This is option number 2 for joining the ends fo the binding. It is more work because you have to remove the quilt from the machine to sew the ends together, but offers the advantage of a sewn edge rather than the other method which leaves a couple of layers to hand stitch at the end. I still haven't mastered the advanced version that gives you a sewn seam AND an angle, but I'll work on that again for my next quilt.
1. Sew almost all the way around, leaving a gap of at least 6 inches for so. Back stitch and remove the quilt from the machine.
2. Lay the quilt nice and flat and line the raw edges of the binding up along the edge of the quilt. Where the begining meets the end, fold one straight up and the other straight down so that the folded edges just kiss. Crease well, using an iron if it happens to still be warm from preparing the binding. Trim the two ends so they are roughly the same length.
4. Open the binding up and arrange it right sides together so that the two cut ends line up nicely. Finagle the bulk of the quilt out of the way so that you can get the ends to meet up and get it back to the machine. Using the creased line as your guide, sew the ends together.
5. Open the binding up and peek to make sure it will fit properly along the edge of the quilt. If it is too long, you can sew another seam slightly in from the last seam, no need to take out the first seam. If it is too short, take another seam closer to the cut ends and remove the first seam. Make sure everything fits properly and then trim the ends to about a quarter of an inch and press or finger press the seam open. Go ahead and sew the binding down, using the same quarter inch seam you used earlier.
6. Now fold the binding over and use a whip or blind hem stitch to do the finishing along the folded edge on the back of the quilts. I've tried to do this part by machine, but never been happy with the results. Still, a little hand sewing in front of a good TV show is a nice way to spend an evening. Don't forget to sew a label on at the same time. Your grandchildren will thank you.
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