Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quilts for Kids, and Mock Binding

I got my Project Linus Quilt finished yesterday!!  I try to make and donate at least a few quilts each year to a good cause. It's about 40 by 60 inches, and that center panel is simply a fat quarter of fabric that had a great print on it that I wanted to keep whole. 

I used a "railroad tracks" quilting that I found on Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting blog to quilt it.

Swim, Bike, Quilt
Kate, over at Swim, Bike, Quilt!  Has a wonderful link-up, 100 quilts for kids that really helps motivate me.  It looks like she has already met her goal, but it's open until October 15th, so there's still time to add more!

For the binding I used a "mock binding", a technique I learned from my first quilting book,  "The Quilting Bible", by Singer.  I've rarely seen any blog posts about it, so I thought I'd show a few quick pictures of how I do it.  I've used it over the years for many quilts, and they're still holding up well.  In fact, I used it for my very first (finished) quilt, that I made for my toddler son, but when I proudly brought it to the local quilt shop to show it off, the owner told me that the binding "was done wrong", and that I'd have to cut it off and make a proper binding.  I was crushed, but chose to ignore her advice, and the quilt is still in use, 12+ years later!

The main "rule" is that you need a coordinating backing fabric that is also acceptable for a binding, since you'll be using the back fabric for the binding as well.

Cut the back fabric at least a few inches larger than the top, as most people do, then when it's all quilted, sew around the edge of the quilt top, trim the batting close to the very edge, and then cut the backing fabric off, leaving a 1 inch margin all the way around the quilt.
Now, all you do is fold the "binding" over (1/2 inch) to touch the batting and quilt edge, and fold again to cover the top, and top stitch.

When you get to a corner, fold the corner 45 degrees, and miter the ends.  You'll have a little "tail" that can then be carefully trimmed off.
Is it "perfect", no.  Is it "proper", maybe not.  Is it done?  YES!  In my opinion, there's never anything "wrong" about a handmade quilt, no matter how it's constructed, what fabrics are used, or how it's quilted, or bound.  There's lots of effort, time and love in each and every one of them.  I hope that this quilt will provide a little boy (or girl) with a little peace and love during a particularly stressful time...


  1. I just did my first mock binding on a quilt the other day and I love it. I totally agree, it doesn't have to be quilt show perfect on a quilt that is made for snuggling, not showing.

  2. Boooooo! to that quilt shop lady!! Booooo! I like your binding. Why is the world so full of know-it-alls just waiting to suck the fun out of things?

  3. Quilts for Kids encourages this type of binding or even using the 'birthing' method with no binding at all. I agree - who needs quilt police, anyway?