Binding quilts with odd angles- a tutorial

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Everyone learns how to bind quilts with 90- degree corners in the first month of quilting. Some quilts have odd corners and we have to bind those quilts too. Here is an easy way to do this, and it works for any angle smaller than 180 degrees.
Let’s see how to bind this octagonal block.

Firstly, do you join the binding strips like this? I confess: joining them with a straight seam is faster and I use it a lot, but this way is really worth  the little extra effort!
And you could use this tool (Clover Hera marker) to mark the crease/stitching line.


Now once the binding is prepared, you have to find the center of each angle of your quilt. Sometimes, the design helps!!

Other times, you just have to use the old method: fold the corner/piece in half, keeping the edges aligned. Mark the center  with a pin.

Start leaving a tail, align the binding with the edge of the quilt and sew at 1/4” away from the edge; stop when you reach the pin.
NOTE: You can keep the pin underneath too, but it is easier to see where to stop the stitching if you have the pin on top.

That point where you stop the stitching is important, here is another way to find it: draw a line 1/4” away from both edges of the corner. The intersection point is where you have to stop the stitching.

Do not remove the pin. Fold the binding as shown, so it makes a straight line with the next edge of the quilt.

The fold (see the red arrow)  should not extend past the corner; also, it should not be inside the corner, it has to be exactly at the corner.

Remove the pin underneath; pin the binding to the quilt, mark the center of the next corner with a pin…

and sew at 1/4” away from the edge, until you reach the pin of the next corner.  Repeat these steps until you finish all the corners.

Press the binding on the front of the quilt, it makes a nice and crisp fold for the binding. Fold the binding to the back and keep it in place with pins.

Fold the excess toward inside, making sure the two edges meet into a nice intersection point (see the red arrow).

You can secure the binding on the back stitching by hand. If you sew by machine, you have to insert the pins on the front of the quilt. Stitch in the ditch and remove the pins as you sew. You can use clips instead of pins too.

And here is a nice finished corner!

CONCLUSION

  1. As you see, the technique is not different than the one used for the quilts with 90 degrees angles.  We just need a little help in finding the center of the angle!
  2. While you don’t see very often large quilts with such angles, they are very common on small quilted pieces.

You may wonder, when to finish the quilts in these unusual angles? Here are a few examples, just keep in mind that the final shape of the quilt must be in harmony with the design. What I mean is, if you have a mandala design with 6 wedges/repeats, you can’t finish it as an octagon with 8 sides!

These are triangles pieced into octagons; the final shape can be an octagon. Pattern for this block here.
6-star wreath – hexagon!
12 design repeats, 12 sides for the final quilt.
This is a flower with 8 petals – octagon again.
It the design permits, if you want to alter the shape, you could just “bend” the corners.

One final example!
4 sides- square; 5 sides- pentagon; 6 sides- hexagon; 8 sides- octagon.
Pattern for the flowers here.

I hope some of these ideas help! I really like these small quilted pieces, they are quick to sew and sometimes we just need some variation in shape!

Happy sewing!

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