Usual Binding Methods:
Traditional binding involves stitching a strip to the edge of the blanket and then wrapping it around the raw edges and topstitching into place, much like using bias tape. Last summer I won a Cuddle 8 quilt kit from Shannon Fabrics (the leading distributor of plush fabrics) and made it into a super snuggly comforter for my middle son. While the quilt body came together fast, I struggled a bit binding it. Sometimes it doesn't fold around evenly and it's easy to end up with some gaps where stitching doesn't quite hold it when working with such a big area. The backing, binding & thread were all the same color so my imperfections don't show much, but I wanted to do a better job the next time around.
Self binding, the usual alternative, (aka using a larger back piece that folds over to the front) only works if you have a much larger backing, like on this traditional cotton quilt I did a few years ago:
I recently got two new Cuddle Quilt Kits from Shannon Fabrics, a cute Leo the Lion applique set & The Derby race car themed kit for my oldest son. Both had a fun mix of textures & coordinating prints and were beyond snuggly soft. Self-binding from the back wasn't an option because the fabrics were cut width-wise (so back & front were the same size). I really wanted a perfect finish for the binding, so I went with my faux method instead and it worked great.
Tips on using Cuddle Fabric:
- If you're using a kit or multiple types of Cuddle fabric (like dimple, embossed, rose, etc.), like I was, the first piece of advice I have is to make sure they are all the same width before you start sewing them together. While they'll all be the same height, they may be different widths - anywhere between 56-60 inches.
- Cuddle (aka Minky) gives off a lot of fluff when cut, so have a vacuum & sticky roller on standby!
- Cuddle fabrics can also have slightly different amounts of stretch as well (dimple stretches A LOT more than smoother Spa or Cuddle 3), so I always cut my backing piece after I've stitched together my front, because there's usually some edge trimming required to the front when it is done.
The biggest sanity saver when quilting, or sewing with plush or slippery fabrics like these, is to use a walking foot. It provides even pressure to feed multiple fabric layers at the same speed, so they won't shift or stretch while you stitch. Most machines don't come with them, but believe me, it's worth the investment and your work will look so much nicer!
Get the quilt front all completed first. The Leo the Lion Cuddle Quilt also came with extra fabric & pattern pieces to do the lion applique. I sewed those on as soon as the front strips were sewn together. Once the quilt front is ready to go it's time for the faux binding. You can do this with any type of fabric, but it's ideal with cozy plush fabrics like Cuddle.
Here's How To Do It:
Take the fabric for the binding, but instead of cutting it in 2 inch wide strips, make them 2.5 inches wide:
Fold the giant binding strip with wrong sides together and place on top of the quilt front, matching up the raw edges. Baste together using a .5 inch seam allowance.
Now open and cut the starting edge of the binding on the diagonal:
Lay the tail of the binding against the quilt and open. Place starting edge on top of the tail and trace a line on the tail along the starting edge.
Draw a second line .25 inch above the first - this will be the sewing line to stitch them together. Cut along the lower line.
Place the binding ends together, right sides facing and stitch together with a .25 inch seam allowance and trim.
It will end up looking like this:
Fold binding and baste into place along quilt edge to finish.
Place the quilt top over the backing, right sides facing, pin all around. Sew together, stitching over the basting with a stitch width of 2.5. Leave a 4-5 inch gap at the bottom for turning. Pull right side out and hand stitch gap closed.
And my faux binding looks nice & even without me even breaking a sweat:
I'm also sharing this project with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.