threads so it doesn't show. Move back and forth between grabbing about 1/8" of back, then a few threads of binding. When you get to the corners, use pins or clips to line up the mitered edge and when stitching put your needle through all layers of binding at the corner where they meet. When you need to get new thread, tie a small knot near the quilt and run your needle through the center of the quilt and batting, pulling the knot inside the quilt.

And that's it! Grab a good movie or audio book and enjoy the process. It takes some time, but is actually quite relaxing. If you find you are poking yourself, you can use thimbles to help protect your fingers. 

Our 2021 Mystery Quilt is now done! Don't forget to tag us @onwilliamsstreet in any photos so we don't miss them and use #sparkmysteryquilt so everyone can see your amazing work. We'll be back soon with information on next years project and we hope you'll sew along.

Happy Quilting!

Kimie and Missy

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