It’s A Flange; No, It’s A Binding

Sometimes it seems I find new techniques through a just in time method. About a week ago I came across a video that shows how to combine a flange and a binding that’s all machine sewn. Maybe I should pay more attention to the McCall’s Quilting website as it seems to contain gems like this.

When I contemplated how to finish the edges of a small quilt I call (At The) Feet of Klee, I recalled this video and decided to try it out. I’d already pretty much destroyed the quilt with my usual free motion quilting, so it seemed destined to be a guinea pig.

Flange binding

I followed the instructions, mostly, but found that the fabric used definitely affects how easy it is to sew on this special binding. My choice of a shot cotton that’s both heavier and more loosely woven than “normal” quilting cotton made for an extra bulky binding. I compounded that by using felt as my batting.

Lining up the different fabrics where the binding ends join was a bit tricky, but the third attempt worked. It would have helped if I put that fabric join somewhere else. If I had it to do over, I’d increase the width of the flange fabric so I could make a wider flange.

binding ends join

I think this piece will join my not ready for the big leagues drawer of work. I learned that I love quilting on silk fabric, but don’t love quilting on felt. However, the felt makes a stable, flat base for a small quilt.

Feet of Klee bound2



Filed under Art quilts, Techniques

12 responses to “It’s A Flange; No, It’s A Binding

  1. I really like the look of that binding! I’m going to have to try that soon.

  2. jennyklyon

    I like this piece! My eye continues to travel around searching for details, I like some of the unexpected touches, the quilting does not shout but provides texture and interest and I like the bright blue flange. Great piece and intriguing composition imho.

  3. Your writing is so enjoyable. Wickedly funny. I learned this technique and decided that it probably improves with practice, which is so annoying. I like knowing stuff, not practicing. Your piece is WAY awesome. Now there’s some grammar. I think it is sweet. And grown up at the same time. Felt? Who’d have thought? I sometimes do a machine stitched edge with a wavy line on the binding. Read it in QNM I think. It works well for the quicky giveaways when I don’t know that they’d appreciate the special touch of hand stitching. I did my first flanged binding on a piece with lots of lines, and that really magnified my imperfections. Yours is great. Thanks sew much.

  4. Steph

    Just found your blog. This is gorgeous! Thanks for providing the link to the technique.

  5. Here again we have some lovely architecture. The foundation stones along the bottom, sturdy support near the left side, archway… I like the flange and think the concept works well on this. If I were to do it again… 🙂 I might choose a single-fold binding from the shot cotton, and added the flange in the “traditional” way. But with the way you did it, you do get the advantage of doing it all by machine.

    How did you like that process? Would you adjust it at all to your preferences?

    • I watched the video. I’ve seen the idea before, but using a wider binding. I think this one works out as 2.25″ instead of 2.5″, so more to my liking. A little more fussing to prep than a hand-stitched binding, but of course you get all that back and more. Thanks for the link. I’m still interested in your thoughts on it.

      • I think this method works best for a smaller piece. Keeping the width of the flange even could be an issue over long edges. I always think it’s straight until I start measuring.

    • I’ve been using a single fold binding on some of my wall quilts as I don’t need the extra sturdiness and I can get a really skinny line. I like doing all the stitching by machine simply because it gives me one less excuse to not finish a piece. You do need to be careful at the corners, more careful than I was. As I said, I’d cut the flange piece of fabric a touch wider, a an eighth of an inch, to get more flange. The method I usually use is Gloria Laughman’s, which is more time consuming but ensures a perfectly straight and even flange width. Also, with her method, you do a butt edge, not a mitered corner.

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