Laying Out Binding

Laying Out Binding

Before I stitch down the binding on a quilt, I always fully lay out the binding along the quilt. This accomplishes a few things for me:

  1. It allows me to verify that yes, I do have enough binding for the quilt, and
  2. it allows me to make sure that none of the binding joins land at a corner of the quilt.
Laying Out Binding

Laying Out Binding

I have noted over the years that my loose “laying out” method is not 100% fool proof. Because I am lightly laying the binding on top of the quilt, there is a bit of shifting when I actually sew on the binding. For me, that usually means that if I have a binding join just before a corner, I want to make sure that I have about 2-inches after the join before getting to a corner to make sure that it will not end up sewn into the corner when it gets stitched down.

Do you lay out your binding before starting to sew it down?

Life Updates

QuiltCon is just around the corner. This will be the third year that I work on the crew for QuiltCon. The crew puts in a lot of hard work behind the scenes to coordinate, setup, run, and take down the show every year. I am thrilled to continue to have the opportunity to volunteer my time and be on the crew, giving back to this community that means so much to me.

That being said, working on the crew is a big time commitment, and as such I have fewer blog posts scheduled during this time and I will be less active in reading and commenting on blogs as well.

This Wednesday is going to be an emotional day for me. After lots of discussions, thought, and careful consideration, we are going to be dropping our lovely boy, #PuppyTheCat, off with friends to evaluate how he will integrate with their family. Because I am going to be away from home for so long at QuiltCon, it’s a good opportunity to see if this is the right fit for him while we travel in Wabi-Sabi Overland later this spring and summer. We know it’s the right thing to do for him, and we are hopeful that he familiarizes himself so that he feels like he has a second loving home.

Puppy is 17 years old and a loving, cuddly cat. While he has traveled across the country with us as we have moved over the year, he has never been a cat that relaxes in a car. We feel that he would be too stressed and unhappy living mobile in our habitat, so for his best interests we have searched to find the right family to look after him for us while we are away.

I have a hefty supply of tissues and chocolate on hand, but knowing that this is the right decision for him and that we have time to evaluate how he responds to a new environment is giving me huge peace of mind. My heart is another matter, but I’m thinking positively that it will all work out for the best.

24 thoughts on “Laying Out Binding

  1. Cindy Pieters says:

    I do a trial layout, but have also been struck by those sneaky joins finding the corners.

  2. I don’t usually do a trial layout, but that thought has crossed my mind, given the last two mini quilts have had the seam at the corner. So your post is a good reminder. I get watery-eyed just thinking about you and Puppy. I’m hoping it will go well for both of you, but I sure understand the emotions.

  3. Barbie says:

    I had to “rehome” an old, beloved cat once when I develop a sudden onset of severe, life threatening allergies to her and I was so worried that she wouldn’t adapt. She was on the shy side and didn’t bond quickly but she did wonderfully in her new home with my daughter’s in-laws and they treated her like a princess. She lived many more years with them and it was absolutely the best choice for her. Good luck with your process too.

  4. DJ says:

    I do a trial layout and use a couple of clover clips for less shifting. We had our sons cats for one year, drove them 2K miles to their new home with him. They adapted so well and still snuggle with us when we visit. Remember people that love you will love your animals.

  5. JanineMarie says:

    Yes, I do lay out my binding, not only to keep the corners clear but to check fabric placement/balance when I make a scrappy or pieced binding. Thinking good thoughts for you, for Puppy and for his foster family.

  6. Cocoa Quilts says:

    I always lay out my binding, just to be sure I don’t run short and those pesky corners don’t need extra seems. Good thoughts coming your way for Puppy’s upcoming stay! I’m sure he will adapt well because I am sure you have found the best family.

  7. jayne says:

    I always lay my binding down first too! There is nothing more frustrating than having a seam in the corner! I need to get the QC2019 app, time to go search for it!

  8. Jan O says:

    Yes, I do lay out my binding, for the same reasons you do. More often than not, I have to adjust the starting point to move one of the joins away from a corner. So worth the few minutes it takes! Best wishes for PuppyTheCat to have a good experience with his foster family.

  9. Yes, I am in your club – I lay out the binding to be sure. I get so irritated if a join ends up at the corner – Making a clean corner when binding is hard enough as it is, without the seam complicating things!
    Puppy will be ok – your friends will be so kind to him. Hang in there Yvonne!! Missing QuiltCon but looking forward to seeing it via everyone’s social media feeds, yours included. Have fun.

  10. I am usually confident that I have enough binding and rarely lay it out before. Last time I put one on I did as I knew that one it was going to be precariously close to the corners due to the size. Figured it all out and one wound up in a corner anyway – grrr. It worked well enough but I will have to think about that 2” shift a little more; I believe that is what happened! I hope Puppy the cat does well….that is a heart wrenching thing to do but you are looking out for kitty’s best interest.

  11. Nancy N says:

    I may lay out the binding on a smaller project such as a runner, wall hanging or baby-crib quilt. For larger quilts, I usually make sure the first corner is OK and then start sewing. Yes, there have been times when I have had to stop and make a new join in my binding to avoid that corner turn, but it really only takes a few seconds to do that.
    Feel for you and Puppy. Adjustments can be hard for all of you. Fortunately our children can stop by and take care of our cats when we have been away for trips. That said, the first night away from home I always wake up and wonder why a cat is not sleeping on me, making it hard to move or turn over.

  12. No, I don’t lay out my binding anymore. After over 100 quilts, I’ve just learned to eyeballs things and not worry if a join shows up at a corner. It makes the corner slightly bulkier, but that doesn’t bother me. Of course, my quilts aren’t entered into shows like yours are, where the standards are much higher!

    I’m so sorry that you have to be separated from Puppy. We actually chose to move full time into our RV because of our pets. Previously, all our travel had been on touring motorcycles and we missed our two cats and one dog. With the RV they were able to go with us. Each one took time to adapt to the motion and there were definitely some BAD car sickness episodes. But the kitties were only 3-4 years old when we started, and they are definitely more adaptable when young. I know you are doing what is best for Puppy. 17 is pretty ancient in cat years! He can enjoy his temporary retirement in one place while you travel 🙂

  13. Tish says:

    I’ve never laid out the binding on my quilts before hand, but I see how it would be a very beneficial thing to do. Sending positive vibes that everything goes smoothly with Puppy.

  14. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Yvonne, I always make a “wrap” around trial with my binding also. I try and be pretty careful with my trial and in doing so have had pretty good success. Yvonne, if for any reason you need someone to just listen to and give you encouragement, I will gladly help you in anyway. The family you have chosen will take such extra special care of Puppy he will wonder why he is not wearing a crown! Plus, remember that all of us our reaching out to “hug” each and every one of you that is a part of this transition with so much love Puppy will be stronger this go round!

  15. Janet Sabol says:

    I always lay the binding out and usually end up having to start stitching 3-4 inches down or up from where I’d planned. It’s a good practice!

  16. Kathryn Laposata says:

    I do what you do to check where the joins will hit. It is time well spent. Good luck with Puppy’s babysitting.

  17. Patty says:

    Looking forward to seeing you at QuiltCon. I really should lay out my binding like that!

  18. Kate says:

    I don’t usually lay out the binding, but I have when the binding was made from smaller strips. Hope Puppy the Cat enjoys the stay at his foster family till your are home again.

  19. aquilterstable says:

    What a good, practical tip! Hoping for the best for your Puppy Kitty!!

  20. Kaja says:

    I don’t usually have the sense to check before I start sewing my binding, though I have had occasion to wish I did. I hope PuppytheCat has a very satisfactory visit with his surrogate family.

  21. I do layout my binding just like you to avoid the seams being in the corners. I hope that puppy is doing well and I can’t wait to see you!!

  22. Elizabeth E. says:

    I hope you had a great time (albeit exhausting) at QuiltCon. I know they appreciate your time and your talents in helping the show and conference to run more smoothly. Welcome back to California!

  23. I often lay out binding too.
    Puppy is 17?! Wow! What a great age for a cat! As hard as it will be for you to let him go, I hope he settles into his new home and has many more years ahead of him.

  24. Nope, I don’t lay it out, but a little bit of calculating will tell me where to start to miss those corners 😉 I also don’t trim the quilt until after I attach the binding to a drawn border…to be sure I have enough seam allowance to have my binding “filled”, not floppy!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)