My sister makes quilts and she's self-taught for the most part. I think a friend of hers may have given her a few pointers but basically she worked it out herself and makes some lovely colourful quilts. As a result when she taught me how to make quilts, I didn't learn how to finish them properly as she hates hand sewing and prefered to machine sew the binding on as tho it were bias binding. So one weekend in January 2008 we sat down and I made my first ever baby quilt with a very simple design of squares in yellows and greens.
Here's the bias binding look. Not the neatest of finishes and over time the binding tends to fold back on itself.
Recently I made another baby quilt for a friend and since it was to be a gift, decided to learn how to finish the binding on the quilt properly (I actually don't mind hand sewing). I found a number of websites with tutorials and fiddled with how wide I wanted the binding to be, learned how to mitre the corners properly and then found a video by Marci Baker which was brilliant in learning how to easily join the ends of the binding together so that the join isn't visible, or at least no more than any other join along the very long strip of binding. And it was so easy to do that I decided to replace the original binding on my first baby quilt.
I started with unpicking the original binding (tedious, tedious job), ironed out the bias binding folds along the binding strip, folded it in half and attached it to the edges of my quilt. Then sewed it on, folded the binding over the edge and hand stitched it in place. I used a ladder stitch which I found to be the easiest hidden stitch for me.
It took me most of the day, on and off, to hand stitch it in place but I wasn't in a hurry and had the little one to run around after. And it's so satisfying watching it come together so neatly. No more lazy bias binding dodgy jobs for me - this isn't difficult to do, just takes a little extra time and looks so much better, as you can see.