Friday, January 17, 2014

Binding The Red Quilt

The red Welsh quilt is quilted and the finishing of the edge is almost complete.  The traditional finish on the edges of British quilts was a folded edge.  One of the advantages is that it makes quilts essentially reversible.  I like the look of the finish and while I've heard the technique criticized as not being as durable, I think it is. 

This is the quilt laid out, ready to finish.  Notice that there is no double line around the outside of the quilting. 

 I mark lines for this quilt top (and many of my smaller quilts) at 1/4" and another at 1/2".  I've marked them in soap here so that they'll show up. 
After I've marked the lines on the front, I fold the fabric back over the quilted area and cut the batting back to 1/4" from the edge of the quilting.  I don't mark the batting, I just cut it carefully.

After cutting the batting, I fold the fabric back to where I can see the lines and cut along the outer line which was 1/2" from the last line of quilting.  This needs to be done carefully.  The picture above shows the cut edges.  You can cut with scissors or a rotary cutter but be careful.

The above picture shows the backing fabric pinned out of the way.

Now I turn the cut edge of the front fabric along the 1/4" line BUT I don't fold it over the batting because I find it very difficult to get a straight edge.  The batting may extend out a bit but don't be concerned with that.  I put a few pins in and I baste the folded edge to the batting.  It sounds a bit labor intense but it goes quickly with a little practice.  The picture below shows what it looks like after it has been folded and basted.

Now the back is folded in against itself (not over the batting) and the edge is stitched together.  I try to make sure that a very narrow edge of the front fabric show on the back.  I always stitch from the back of the quilt.  Any batting that sticks up is pushed down with the needle as I go.  On this quilt I used a wool batting so I've been careful not to leave strands of fiber sticking out anywhere which seems to contribute to bearding. When it comes to the corners, fold them carefully and use pins as needed.  I often take small stitches on top of another stitch to sort of lock the tension so I can keep the stitches snug.  The last tip is to keep the tension pulled up on the thread as you stitch the edge.  It shouldn't be tight but snug (if there is such a term for hand sewing tension) because by gently pulling up the edge as it is stitched helps the finished quilt to lay flat.
I'll post the quilt when it's fully finished and has been washed and laid out.  It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. 


  1. Thank you for this tutorial. I am planning a whole cloth. I wanted to use the knife edge and I wondered how to cut the batting back. I also see the advantage of not folding over the batting. Did you design your quilt? It is hard to find books on Welsch quilting designs, can't wait to see the finished quilt.

    1. The knife edge is great on wholecloth quilts, it's especially good on strippy quilts. As for the design of the quilt, I've been working with Welsh quilts for years so yes, its my design. If you want to see Welsh quilts on the net, just Google 'Jen Jones Welsh Quilts',

  2. Yes, thanks gor that, I've just received your book "welsh Quilting Pattern and Design Handbook"

  3. I'm so excited to know this. Thank you, I have bookmarked it for future reference. Your book is very helpful for designing.

  4. I love the quilting! Have never seen an edge done like this but I like it.

  5. Hi Marjorie,
    I am just finishing my first whole cloth and I have enjoyed it so much. I used cream color cotton sateen with wool batting. I can only find it in cream or white. Where could I find colored sateen in VA?

  6. Thank you so much for picking my card as one your winners from the teddies challenge, it is such an honour.
    Thank you for all your hard work in making the challenge so successful, it's a shame that the challenge is ending but I can totally understand your reasons and wish you all the best.
    Sue xx obat penghilang tatto

  7. I have just discovered your blog and am so impressed by this wonderful Welsh quilt! Very interesting binding too - I love the way it is finished. Now to look back through your posts - such a treat!

  8. Hi Marjorie
    I miss seeing your blog posts.
    Kind regards