Category Archives: Binding

Techie’s Gadget Roll pattern available

I am pleased to announce that I have published a new pattern.  I designed this one to hold all those cables, memory cards, batteries, etc.  that are so necessary when you are travelling — or for that matter, when you are using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone at home.

Last year when we drove to Alaska I misplaced one of my cables somewhere in the car.  So we had to search all over in Canada to find a similar cable that would do the job.  Of course, when we got home and I unpacked, there was the original cable!

So this year I vowed to avoid that problem by making myself a special bag to hold everything I needed travelling in Europe with my digital camera and tablet.  By the time I gathered everything in one spot and started designing my “gadget roll”, I was amazed at how much stuff there was. Of course I went overboard by having duplicates and backups for most everything!

Now I use this gadget roll all the time at home, and I am going to design more of them for use for other applications.  Here are a couple of photos of the open and closed roll:

Open, loaded with all my gear:

Gadget roll open_1 blog version

And rolled up and tied for easy packing and storage:

Gadget roll closed_1 blog version

Now I just have to make a bunch of these for Christmas gifts this year — as soon as I find some “guy” fabric — and I won’t have to do any other shopping at all!

Pattern is available on — see my pattern page for the link to my Patternspot “store”.  There isn’t a specific description and photo of this pattern on my pattern page yet — a few technical difficulties are stopping me- but the pattern is at my Patternspot store.

Here is the gadget roll in red.

red gadget roll 2 (2)



red gadget roll tied (2)

And while I was working on these I learned that Velcro has made a change to their product.  I don’t know how new this is, but it was new to me so  I am going to pass it on.  At my local store (JoAnn’s}  Velcro™ is sold both by the yard and in a package.  On the roll, it is the traditional product — one side of “hook” tape and one side of “loop” tape.  So when you buy a yard, you get a yard worth of fastening length.

Alongside the traditional product were pre-packaged products that look like this: Velcro package (2)

It says on the package that it is one yard of product.  And it is, but they have  redesigned the product so that it is both hook and loop together.  So one yard of product now only gives you 1/2 yard of actual fastening, because you use the same product for both sides.  The package says this in the fine print on the back — if you take the time to read it before you buy.  I don’t think the fastening is quite as good as it used to be, either.  It feels a lot easier to pull the two sides apart on the new product.

A new binding corner “tool”

Recently I was sewing on a binding and couldn’t immediately find my binding corner tool made from template plastic.  This is a simple homemade 3 inch square with a diagonal line drawn across the middle, described in my book, “Fast Fabulous Quilt Bindings”.  It works great for marking the corner so you know when to stop sewing as you approach each corner.  Sewing accurate, consistent seams is a critical part of achieving good looking bindings.

So my tool was not available, but I had a pad of Post-It Notes nearby.  I grabbed one of the Notes, lined it up on the corner, stuck it down in position, and then sewed right to the edge of the paper.  NO MARKING REQUIRED!  It is so cool when you invent something completely by accident.

Here is the process.  You are attaching the binding and approaching the corner.  Stop sewing about 3 inches away from the corner as shown in the first photo.

Approaching the corner

Approaching the corner

Slide the binding sideways a little to see the actual quilt corner while you are placing the Note down.

Slide the binding to the left

Slide the binding to the left

Then place the Post It Note down with one corner right on the corner of your quilt and the opposite corner on the raw edge of the next side of your quilt (where you will sew down the binding after you have turned the corner).  Position the Note with the sticky edge on the upper left so that once you have the Note in position, this edge will be stuck to the quilt.  If it won’t stick, you can always use blue painter’s tape to hold it down.

Slide the binding back into position under the Note

Place the Note in position with the right corner on the quilt corner and the left corner on the quilt edge

Once you have the Note in position, slide the binding back in place.

Slide the binding back in position under the Note

Slide the binding back in position under the Note

Resume sewing until you reach the edge of the Note as shown in the photo below.  Backstitch a few stitches.   Your seam is now perfectly positioned at the corner along the diagonal.

Stop stitching as the needle reaches the paper

Stop stitching as the needle reaches the paper

Remove your quilt from the sewing machine, cut the threads, and make your “flip and fold” corner in the usual manner.






Completing Binding Corner Folds Greater Than 90 degrees

Recently a member of my quilt guild asked about binding corners greater than 90 degrees.  Although the technique for doing so is the same as other angles and  is covered in my book Fast Fabulous Quilt Bindings, I did not show any specific drawings or photos for these oblique angles, so I worked through a sample and am going to show the steps here.  This type of angle is fairly common, especially on tablerunners, so many quilters have encountered it.

Here is the mocked up quilt sandwich angle we are working on.  I didn’t bother to actually make up a quilt, just used a couple of scraps with batting in between.  If you are trying this for the first time, you can quickly make a practice piece like this to gain confidence in the technique.

135 degree quilt corner

135 degree quilt corner

I also cut a 2 inch wide strip for the binding and pressed it in half lengthways.  I started stitching it on and then stopped to figure out the best way to mark the corner without special drafting tools.

The simple way to do this is to make a diamond-shaped template.  In this instance, making it out of paper rather than template plastic is best because you need to fold it in half to get the marking angle.  Use your wide ruler to make the diamond shape.  My example here is a 135 degree angle, but the method will work for any other oblique angle.  Hopefully you will only use 120, 135, or 150 degree angles, because these can all be created using the 30, 45, and 60 degree lines on your wide ruler.

Diamond shaped marking template

Diamond shaped marking template

Once you have the diamond shape, fold it in half the long way.  This gives you a template to mark the center of the oblique angle.  Line up the fold line with the bend in the quilt at the corner.

Fold the template in half to mark corner

Fold the template in half to mark corner

Mark the center line as shown in the photo below, where the template has been moved away from the corner to show the line.

Marked line at the corner

Continue attaching the binding until you reach the marked line.  Backstitch a couple of stitches.  Remove the quilt sandwich and binding from your sewing machine.

Flip over the loose binding and line it up with the next side of your quilt, as shown in the photo below.  Pin the fold in place.

Flipping over the binding at the corner

Flipping over the binding at the corner

Then fold the binding over.  The fold should be at the corner as shown.

Fold over the binding, keeping the fold at the quilt corner

Fold over the binding, keeping the fold at the quilt corner

Stitch the second edge down and continue to attach the binding around your quilt.

Stitch the second edge, backstitching to the corner and then going forward

Stitch the second edge, backstitching to the corner and then going forward

After you have stitched down the whole binding and joined the ends, sew the binding fold down by hand with a blind hem stitch in the usual manner.  The corners are mitered in the usual way. Details about how to hand sew the corners are shown in my book so I will not repeat them here.

Completed 135 degree corner

Completed 135 degree corner

“Meet the Author” event at Silverdale Quality Sew and Vac

I am pleased to announce that the Quality Sewing and Vacuum store in Silverdale, in addition to offering several of my classes this fall, has asked me to present a “Meet the Author” event at the store August 7, 2013 from 10:00 am to 12 noon.   I will present a trunk show of quilts and talk about the inspiration behind the quilts, plus briefly demonstrate some binding and quilting techniques that are included in my classes.  If you are curious about the classes but not sure they are right for you, this is a good opportunity to get more information.

There will be lots of time to ask questions, and to sign books for those who are interested.  I will be offering several books and patterns as door prizes, and the store will offer refreshments.  Contact the store directly to reserve a spot or ask any questions about the event.

Quality Sewing and Vacuum  10876 Myhre Place NW, Silverdale 98383

Phone: 360-692-2992.  web site:

Quilt Binding – One Tip for nicer corners

Are you having trouble  turning the corners on your double fold bindings? Do they refuse to make a nice miter and lay down flat, even though the rest of your binding folds over nicely and behaves?

The problem may be as simple as the thickness of your batting. Try this simple tip to solve the problem. In the corner, fold back the quilt top and back and cut out the corner of the batting only. This will reduce bulk in the corner and make your corners behave better. Here are some step by step photos. First photo shows the quilt corner nicely trimmed, before the binding is applied. Second photo shows the top folded up and the approximate batting seamline marked. Third photo shows the batting trimmed out of the corner.

binding corner - 1 Apr 19 2013        binding corner - 2 Apr 19 2013       binding corner - 3 Apr 19 2013

After the batting corners are trimmed, apply your binding in the usual way. I think you will find the corners will behave better.

Even though you may never have this problem with your normal bindings, you may find it occurs with embellished bindings, such as those with piping or an integrated flange.  Test construction of a corner in this type of binding before applying it to your quilt.  You may solve the problem by cutting out the batting, or you may find you need to widen your binding strip slightly to give you more ease.

If you are uncertain how to make proper binding corners, ask your quilting friends to look at your bindings and give you suggestions. (Or of course you could buy my book, Fast Fabulous Quilt Bindings.)

© 2013 by Shirley Sandoz and Mystery Bay Quilt Design.  All rights reserved.