How To: Blind Binding, or Pillowcase Binding

Today I wanted to create a tutorial on how to make a blind binding or a pillowcase binding.  This is when there is no binding sewn on, it is sewn inside the quilt sandwich.

In the case of my Sandhill Crane wall hanging (design process is found here and here), I did not want to have anything detract from the “blocky” look of the tiny squares.  I was afraid that any binding would be distracting.

First, begin by making backing the same size as the quilt top, or flimsy.  The wall hanging is 12″ wide and 30″ tall, so the backing is 12″ wide and 30″ tall.

This is the fabric I started with for my backing.Sandhill Crane backingTo make the quilt sandwich – layer the backing first, right side up.  Then the quilt top, right side down.  On top of that is the batting, larger is just fine (see photo on left.)  Turn the quilt sandwich over and pin from the backing side (right image.)

Sew through all three layers of the quilt sandwich with a 1/4″ seam on three sides.  Make sure to leave a side, or large opening to turn right side out.Sandhill Crane sewing bindingTrim edges to 1/4″ on all areas sewn.Sandhill Crane trimming binding

Turn project right side out and push out the corners.  It will look like this on edges.Sandhill Crane right side out

Iron edges so the backing does not show and is flat.Sandhill Crane right side out iron

Sew a finishing stitch right next to the edge in coordinating thread, seam should be 1/8″.Sandhill Crane sew on edge

On open edge, fold raw edges (photo on left has raw edges) under and pin (right image).  Sew finishing seam (1/8″) to close, making sure to catch the front and back in the seam.

Quilt as normal.  I have only done this method on wall hanging size and smaller, not on a full size quilt or larger.

I had fun with my quilting of this Sandhill crane wall hanging!  I wanted to have straight line quilting but wanted it to look organic and natural.  I started on the bottom, or grass since I left the top of the wall hanging open to turn right side out.

On the grass or plants at the bottom I sewed tight vertical lines to mimic blades of grass or weeds.  Here is a detail of that.  The quilting is very close, 1/4″-1/3″ apart.  It is done in a variegated, Sulky thread.Sandhill Crane quilting - grass detailNext was the background, or sky, between the grass and the bottom of the crane, around the legs.  I wanted the sky to be not quite as dense as the grass for quilting but still tight.  I also wanted to reflect the wind that is ALWAYS present in the early spring when cranes make their migration through Othello.  I did this in a horizontal direction about 1/2″ apart.  Here is a detail of the quilting, done in a pale blue thread:Sandhill Crane quilting - leg detail

I did stitch in the ditch quilting around all parts of the crane.  I have a tutorial of how to do that here.  This helped the crane to pop out since all other areas had tight, dense quilting.

Next I jumped to the neck area and continued with the direction and density of the  quilting.  Here is one side of the sky complete, until I ran out of bobbin.Sandhill Crane quilting - neck detail

After the sky was all complete I stitched around the details of the head: eye, red crown and bill.Sandhill Crane quilting - head detail

Another view of the same:Sandhill Crane quilting -head & neck detail

I wanted to emphasize a wing and have just a small portion rounded in this blocky wall hanging.  I started by using my blue quilt marker to create an outline.Sandhill Crane quilting - wing detailI then quilted on this line.  I may go back and emphasize this even more by quilting over it a few more times.

Lucky me!  I had this much thread left from my spool after all the detail work and dense quilting.Sandhill Crane quilting - thread leftHere is the (finally) completed Sandhill crane!  I think I will name her “Sara, the Sandhill Crane.”  Since she is an original design – I can name her what I want.IMG_4433

I plan on having kits available at my work.  I will also have the complete instructions and supply list – soon, for free!  Enjoy!

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