I mentioned that I finally sent my first-ever king sized quilt off to the longarmer (thank you Jan Kramer!). Jan even got it back to me in plenty of time so I could bind and label it in time for my anniversary; but the thought of making that much binding and wrestling the cotton croc through my machine was too overwhelming.
Finally, I decided to cross two things off my "to do" list at once: I made a continuous bias binding for the first time ever (I know, I know) and sewed the binding onto my quilt.
I found some pretty simple directions in a book that look almost exactly like the ones seen here at Quilter's Cache. The only difference is that the directions I had didn't say exactly how much it would make, just that a 36" square made enough "for a large quilt." Well, I have a very large quilt - 105" square - so I decided to use a 40" square of fabric to make my binding.
Can I just say, in my own defense, that geometry was not my best subject? No, the irony is not wasted on me that I took up quilting as a hobby.
The directions worked great. The binding turned out perfectly and quickly, as promised. I am a convert to the method. Sewing it onto the front of my ginormous quilt was not nearly as challenging as I had feared. In fact, I already whipped down 2 of the sides while watching Law & Order reruns that TiVo so kindly recorded for me. The only miscalculation?
This. This is the leftover binding. Yes, the leftover. This is what I have after binding my entire king sized quilt. From a mere 40" square of fabric. How is that even possible? It boggles even the mind of someone less mathematically challenged than I. I haven't measured it yet, but it makes me giggle every time I look at the bundle.
The Quilter's Cache link above has a great formula for calculating the size square you actually need to cut. I needed 420" plus some for my quilt. Let's say 450" for comfort. Multiply that by the width of the binding you are using - in my case 2 1/4". That gives me 1012.5. The square root of that number - 31" - is about the size square I needed. All easy with a basic calculator.
But if you reverse the process and multiply 40" x 40" (the size square I actually used) you get 1600. Divide that by 2 1/4" (width of binding) and you see that I made about 711" of binding. Only about 261" more than I really needed! Luckily it was all out of my stash and I will surely find a use for it.
All in all it was an inexpensive lesson, and one I won't soon forget. I hope you learn something today, too! Drop me a line and share what it was, or link to your blog and tell us all.