The Unbinding tutorial-aka pillowcase method

I love making place mats, table runners, and mug rugs.   Small stuff.  But that small stuff can be a pain to bind.  Enter the “pillowcase” method.  Honestly, I don’t know why it’s called that, but I DO know it works.  I like to call it “The Un Binding.”

This is a set of place mats that I just finished.  The client has a round dinette table and prefers a more streamline look.  (She has a table runner to match for her dining table, but more on that in another post.)  She sent a newspaper pattern.

I traced the pattern onto the back side of the block.  If you’re doing normal squares/rectangles, this step can be skipped.

Cut a piece of binding and a piece of batting the exact size of your top block.   Lay the batting down.   Then the backing goes down, RIGHT SIDE UP.   Last, the top goes RIGHT SIDE DOWN on top of the rest.   This is your quilt sandwich.

Stitch 1/4 inch around the edge.   I sewed on the markings.  If you’re doing normal squares/rectangles, sew 1/4 inch from the edge of the sandwich.  Leave open a 3-4 inch hole on one of the sides, so you can turn it inside out.

If necessary, trim the edges and snip the corners to reduce bulk.  Even on rectangles, sometimes the batting will shift.

Now reach in, between the 2 fabric layers, and pull the sandwich right side out.

Use a knitting needle or other Poker Thingy  (yes, that IS a technical term!   Why do you ask??) and make your corners nice and neat.  Wiggle the seams all around to get them neat as well.  Tuck in the edge on top.   I usually stick a pin in there, just to hold it together nicely.  Then press.  I use a LOT of steam on the corners and edges.  It makes everything lay nice and flat.

Next step is to top stitch.  I set my needle to the right 2 notches, and then I can still use the 1/4 inch marks on my walking foot.  You need the stitching to be about 1/8 an inch from the edge.   This way it catches the open area, without the need for hand sewing!!  It also makes the whole thing looks crisp and clean.

And you are done!  Well, mostly.  You COULD be done.  Place mats and mug rugs are small enough that they don’t need to be quilted.  I LIKE to quilt mine, though. So…….how about straight line quilting in the leaf?

You like even more quiting?   I do too!

Free motion “wind” seems to work really well! 

And that is Pillowcasing!   It can technically be used for any size quilt, although I prefer anything larger than this to be bound with traditional double fold binding.  If there are any questions, please let me know!

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Please don’t forget to come back on September 27th, 2012!   My Autum Splendor block will go LIVE!   I’m so excited.   I’ll have a bio/profile on The Quilting Gallery‘s site, too.   There are LOADS of free block patterns and giveaways going on.   Take a peak at what everyone else has to offer.  I’ll have a goody to hand out as well!!!!

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4 responses to “The Unbinding tutorial-aka pillowcase method

  1. Do you see that stuff in the “To:” box? I only get this on your blog. What is it? Then it adds itself to my buddy llist. How do I get it off??

  2. I really have no idea, Aunt Les! I have an auto send function for the subscribers!!

  3. I LOVE pillow casing my small stuff. Makes it soooo much faster. Love those maple leafs.

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