Binding My Accidental PIG

binding my accidential pig An Accidental Pig 214x300 Binding My Accidental PIG

An Accidental Pig

Sometimes, I finish PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) accidentally. I have so many PIGS. I’m trying to finish one each month and as I finish, I tell you about them in hopes that you’ll find something helpful in my process.

That’s what happened with this little quilt. I was working along without a thought of finishing a PIG and all of the sudden it was so close to finished that I had to complete it. Just by accident, I had it nearly done.

Here’s how it happened.

Last week, a couple of the people in the office had some trouble with the Grace Q’nique 14+ longarm machine we have in our sewing studio. I wanted to see if I could duplicate the problem so I could talk to the people at the Grace Company. Their technical support team is awesome but I have to be able to describe what is going wrong.

I brought a small quilt top from home to experiment on. It’s a bit of a strange size (30” x 42”) so I’m not sure what to call it. Is it a wall quilt? A table topper? A rug? A play quilt for a baby? It’s something I found in my mother-in-law’s sewing room and I’m not sure what her intentions were.

She hand-pieced the bow ties but the rest of the quilt top is machine stitched. The gray fabrics and the pale pink are cotton but the bright pink is polyester.

The good news is that with just a few minor adjustments to the tension I was able to get the Q’nique 14+ to hum through the quilting process. Once I started quilting, I did the whole thing without having to stop except when I ran out of bobbin thread.

And there it was, a completely quilted PIG. The only logical thing to do was go ahead and bind this little quilt so it could be done.

I took photos as I was binding so I could walk you through the process.

The first step was to choose the fabric. I generally use a dark fabric for the binding to frame the quilt. In my stash, I found a great black, gray and pink print. There was just a small piece, about a fat quarter. I decided that because the print is small, all the seams to join the binding wouldn’t be very noticeable.

I cut my binding a little narrower than some people. I cut strips 2 1/8” wide. I nearly always use Warm & Natural or Warm & White batting by The Warm Company and I find the narrow binding strips are a nice fit.

binding my accidential pig Cutting Strips 300x261 Binding My Accidental PIG

Cutting Strips

Here’s a trick I do so I don’t have to find the 1/8” marking on my ruler for each strip. I cut the first strip at 2 1/8”. I leave that strip on the mat; I don’t move it at all. I move my ruler over and cut the second strip at 4¼”. I take away the first strip I cut and make the next cut at 4¼” again. I keep removing just one of the strips so I can cut at 4¼” each time. It seems easier to line up at 4¼” and by leaving one strip in place I can do that.

Join the strips with a diagonal seam to reduce bulk. The machine I’m using has a beam of light that shows where my stitching will be so I turn on the beam to stitch straight across the strips on the diagonal without having to mark.

binding my accidential pig Stitching on the Diagonal 251x300 Binding My Accidental PIG

Stitching on the Diagonal

binding my accidential pig Trimming the Excess 250x300 Binding My Accidental PIG

Trimming the Excess

Place the ¼” mark of ruler on the stitching and trim away the excess fabric.

Fold lengthwise with wrong sides together and press for one long binding strip. Cut the beginning of the binding strip at a 45-degree angle.

Using a ¼” foot, stitch the binding to the quilt on the front of the quilt – not the back. Check before you start to be certain that none of the seams in the binding will be at the corners. I don’t pin. I just line things up carefully and make sure all the layers are smooth with no tucks anywhere. Start stitching 15-18” from the corner.

binding my accidential pig Stitching the 1st side 300x297 Binding My Accidental PIG

Stitching the First Side

binding my accidential pig Stitching Off the Corner 300x296 Binding My Accidental PIG

Stitching Off the Corner

Stop stitching ¼” from the corner, turn the quilt top and stitch off the corner on the diagonal.

Pull the quilt top slightly out of the machine and turn it so you have things lined up to stitch down the second side. Fold the tail of the binding to the back of the machine so the raw edge is straight back from the raw edge of the quilt top.

Now fold the tail toward you and line up the raw edges of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt. Notice the extra fabric in the triangular shape. That’s what you need to make a smooth miter.

binding my accidential pig 1st fold 300x251 Binding My Accidental PIG

First Fold

binding my accidential pig 2nd fold 300x225 Binding My Accidental PIG

Second Fold

Start at the corner and stitch until you are ¼” from the next corner and repeat to make the mitered corner. Repeat twice more.

binding my accidential pig Stitching after Miter 300x272 Binding My Accidental PIG

Stitching after the Miter

Stitch until you are 12” or so from the beginning. Smooth the beginning tail over the ending tail. Using the cut edge of the beginning tail as a guide, mark the ending tail at a 45-degree angle. Add ½” to the marked line for seam allowance. (Be sure you are adding to the length of the binding and not subtracting from it.) Cut on the marked line and join the two ends. Stitch the rest of the binding in place.

From the front of the quilt, press the binding away from the quilt top.

Turn the quilt over and, from the back, apply a thin bead of Elmer’s School Glue (it’s washable) to the very edge of the binding.

binding my accidential pig Pressed 300x271 Binding My Accidental PIG

Pressed

binding my accidential pig glued 300x225 Binding My Accidental PIG

Glue Applied

Fold the binding over until it just covers the stitching line and press with the iron.

Turn the quilt over again and from the front, stitch the binding in place. I generally use a straight stitch, thread to match the binding and an open toe foot. I sew with the left toe of the foot just off the binding and I move the needle position clear to the left.

binding my accidential pig Pressing Again 300x196 Binding My Accidental PIG

Pressing Again

binding my accidential pig Final stitching 290x300 Binding My Accidental PIG

Final stitching

Don’t you love the bowties? There are two bowtie patterns available at quiltandsewshop.com. Abigail Dolinger made this 49” x 49” beauty.

And Paula Stoddard’s 72” x 84” throw is just as nice. It’s available as a pattern or a kit.

Until next time, happy quilting.

binding my accidential pig aby 300x300 Binding My Accidental PIG

Bow Tie Wreath by Abigail Dolinger

binding my accidential pig paula 215x300 Binding My Accidental PIG

Christmas Bows by Paula Stoddard

This entry was posted in Lori Baker, Quilting Inspiration and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Binding My Accidental PIG

  1. Linda Garmon says:

    I use my zipper foot to finish sewing on the binding, moving the needle against the binding, stitching in the ditch. Works great.

  2. Camille says:

    Accidents can be lucky! I read this article by accident and now have two new ideas to try for finish stitching the quilt binding from the front side with my machine. Thanks!

  3. Jenny Steiner says:

    I read your article about pigs and just wanted to let you know that you made me realize that I have pits, no pun intended. That is projects in totes. Most are shoe box size. My ultimate dream is to finish all of them before I leave this earth. I am 69 so only God knows if that dream will come true. Thanks for your article and all the information that your website gives us dreamers.

    Happy quilting Jenny

  4. I create my binding in the same way–except–I did not know about the Elmer’s glue technique. Thank you for that tip. Tomorrow I am binding a 96″ X 96_ quilt and it will give it a try. It will make life easier–Thank You.

  5. Pingback: Workshop Wednesday: Joining the Ends of Your Binding | McCall's Quilting Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>