Hi guys and gals! It’s Justin from Keaton Quilts back again for another fun quilting tutorial. One of my favorite things to make with my new Big Shot Plus has been quilt binding. A task that used to take tons of time to cut and wasn’t very accurate now only takes minutes. My strips come out perfect every time. The die I will be using today, along with my Big Shot Plus Fabric Series Starter Kit, is the Sizzix Bigz XL 25" Die - Strips, 2 1/4" Wide. It also requires the long Bigz XL 25" Cutting Pads, so make sure you have them handy.
The first step will be to make your Sizzix “Sandwich.” Start with a Cutting Pad, and place the die on top, blade side up and slightly askew.
Now it’s time to load your fabric onto the die. You may ask, “How much fabric?"
There’s just a tiny (I promise!) bit of math to figure it out.
I am making binding today for a quilt that is 70" square. To figure out the length of the binding strip I need, I added up the measurements of all four sides of the quilt, which came to 280". Then I added 10" (always 10" no matter the size of the quilt) to cover the folds at the corners, so it leaves me a little extra when it comes to joining my ends together. The width of my fabric is 43", but I'm going to call it 40" because the selvage will end up being trimmed. I divided 290" by 40" and came to 7 and some decimals, which means I will need a total of eight strips. Always round up to the nearest whole number.
Since the fabric is folded in half lengthwise to fit on the die and it cuts two strips at a time, I will be able to cut a total of eight strips at once by folding my fabric to create four double layers. (Keep in mind that four layers is the maximum amount of fabric you can pass through the machine.)
This means I will only need to run the die through the machine once to cut all of the binding needed for the quilt! Woohoo, the time savings (and lack of frustration) compared to cutting each strip by hand is pretty sweet!
I made sure to keep my fabric folded in half lengthwise, just like it was on the bolt, and folded it three times to make sure the layers were parallel with the top of the die. I also made sure that each fold had enough fabric on each side to cover the blades.
The last step in making the Sizzix “Sandwich” is to place the second Cutting Pad on top of your fabric—super easy peasy.
It’s time to feed the Sizzix “Sandwich” through the machine. Place it onto the bed at a slight angle, and turn the handle until it’s all the way through the other side.
And just like that, our strips are all die-cut! I lifted the top Cutting Pad and scraped pieces off of the die, leaving my eight 2 1/4" wide strips of perfection.
To join your strips, place them perpendicular to one another with the right sides together, making sure that the selvages on both are past the edges as pictured. Place a pin or a clip at each edge so they stay secure when it’s time to move them over to your sewing machine. I prefer to use wonder clips whenever I can.
If pins enter the equation while I sew, odds are that I’ll end up poking myself with one or dropping it onto the floor, and then I have to spend a ton of time crawling around trying to find it as I pin and unpin my pieces.
Now you’ll move over to your sewing machine and sew from the first unclipped corner straight across the strip diagonally. I like to use the center line on my machine bed that lines straight up with the needle as a guide, making sure the corner at the end of the seam stays centered as I sew. If you need, feel free to use a marking tool to draw a line that you can follow as you sew. Make sure to make backstitches at the beginning and end of each seam for extra durability.
Repeat this until all of your strips are joined together.
Now, it’s time to trim off the excess fabric where you joined your seams. First, trim off 1/4" from the edge of your seam.
Next, trim off the two dog ears.
Now, iron or roll open the seams (I love to use a seam roller—saves me from burning my fingertips on the iron.)
Ironing or rolling the seams open spreads the bulk across the strips. They lay much flatter once you attach them to your quilt.
The final step is to iron or roll your strips in half, making sure that the joining seams face toward the inside.
That’s it, we’re done! I usually roll up my strip and secure the end with a pin to keep it nice and neat until I’m ready to apply it to my quilt.
Thanks for following along! I hope you’ll continue to join me for more quilting tutorials here on the Sizzix blog! If you’d like even more, visit me at Keaton Quilts.com or follow along with us on Instagram or Facebook for even more quilty adventures.
xoxo - Justin