Week #8 of the Firefly Quilt Along // Choosing Quilt Binding

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Welcome to the Week #8 of the Firefly Quilt Along! This quilt was designed by Lindsey Neill of Pen and Paper Patterns, and is new and exclusive to Pattern Drop! There is also a bee version included in the pattern–click here to see some examples of bee blocks!

Sign up for Pattern Drop here

Purchase the Individual Firefly Quilt Pattern Here

Interested in sewing along? You can purchase the Firefly Quilt Pattern here.

How to Choose Binding for Your Quilt

Let's Talk Binding--its the very last step of quilt making! After all of the fun [and many hours and $] of piecing, basting, and quilting, sometimes, the binding you choose can have the most impact on your quilt! Are you more of a "binding should blend in" or "binding should take center stage" type of quilter? Today, I'm sharing some pictures and thoughts on binding!

There are so many options: Do you choose a solid or print? Do you want the binding to contrast or blend in? Do you choose a Hand stitch or completely by machine? Bias binding or straight grain?

Caveat: There IS NO WRONG BINDING CHOICE. If you choose it, and you like it, its the right choice for your quilt. Period. If you would like to see different examples of binding choices on different quilts, keep reading.

Binding Example #1: Contrast binding that echoes colors in the quilt

Lindsey's original Firefly Quilt is a great example of this--choose a binding that makes your quilt pop! This bright yellow/citron color echoes the fireflies in her quilt, and really makes the whole quilt! It would look very different if she had chosen to use the blue background as her binding.

Another example of this type of binding is found in both the December and May quilts--using the binding as a frame seems to be my favorite type of binding.

The Hopscotch Quilt Pattern [above], designed by Amy Smart, is available for purchase here.

The Balance Quilt Pattern [below], designed and pieced by Karen Lewis, is available for purchase here.

Binding Example #2: Contrast binding in a new color

I had a great time making this bee quilt [alternate instructions for the bee are also found in this pattern.] I thought about using the Liberty for the binding [the same print as the queen bee's wings in the upper left quadrant], a solid yellow, a coral colored binding, and actually sewed a black and white stripe binding onto the quilt, thinking the stripe would be a great frame, and kind of of mimic the striped bees. I hated it. I had this woven green fabric, and it just felt right! Sometimes, a contrast binding in a new color can make your quilt shine!

Binding Example #3: Binding that blends in with the background

The March Pattern Drop Quilt Pattern, Spectrum by Faith Jones, is a fun one to piece--all of those flying geese! I went back and forth a few times on the binding for this one, and after sewing plum binding onto an entire side, I realized it just wasn't right. White binding isn't the most practical for a large baby quilt, but I love how it looks here!

This Super Star baby quilt that I made 5 or so years ago also uses binding that blends in, and I think its the perfect touch for that bold, single block. Pattern available here.

Isn't the white binding on this Charleston Square pattern just awesome!? It really lets the quilt design shine. And let's face it, if you are making a baby quilt with tons of white, then white binding isn't going to really matter. It will get dirty. And that is ok! Pattern is available here.

Binding Example #4: Choose Solids

It turns out that almost all of my quilts are bound with solids! This is an example, where I pulled the navy from the Add it Up print [fabric by Alexia Abegg for Cotton and Steel], and used a navy solid to bind the quilt. The Mesa Pattern available here.

The binding on the April Pattern Drop Quilt [The Sewing Machine Quilt] does a little of both--blends in and pops.

Binding Example #5: Choose Prints

I made this Pixelated Heart quilt for a new niece almost 3 years ago! It's hard to see, but the binding is a purple and white stripe.

Rita at Red Pepper Quilts is the queen of black and white striped binding, and it looks good on almost everything!

Binding Example #6: Have fun with it!

There is no right or wrong answer. Contrast, frame, same general color but a darker shade--the sky is the limit! Have fun with your binding choices. 

p.s. Yvonne Fuchs wrote a great Binding Tips and Tricks article for the Quilters Planner. Yvonne is the October 2018 Pattern Drop Designer, too!

p.p.s. I have an oldie but a goodie on my Swim Bike Quilt Blog--machine binding tutorial. I often will use a zig zag stitch now when stitching down the binding.

You can see more pictures  and finished blocks on Instagram [use the hashtags #fireflyquilt #fireflyquiltalong #patterndrop].

Looking for examples of firefly and bee blocks and quilts? 

Firefly Quilt Along // A Beehive Full of Bees –examples of bee blocks

Firefly Quilt Along // A Baby Bee Quilt

Firefly Quilt Along // Fireflies at Dusk –examples of firefly blocks

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