If you are creating a Reversible Table Runner, thank you for joining me in part 2 where I show you how to create your binding and finish your table runner. If you are making a quilted project and want to use the backing as your binding, you will want to follow this Simply Basics Binding a Quilt tutorial instead.
I encourage you to create a custom binding rather than buying pre-packaged bias tape. Although it adds a little extra time and effort to the project, you are able to use a hand-picked fabric that better coordinates with your color scheme. This adds an irreplaceable wow factor to your project.
To get started, make sure you have enough fabric purchased and cut for your binding. I have compiled a chart that can help you determine how many strips you need, and how much yardage it will take to get that number of strips.
Create the binding:
Cut your yardage into 2.5” strips. Place one of these strips right side up, along a horizontal line on your cutting mat. Place another strip right side down on a vertical line, on top of the first strip. The pieces should overlap by about ½-1”. Draw a line with a water soluble pen at a 45 degree angle as shown. Pin the strips together.
Sew on the line, fixing the stitch or back stitching at the beginning and end.
Cut the excess material off ¼” away from the seam. Flip the strips open and iron the seam open. Continue this process until all strips needed for the project are sewn together and you have one long continuous strip.
Fold your strip in half with wrong sides together and iron. You can use a bias tape maker if you have one to save time.
Attaching the binding:
Connect your walking foot to your sewing machine at this time, if you have one (otherwise use your 1/4″ foot). Begin the binding on a long side of your project. Set your binding on the right edge of your project, with the raw edges together. Leaving a 10”-12″ tail, start sewing the binding onto the table runner 1/4″ away from the edge. Since this is a reversible table runner, it does not matter which side is up. If this were a non-reversible project, I would sew the binding onto the top if I want to hand stitch it on the back -OR- I would sew the binding onto the back if I want to machine stitch it on the front. More info on that further below in the “Finish the binding” section.
When you approach the corner, stop ¼” away from the edge. In the needle down position, rotate the fabric 45 degrees and sew to the corner. Clip the threads.
Flip the binding up 90 degrees, then fold it back down on top of itself as shown. Start sewing the binding again right at the beginning of the corner. Continue this process until you have reached 12” from where you started the binding. Fix the stitch or back stitch where you stop.
Close the binding:
This is where it gets a little tricky.
Take the project away from your machine and place it on your ironing board. At the opening you left, take the two ends of your binding and bring them towards each other. Leave a 1/4″ opening and crease the strips with your iron.
Open the strips with wrong sides up. Use your water soluble pen and 45 degree ruler to draw a line down to the right. The center of the line should intersect the crease you just made and the half way ironed crease of the binding.
At this point, your binding should look like this. A 10-12″ opening, binding tail on the left and right, and a line drawn on both.
Make a loose fold in your quilted project so that the binding strips are closer to each other.
Pick up the piece on the right.
Twist it clockwise until it is horizontal and right side facing up. Place the left side piece on top of it matching the drawn lines – one piece on top, facing you and one downward, facing the quilted project.
Pin the strips together so that the vertical and horizontal ironed lines intersect, as shown in the photo below.
Sew directly onto the line you drew. Fix the stitch or back stitch at the beginning and end. Cut your thread.
Flip the project over to view the underside of the line you sewed. As long as the stitches are really close to the line you drew earlier, you will be okay. If they are not even close, use your seam ripper to take out the stitches and try again. Here is how mine looked.
Back at the ironing board, cut the excess fabric off 1/4″ away from the stitching and iron the seam open.
Iron the binding flat along the edge of the project. Sew the rest of the binding down, 1/4″ away from the edge. Fix the stitch or back stitch at the beginning and end, and cut off the excess thread.
Clip the binding:
Use a warm setting on your iron to press the binding up. Quickly go all around the project. You don’t want the iron too hot because you don’t want the ink in the water soluble pen to set.
Flip the project over and begin fastening the binding down using Wonder Clips every few inches. When you get to your first corner, make a nice 45 degree angle.
Flip the next side of binding over so that it makes a nice corner. Continue clipping the binding all the way around your project, or until you run out of clips.
Finish the binding:
Option 1: If you want to machine stitch the remainder of the project, you will save yourself a few hours. I typically machine stitch my mug rugs and quilts that I sell. You can use your walking foot or zipper foot to sew near the edge. Make sure you have enough thread and bobbin before you start. Fix the stitch or back stitch at the beginning and end. Once you get all the way around your project, tie the thread on top into a knot and repeat on the bottom. Cut the excess thread.
OPTION 2: If you want to hand stitch the remainder of the project, grab a beverage and turn on your favorite TV shows (in my case anything on HGTV). Pull off about a 3 foot section of thread. Place the needle onto the thread, meet the ends together, then tie a double knot. Hide the knot by running the needle through the fabric underneath the binding. Along where the project is flush with the binding, run the needle vertical through the fabric about 1/4″. You do not want the needle to penetrate through the opposite side, only through the top layer. Next, push the needle through a small area at the edge of the binding. This is what it will look like when you are making your first stitch.
Place your stitches about every 1/4-1/2″. Here is how it will look. When you are running out of thread, sew underneath the binding to make a knot. Get out another 3 foot piece of thread and continue the process until you have made it all the way around the project.
Here is how mine looks like the front.
Caring for your project:
After you are done sewing the binding, you’ll want to remove the ink from the water soluble pen. You could take a wet washcloth to it, but it is easier to put it in the washing machine. Set your machine to a short wash and change the water level, as appropriate. Use just a small amount of mild detergent and a capful or Retayne (or a color catcher if you have one). Take it out immediately after the wash cycle is done and put it in the dryer on low for about 20 minutes. If it is a large project like a throw quilt or bigger, you may need an extra 10 minutes. You could air dry the project instead, if you’d like.
Taking my project out of the dryer for the first time is my favorite part. The fabric and batting will shrink a little bit in all the right places to have just the perfect amount of fluff- which brings the whole thing to life!
I hope you have enjoyed this project. As I stated in my last post, this was the first table runner I have made. It does not require extensive sewing skills, but it will take you at least a day or maybe a weekend to complete. Let me know if you have any questions along the way. I would love to see the table runners you make on our Crafty Friends Flickr group page! Here is another picture of my finished runner.