August Stitch Along Challenge Finishing Up 1

Posted by Ruth on 30 August 2014 | 0 Comments

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This week I am not going to offer challenge rules as such, instead I just want you to finish off your tote using all the elements you made. I'm going to do a two part blog post instead. In the first part I'm going to show you how I do a totally machine stitched binding. I use this for totes, place mats and table runners, or anything that I need a stronger binding for.

Before adding the binding, I used my piece of ribbon to make a button loop. I stitched this onto the back side of the tote, within the seam allowance. Once the binding is on, this will go over the top and around a button or bead to hold the tote closed. Likewise, you can make a tab and do the same thing like I make on my tablet cover.

ribbon tab

My tote will not have handles, but you can add one or two is you like. This should be done before you add the binding.

 All that is required for the binding around the top of this small tote is one strip of fabric. I like cutting this from the width of the bolt as it has just enough stretch. I make a double binding for this so cut it 2 1/2" wide. 

Fold one end over to form a triangle end and then fold the strip in half lengthwise, but don't press it. You don't want a crease it, this gives you room for movement as it wraps over the thichnesses.

I place the folded end at the side seam and pin it in place, just to get started. Then I start stitching an inch or so from the fold on the outside of the tote.

beginning of binding

I stitch the binding all the way around the top and when I get back to the starting point, I trim the end off (about 1/2" beyond the folded edge so no raw end will be visible). Now open out the binding and tuck the end inside.

tuck end into beginning

With the end tucked in neatly, fold the beginning end back in place to cover the raw edge, and then finish off the seam.

finish off seam

It is now time to iron! I press the seam upward, but don't press in the fold.

press the binding up

I wrap the binding over the edge to the lining and pin it perpendicular to the folded edge. I pin on the lining side so I don't need to go through all the thicknesses, but I leave the heads of the pins above the folded edge. (Pinning perpendicular to the seam means I can stitch right up to the pin so there is no chance the fabric moves out of place)

pin on the lining side

This is how it looks on the outside. You do need to use lots of pins!

from the outside you can see the pin heads

Next I just stitch in the ditch around the outside, removing each pin as I get to it (thus the reason I left the heads above the fold so I could easily see them).

In this photo you can see the front edge of the tote (stitched in the ditch) and the inside of the back edge. As long as the binding has been evenly folded over and pinned often, you should end up with a narrow top-stitched effect on the inside.

binding is stitched in place

That's all there is to it. Join me tomorrow when I show you what I do to finish off my tote.

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting


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