It's "Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things" week over on Sarah's blog. She has this link up every year as part of Hands2Help. So today I'm sharing my little binding short cut. In a nutshell: you don't have to trim off the selvedges after cutting your WOF strips.
Instead, leave them in place while you sew together the strips at a 45 degree angle. Just make sure to place the strips as shown in this photo, with the selvedges hanging over past where the strips cross each other.
I have pieces of blue painter's tape on the bed of my machine that mark various seam allowances. The right edge of the longer piece of tape is aligned with the needle.
I don't mark the 45 degree line to be sewn. I put the needle down right in the corner where the two strips meet, then line up the other intersection point with that edge of the tape. My index finger is pointing to that spot. (When did I get old lady hands? Sigh.)
Then I sew from intersection to intersection, gently holding the two strips at right angles the whole time. You see the selvedges still well past the seam.
Without cutting thread, I then grab the free end of the top strip, flip it so it is right sides up, and place another strip on it, right side down. Again, I hang the selvedges past the cut sides.
Keep adding another strip to the end of the top one you just finished until you have the length of binding you need. At this point, they are all attached to each other from chain stitching.
With your scissors, carefully clip the chain stitching between just the last two sets.
Then trim the 45 degree seam approximately a quarter inch. It's not important that it be exact because it will be hidden inside your binding. This removes most of the selvedge in one fell swoop!
What's left behind are the tiny "dog ears." Trim those with your scissors parallel with the length of the strips. Snip, snip!
Now your diagonal seam is neat and tidy. Clip the next chain stitching and repeat for each seam.
All the triangle trimmings and selvedges and dog ears end up in a little pile, easy to clean up. Don't feel guilty about tossing those right in the trash.
Next, I lay out the strips on my ironing board, sort of snaking them back and forth so that the seams are all roughly next to each other, with wrong side of the fabric up.
This makes it easy to press the seams open. Because I trimmed the dog ears, the pressed seams are pretty clean on the binding edges. Please don't look too closely at how stained my ironing board cover is getting. I'm going to miss those bright birds when I replace the cover. And yes, those are fried eggs on the binding fabric!
Finally, press your binding in half lengthwise as usual. Easy peasy! I'm all about reducing the number of steps in a process, and find this method to work well for me. I hope you find it useful, too. Don't forget to head over to the link up to read more handy hints.
Oh, and here's a sneak peek of my next project. I pulled fabrics inspired by the wonderful colors surrounding us here in the Bahamas...