Having extolled the virtues of David Walker's method of binding the edges of my quilt and being the enabler that I am, I thought I'd post a more detailed explanation of how I did it. I'm a far from expert quilter but find this method works for me. Not only that, but it satisfies my need to see straight edges and crisp corners!
Goes without saying that a crisply cut corner and straight edges are the best starting point. What did we do without rotary cutters?
Next step is to cut strips two and a half inches wide and sew them together into one long strip. I like to include several of the prints from the quilt in the binding, especially if, as on this occasion, I had very little fabric left.
I press the strip in half along the entire length.
Using my trusty walking foot, I stitch the raw edge of double thickness fabric to the raw edge of the right side of the quilt. I take a 3/8" seam because I find a quarter inch binding a little narrow for my liking. I use a bit of the sewing machine foot to keep me on the straight and narrow.
At this point, I press the folded edge over the raw edge of the quilt. If I've measured and sewn accurately, the folded binding goes over the edge and meets the stitched line on the back.
I usually handstitch the binding in place, finding such mindless sewing rather therapeutic, but it would be easy to machine stitch from the right side and in theory, stitching in the ditch of the binding seam should catch the edge of the binding underneath. Maybe I'd start with three inch wide strips to be sure of that.
The finished binding is neat and straight. The double layer of fabric provides a bit more thickness and gives a bit more support to the edge.
But Helen asked how I do the corners. Hmm. I'd rather like to be able to do a mitred corner using this method but so far I've not managed to do one successfully. No prize-winning quilts here, so I simply work as neat a finish as I can.
I fold the end of the strip inside as I get to the corner and trim off some of the excess fabric - there are at least ten layers here, not to mention the wadding! I fold over the binding and stitch into place as neatly as I can.
It's not perfect, wouldn't be recommended if I could find a better way, but on the kind of quilts I make (definitely not of the heirloom variety) I'm reasonably happy with the result. Added to which, on such narrow binding, it's not really an issue.
But if you devise a way of working a mitre, you will please share, won't you? Thanks!