Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tutorial: Satin Binding on a Baby Blanket

One of my friends is about to become a first time grandmother. She's a quilter and has been sewing like crazy. She knew that I was making a pattern for a baby blanket with satin binding and begged me to show her how to attach it. This tutorial is for her and for all of you who have wondered how to make the binding look neat and professional.

The puppy applique will be found in my Craftsy pattern, “Doggy in the Window” baby blanket.

Finished Measurements: Approximately 34" x 40"

Materials:
·      2 yards of baby flannel
·      1 package of satin blanket binding
·      matching thread

Preparing the Blanket for Binding
1. Prewash two yards of baby flannel in warm water. Prewashing is essential because the flannel will shrink a lot.

2. Press the flannel and cut it in half.

3. If you are adding an applique, do it now, before you put the front and back pieces of fabric together.

4. Lay the two flannel pieces wrong sides together on a cutting mat. The right sides of the fabric will be facing out.

5. Cut through both layers with a rotary cutter to square up the sides. You can usually get a rectangle of about 34” x 40”.

6. Pin the pieces together and stay-stitch around the outside edges of the flannel. You could zigzag or serge the edges instead if you like.

About the Binding

Satin blanket binding usually comes in package containing 4 3/4 yards of 2-inch single fold satin. It is found in most fabric stores on the same display case that contains rickrack, seam binding, and bias tape.

When you examine the bias tape you’ll see that one folded side is slightly wider than the other.

This wider side will go on the back of the blanket.


The cut ends of the binding fray very easily, so care will need to be taken to prevent your binding fraying apart at any seams.
                                                    
Attaching the Binding

1. Lay your unbound blanket on a flat surface. (I use an ironing board.)

2. Open the binding and slid it under one side of the blanket. Make sure the wider side of the binding is against the back of the blanket. Leave about an inch of binding overlapping the corner.



3. Snug the blanket right up against the fold all along this side.

4. Fold the blanket binding up and over the front of the blanket. Pin in place.


5. Set your machine to make a wide zigzag stitch. On my machine the width was set at 5 and the stitch length was 1.4.

6. Do not start stitching right at the corner. Begin about 6 inches in from that. You will need to keep that much the binding unattached for creating a neat corner seam later on.


7. Overlap the zigzag stitch so that it falls partly on the satin and partly on the flannel.

8. Stitch all the way up to the next corner. Lift the needle and cut the thread.


9. Open the binding. Fold at a right angle so that the blanket edge lies snugly up against the fold down the center of the binding.


10. Align the binding on the back first. Fold it into a neat, mitered corner that comes exactly to the edge of the stitched binding. This is really quite easy, but you may need to manipulate it a bit to get it just right. Pin in place.


11. Turn the blanket to the front and lay on a flat surface. Once again, tuck the blanket edge right up against the fold of the binding and pin in place all along the edge.


12. Fold the front segment up to make a mitered corner like you did on the back. Make sure that the front and back folds are in exactly the same place on the corner. Again, this may take a bit of maneuvering. Pin.

13. Begin sewing at the top of the mitered edge. Backstitch a few stitches, then sew forward to the edge of the binding. Make sure your stitches overlap both edges of the binding. If the front and back folds are aligned, the stitches will catch both sides of the back fold just like they do on the front.


14. Turn the blanket and stitch down the next side in the same way you stitched the first side.



15. Continue in this manner stitching sides and turning corners until you reach the last unfinished side. You will be putting a hidden seam in this last corner after you attach the two ends of the binding.

16. Stitch along the fourth side until you are about 6 inches from the end. Backstitch, cut the stitches and place the quilt on a cutting mat.



Note: You will be connecting the two ends of the binding, the end on the first side you attached and the end on the last side you attached.

17. Fold this last section of binding back out of the way so you can work with the binding on the side that you first attached to the quilt.

18. Make sure the blanket edge is snugged up against the fold in the binding. Now, cut the end of the binding 1/4 inch beyond from the side of the blanket with a rotary cutter.

19. Fold this segment of binding out of the way and trim the remaining edge 1/4 inch beyond the side of the blanket.

20. Open up both ends of the binding. Bring the cut sides together and pin.

21. Stitch the ends together with a 1/4 inch seam. Use a zigzag stitch to finish the edge so that it won’t fray out in the laundry after it’s all finished. Press the seam to one side.

22. Working on the last side you added binding to, pin the binding in place. The seam will fall exactly on the edge of the blanket.

23. Zigzag stitch the rest of the binding on this side of the blanket. Start where you left off with a backstitch and sew to the end in the same way you stitched to the corner edge on the other three corners.

24. Open the binding and fold it to miter the corners exactly like all other corners. The only difference is that this time a seam will be tucked away on the inside.

25. Miter the corners as before and pin.


26. Stitch the mitered folds, turn the blanket and stitch along this final stretch back on the first side of the blanket that you worked on.


27. Sew right up to and just over the beginning zigzag stitches. Backstitch.

Cut the threads and your blanket is beautifully bound with perfect stitching on the front and on the back!



Happy Stitching!!

48 comments:

  1. These are the best baby blankets of all time. The best part is how durable they are. The ones we used over and over and over for both kids, still are in great condition. They can use them for their babies someday.

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    1. :) I don't know how many of these I've made over the years. The first one was stitched in 1964.

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  2. Excellent instructions. Thank you.

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    1. You're very welcome. I'm glad the instructions worked for you because that's what it's all about.

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  3. That's a very nice blanket. Your seams are beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial!

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    1. You are very welcome, Carin. I hope it works beautifully for you.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. I was looking for just this information especially the way to end the binding professionally. I love that I will sew the two ends together and hide the seam. Brilliant.

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    1. I'm so glad this is what you needed.

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  5. I used your instructions a year or two ago to make my first blanket with binding. Was relieved to find them again this week for my second attempt - very complete and produce such a nice result. Thank you!

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  6. I'm delighted that this has worked so well for you. Thank you for telling me.

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  7. I looked everywhere to find instructions that said to start in a corner of the blanket rather than in the middle of one of the sides. Thank you so much. Also, I used a flame to slightly melted the raw edges of the binding.

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    1. I'm glad this was what you needed. The flame is a super idea. Knowing me, though, I'd likely set the house on fire. lol

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  8. These directions are great, thank you!
    Do you have any fix for binding that's ending up not smooth on top? I've pinned a ton, but the binding just ends up flat on the bottom and wavy, not smooth on top?

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    1. The satin binding can be a bit slippery and the top may tend to buckle as it gets dragged by the sewing foot while the underside of the binding is moved steadily by the feed dogs. There are two techniques that may help you to keep everything moving together. The first is to use a walking foot. With a walking foot, the foot lifts and "walks" with every stitch instead of sliding over the top of the fabric. The other technique is to hold the binding in front of the needle with one hand and hold the binding in back of the needle with the other. With both hands you can keep the binding taut as it goes under the needle. The trick is in learning how to avoid pushing or pulling as you sew because you can easily throw the stitch length off so it become too short, too long, or simply uneven. With practice you'll be able to get either technique of a combination of the two working for you. Please let me know how it goes. Best of luck!

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    2. Thank you for these two ideas. I've sewn binding before, but have never run into this problem, so the frustration was high! I've got some plush ultra-soft fabric (not a more stiff woven cotton/flannel) so I'm sure that's adding to the headache. I'll try your two suggestions, had completely forgotten about a walking foot... thanks again.

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    3. The plush really will add to the sliding of the binding. Wishing you the best of luck.
      Karen

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  9. Thank you SO much for this fabulous tutorial! I've watched numerous videos, read many others instructions but YOURS is the BEST. I've made many of these blankets & this simplified many things for me. This technique makes it so much easier & SO professional & precise. I too like starting & ending at the corner but my technique was less precise & much bulkier in the corner. Stitching from the corner of the miter point & then continuing down the long side to the next corner makes so much sense is quicker as well. I am so glad I found your tutorial!!

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    1. I'm so pleased that this method works for you! Thank you for letting me know.

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  10. Thank you for this tutorial! I've sewn for years, but I've struggled with putting a binding on blankets and getting the corners right for years! I usually just avoid it, and hem them. But, I found a great bargain on some quilted fabric I wanted to make my grandson a baby blanket from, and I really wanted a satin binding. This worked so well! I did find that if I sprayed each section w/fabric adhesive (like I use to keep stabilizers attached to the fabric when I machine embroidery), it helped so much in keeping that satin from sliding around when I sewed. But the corners came out perfect! I was a little afraid of the 4th corner, but it turned out perfectly also. This couldn't be easier! The only thing I will have to remember is to let my needle fall a little further over the edge of the binding to catch all of the back binding when I sew. But, overall - a success! thank you!!

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    1. I'm delighted that this technique is working for you! Thank you for letting me know.

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  11. I can't count how many blankets with satin binding I have made and this helped me to make one that had great looking mitered corners. Thank you very much.

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    1. Wonderful, Sharon! I'm so glad you like this method.

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  12. Oh Thank You!!! The 4th corner was always a bear for me it ended up being the easier one today!!!Had my blanket done in no time, won't be putting them off anymore! Thank You so much

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  13. Fabulous. I'm so glad this is helpful to you.

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  14. Thank you so much, these are great instructions. Answered all my questions.
    Many thanks,

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    1. Wonderful! I'm so glad the instructions are helpful to you.

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  15. Thank you so much! First time my corners looked good. Great instruction
    Ns

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    1. Wonderful! I'm so glad this was helpful.

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  16. Wow! Well written & illustrated. My blanket turned out beautifully using these directions. I used minky dot fabric which is not the easiest to sew on but had good luck using the "hold it taut in front & behind" method. I made the blanket 36" x 45" and used one package of satin blanket binding. I am so pleased and plan to make many more of these using this method. You're "the bomb" 2 strings. :) Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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    1. You have made my day! I get so excited when something works for my readers. Thanks for letting me know. :)

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  17. When you first begin stitching, are you stitching the back of the satin as well as the front? I've attempted such a binding, and never have been able to get the three layers - satin, blanket, satin - to be sewn all at the same time. Perhaps I've not used enough pins to keep the satin in place. Also, I've never thought to use my walking foot. Great suggestion. Eagerly awaiting your reply.

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    1. Yes, the stitching goes through all three layers at once. Satin is pretty slippery, so I do use a lot of pins. When I was new to sewing, I actually basted everything in place before stitching with the sewing machine. I'll suggest that you practice on a scrap of fabric with leftover binding first. Some people to find the walking foot very helpful. In addition to lots of pinning, I hold the binding firmly, both in front of the needle and behind it. That little bit of firmness will help to keep satin from slipping. Make sure your blanket stitch is wide so you are sure to catch both sides of the binding in the stitching. As with everything else, this gets better with practice. Wishing you the best of luck. Does this help at all? Please let me know how it goes. Karen

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  18. Thank you so much for your tutorial. Yours is the only one I have found that doesn't have a seam in the middle of one side (that ends in the corner). So much nicer looking and way easier than how I've been doing it.

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    1. I'm really glad this trick works for you. Thank you for letting me know. :)

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  19. Hi. I'm a beginner. Can I pin the whole thing before I start sewing?

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    1. You could, but I would really recommend pinning only one side at a time. I think it would make that corner easier to manipulate with one side sewn all the way and the other side unpinned. I hope the technique works smoothly and that you have a beautiful blanket.

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  20. What a wonderful tutorial! I wanted to make some small security blankets (14"x14") for my 4 month old out of cotton gauze and satin binding. Using your method, 1/2 yard of fabric, and a package of satin binding, I made 3 in a little over an hour!

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    1. Fantastic idea. Cotton gauze would be perfect for small security blankets. I'm so glad you found this method helpful.

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  21. Used your tutorial (this morning) and found it really good. This is the first time ever that I put satin binding on a baby lovey blanket and with mitered edges just the way you said. Surprised myself. it turned out good. thanks

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    1. Wonderful news! I'm so glad this technique worked for you.

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  22. Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial. I have been making blankets with satin binding for the past 17 years but your technique of hiding the seam and the zigzag stitch on the mitered corners adds the perfect professional touch. When making larger blankets, I use more than one package of blanket binding so your technique will allow me to hide the connecting blanket binding seams within two of the mitered corners. I have a new granddaughter coming in the next two weeks so she will reap the benefits of having all her blankies sewn with your technique.

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    1. I am so glad that you've found this technique helpful. Enjoy that new granddaughter!!

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  23. I had found your instructions 2 years ago, but needed them again. It took me a some time, but I am so happy that I found them again! Your instructions totally make the difference in the final quality of the blanket. Thanks again!!

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    1. Thank you so much. I'm delighted that this method works for you.

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  24. I just started sewing and made my first baby blanket according to your very detailed instructions, and it turned out pretty well for a beginner! You made it very easy to follow. There was one thing I wasn't sure about though. How should the stitching on the back of the blanket/ binding look? Should they also fall slightly over the satin binding into the flannel? Thanks.

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    1. I'm delighted that you're baby blanket was a success! The stitching on the back should just overlap the edge of the binding. None of us are perfect every time, so I sometimes find that the stitches fall a bit inside of the binding on the back or that the stitching doesn't line up evenly with the edge of the binding. Satin is so slippery that it can slide out of place very easily. As long as you manage to catch the binding with the stitches everything is good. Believe me, no one is going to examine that seam looking for small errors. We are our own worst critics, and we really shouldn't be.

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    2. Got it. Again, thank you so much! I'm now making my second baby blanket using your steps!

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    3. You're on a roll! Each one will be better than the last. Practicing makes it easier and faster.

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