Rose's Quilting Blog

Why It's So Important to Cut Your Quilt Binding on the  Lengthwise Grain?

Why It's So Important to Cut Your Quilt Binding on the Lengthwise Grain?

Why it's important to cut your quilt binding on the straight grain?

One of the secrets to having your quilt bindings sit smooth & flat!

Why cutting your quilt binding on the straight grain is so much easier to sew?

Do the above statements make you wonder why I don't cut my bindings on the crosswise grain like so many people do? I'm not talking about the bias grain but the actual cross grain.

When I make my bindings for all my quilts regardless of size, I always cut my binding with the straight grain that runs LENGTHWISE with the fabric.

The reason that I do this, is that if you use the cross or bias grain, you'll get a lot of stretch in your binding. By cutting on the straight or length wise
grain, you'll not get this stretch, but as the majority of all fabric never runs quite true to the grain, you'll find that this gives just that little bit of movement, and the edge of your fabric does not wear as it's not on a true straight thread.

By cutting on the lengthwise grain, it's much easier for attaching the
binding on your quilt, and you'll achieve a more even and flatter result. Many people will say that if you use the lengthwise grain, your quilts will wear out on the bias edge, but this is not the case. Any of my quilts that have had continual use over the years, have never had their bindings wear, due to cutting on the length wise grain.

While making clothes many years ago, I often got frustrated as most times the fabric did not run true to grain. If you look closely to the individual threads when you've folded your fabric in half, you can easily see that they do not run true. This could be a little frustrating to me if I wanted to cut a stripe, not a "strip of fabric" but a stripe like a line. I'd need to line the stripe straight, which in turn you could see how far off the grain that particular fabric may have been.

While it was frustrating with the grain running slightly off centre for dress
making, it's actually very helpful when it comes to the making of quilt bindings. This means that there isn't a straight grain line of threads running down the edge of the binding, but they are also not on the bias. This then makes it so much easier for attaching your binding, as you have a slight bit of movement but definitely no "stretch" that you get when you cut your bindings on the cross grain of the fabric.

When purchasing my fabric for the sashings, which I also cut on the full length grain, using no joins, I always allow for the bindings to be also cut on the length wise grain during the purchasing process. Don't forget to allow for this also when in your cutting out stage. The first thing that I cut off my fabrics will be the fabric needed for the sashings & bindings later on. I then place them away safely until they are needed, which if it's a large quilt could be a couple of years.

When making my large quilts, I do need to join these binding strips of course but by using a 45 degree cut, it's of no consequence. I would normally still use a length of fabric approx 3 or 4 metres in length and then do my joins. This way I have very few joins within my bindings.

Another little tip here before I finish is that when I do my final join it'll always normally be 3/4 of the way up the left side of the quilt.

WHY?
Because, your eye will naturally go to the right side of the quilt, not the left,
and by having this join 3/4 of the way to the top of the quilt it's above most peoples eye level. Sometimes though if there are other joins they may not be so well positioned, but I do normally take this into consideration before I start attaching my bindings, and make adjustments there and then.

Hopefully when you next create your next binding this'll help you to achieve a nice finish on your quilt. Bindings can be a little bit like the icing on the cake when it comes to your quilt... it can make it or break it.

That's it for today's posting
If you'd like to have more tips like this one, then do check this out here.

Wishing you the most beautiful, creative & inspiring day
Rose

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