Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday

I love hosting the Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday linky! It’s especially nice when I have a tutorial to share. You may have seen my Ransom Note mug rug tutorial, which has all the steps you need to add a faux flange binding, but now I’m giving you the same info to put a quick finish on a larger quilt in the faux flange binding tutorial below. You can link up your own TGIFF post at the bottom of the page, or just take a look at all of the other blogs with links!

Why Faux Flange Binding?

While I love to bind quilts by hand, sometimes a machine finish is a more practical use of my time (not to mention that it seems a little sturdier for quilts that will get washed a lot). I’ve never been satisfied with the look of a regular machine binding–after I get done with it, it always seems to look a little messy or uneven. The faux flange looks neater and can add a nice pop of color and a little dimension, especially on a quilt without a border, like these Ransom Note mug rugs.

ransom four options

The Quilt

One of my quilt groups has a UFO challenge going–at the beginning of the year, we made a numbered list of some UnFinished Objects we wanted to finish. (I chose ten.) Every month, we draw a number and that’s the project we’re supposed to work on. My most recent finish was made from a bundle of fat quarters and a book (Fat Quarter Quilts by M’liss Rae Hawley) that I won from a quilt shop that, sadly, went out of business a couple of years ago. The top, made from a pattern called Broken Bricks, was done–it just needed finishing.

After some easy walking foot quilting, “Pretty Please” was ready to bind.

Pretty Please Quilt
“Pretty Please”

Just want to see the finished quilt and the TGIFF linky party?

Skip the Tutorial

Faux Flange Binding Tutorial

I assume that most of you have some experience with binding quilts, but these instructions should be clear enough for the true beginner. Please email me with any questions–I’ll be happy to help!

What you need:

To calculate how long your binding should be, measure the width and length of your quilt. Add them together and multiply by 2, then add another 15″-20″ to the total. Divide by 40 to figure out how many Width of Fabric (WOF) strips to cut).

For example, if your quilt measures 36″ x 48″:

width 36″ + length 48″ = 84″

84″ x 2 = 168″ perimeter

168″ + 20″ = 188″ total length needed

188″ / 40″ = 4.7 strips (round up to 5)

  • 1 ½” strip of accent fabric for binding (this is the “flange”–the bit that sticks out toward the center of the quilt)
  • 1 ¼” strip of binding fabric
  • Thread (For the stitching that shows on the front, I often use 50wt Aurifil, but a heavier thread adds some interesting texture. For the bobbin, I like to use either monofilament or a color that coordinates with the backing.)

Start stitching!

Join each set of strips together to create two long strips.

Joining binding strips
Draw a 45° line on the wrong side of a strip from the upper left corner.
Joining binding strips
Lay the strip at a 90° angle to a matching strip, RST (right sides together). Stitch on the line.
Joining binding strips
Trim the seam allowance to ¼” and press the seam open.

Stitch together your 1 ¼” binding strip and your 1 ½” accent strip lengthwise with a ¼” seam allowance.

Creating faux flange binding
Press the seam toward the smaller binding strip to minimize bulk where you’ll be stitching later.
Creating faux flange binding
Press the strip in half. The accent strip should peek through by about 1/8”. Press well for a nice crisp fold.

Lay the binding right side down on one of the long edges of the BACK of the quilt, matching the raw edges.

Leaving about a 6” tail of binding, start sewing (¼” seam allowance) along one edge and backstitch to secure your stitching. Continue stitching until you’re a few inches from a corner.

Marking binding corners
Make a mark ¼” from the corner.

Backstitch at the ¼” mark and clip your threads.

Folding binding corner
Fold the binding up so it makes a 45° angle and the right side makes a straight line with the quilt.
Folding the Corner of the Binding
Hold that 45° angle in place and fold the binding back down over it, aligning the binding edge with the edge of the quilt.

Backstitch at the corner, then attach the binding to the side. Repeat until you’ve turned the fourth corner.

On the side where you started, sew only until you’re about 12″ from where you started, then backstitch and clip the threads.

Connecting binding ends
Place a pin in between the two ends of the binding, perpendicular to the edge.
Connecting binding ends
Lay one binding end across the pin and make a mark 1 1/8” past the pin.

Do the same for the other binding end.

Cut off the binding ends on the lines.

Connecting binding ends
Turn the binding end on the right so the seam is up and draw a 45° line from the upper left corner.
Connecting binding ends
Lay the corners together like you’re joining binding strips for a larger quilt, BUT you have to twist the binding end you drew the line on to get it to fold correctly. Test it before you sew it to check. Pin parallel to the line.

Stitch on the line, then check again to be sure the binding folds correctly.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and finger-press it open.

Lay the remaining binding flat and stitch it down, backstitching at both ends.

Press the binding away from the back.

Flip the quilt over and press the binding around to the front, mitering the corners so they fold in the opposite direction from the back.

Change to your chosen thread for the stitches that will show on the front. Change the bobbin thread to monofilament or thread that coordinates with the backing fabric.

Topstitching binding
Stitch in the ditch along the seam between the binding and the accent fabric. Use an edgestitch foot if you have one available. A triple stitch helps to emphasize a contrasting thread if that’s the effect you’re looking for.

Thank goodness it’s finished!

Faux Flange Binding--Pretty Please Quilt

Pretty Please Quilt


Now it’s your turn to share! What have you finished? Link up here, add a TGIFF button and a link to this post on your blog, and visit all of those other friendly bloggers who post!

Missed your chance to link up to TGIFF? Link up with What I Made Monday! It’s open all week.

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TGIFF–Thank Goodness I Faux Flanged!! (A Tutorial for Faux Flange Binding)

9 Replies to “TGIFF–Thank Goodness I Faux Flanged!! (A Tutorial for Faux Flange Binding)

  1. I love the mug rugs. you have a great sense of humour. It’s a very pretty quilt as well and a good tutorial…and of course thanks for hosting TGIFF

  2. I don’t often do a flanged binding, maybe three times ever! I do love the look though! The mug rugs are absolutely perfect! Its the way I feel every morning!

  3. This tutorial is so timely for me — I’m working on turning a 4″ orphan block into a name tag to wear at guild meetings and I think this binding treatment would be great. Could you please share a photo of the back side, though? I’ve seen several tutorials for this method but that’s the part I don’t get. Is the binding width calculated so that the final stitches on the right side flange land in the backing fabric on the back side of the quilt, or do they land at the edge of the binding on the back side?

  4. Since I hate to hand stitch anything, I love using a faux flange on my bindings…otherwise I don’t like the look of the stitching either! Your way of handling the corners and joining the ends is different than I was taught, so I’ve bookmarked this post and I’ll give you way a try with my next quilt binding! Thank you!!

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