Nellie"s Needles

Friday, March 05, 2010

Flat Bindings

Getting the binding of a quilt sewn down is a "hurrah" moment.  Usually this is the last task to finishing the construction of a quilt.  However, there's one more thing that I like to add to make the binding look the best it can be.  In this photo, the left half has just had the stitching completed while the right half has been taken one step further and flattened

The first step to getting the binding flat is dampen the fabric with a shot of steam from the iron.  Do not touch the fabric with iron.  Just hover over it and "shoot".
The second step is to place a Taylor Clapper over that area and press down firmly for about 30 seconds.
Any piece of smooth wood will accomplish the same as a purchased clapper.  I just happen to have one from back when I sewed suits and coats.

This flattening process makes a big difference in the appearance of the corners.  The extra fabric that's folded into it creates bulges (top picture) that distorts the corner.  That distortion disappears with a bit of steam and a press with the clapper (bottom picture).
All of my art quilts that are finished with a binding get this treatment.  Utility quilts that are gifts, plus those that are entered into a show get this treatment, too.  The difference in the appearance can be seen between the unpressed corner that's overlapped on top and the one that's been flattened on the bottom.
The thing I like about this method of flattening is that the edge of the quilt is not stretched out of shape as it would be if it were "ironed".  The dimension of that outside measurement is not affected.

PS:  This post is listed along with other tutorials I've posted throughout the years.  Click here to go to the Blogger Page to see all.

PPS:  Another kind of clapper that I just became aware of can be found on I Have A Notion blog.  It's 24" long, one side is flat and  the other is rounded, and it can be hung on the wall for storage.


Deborah said...

Very interesting post. I like the way you share your quilt making process. I love what you did with the leaves and beads and paint a few posts down.

Vicki W said...

That's a great tip!

Plays with Needles said...

I'm clapping big time over here in Maryland for hearing about this tip!!! I never even knew there was such a thing as a "clapper" ! Tbat is a great idea and I CAN see the difference. P.S. I like your bigger pics and I like your new avatar too!

Karen said...

Another great tip!!

Nellie's Needles said...

My blog has a new look thanks to our younger son's tweaking and changing a few things.

The post "box" was increased in width to accommodate the option of posting extra large photos in Blogger's new editing program. He also inserted a cropped portion of the self-portrait that I recently created. The whole portrait can be seen by clicking "View My Complete Profile".

Libby Fife said...

Good tip Nellie so thanks. I think wood items are pretty useful in general for pressing and I just never knew about that.

Heather said...

This is a great tip - it gives a really professional finish to the quilt.

Vicky F said...

Hi Nellie,
Thanks for the great tip. I have a clapper but used it mainly for collars and waist bands.

You can come back to Michigan now. It's been sunny 4 days in a row! (Just kidding).

Vicky F (from West Mich)

June Calender said...

Many thanks for sharing that tip, it makes a real difference.

Sue Spurlock said...

I have NEVER heard of a clapper--at least not one that didn't involve a light coming on! Great! Where would a novice clapper wanter find one? Oh, yes--love the self portrait!

Sue Spurlock said...

I have NEVER heard of a clapper--at least not one that didn't cause a light to switch on--great! Where would a novice clapper wanter get one?

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Excellent tip!!! Thank you so much....I agree...I like the flattened look too!!


Gail P said...

Very timely! finishing quilts nearly causes a panic attack. Thanks!