December 30, 2012

Unbeatable Quilt Binding Trick!

Shades SoftFuse PremiumNo-Pins Quilt Binding

In case you don't know about SoftFuse Premium, you should! It is, without a doubt, the softest paper-backed fusible product available for fusible appliqué. Here are a few reasons why we love it:
  • It is not necessary to windowpane. (Windowpane, a step that is a pain, but is required to prevent stiffness with so many fusible products. It is that technique where you cut out the middle section of the fusible before applying it to a large section.) Also, if you have used that method, haven't you noticed the tell-tale line where the fusible stops?

  • Shades SoftFuse Premium is so soft you can hand quilt or hand blanket stitch through it. •If you choose to machine quilt, the needle does not leave large holes as it does on with the stiff stuff.

  • I'm proud and happy to say that there is a good chance I was the first Shades SoftFuse Premium customer in the United States. I would like you to think it is because I'm on top of everything in the quilting world, but the whole story is that our daughter, Stacy Michell, owner of Shades Textiles, is the importer and distributor of SoftFuse Premium. Stacy is the appliqué artist in the family - most of you know my emphasis is on patchwork, but I use SoftFuse Premium a lot!

  • For example, this is a technique I use every time I bind a quilt. If you want to be happy with the results, please don't do this with a stiff fusible. If you don't have SoftFuse Premium it is easy to get at or ask at your favorite quilt shop.

1. First, cut narrow strips, approximately ¼" wide of Shades SoftFuse. It is easy to do with rotary cutter and ruler from any of the packaged sizes or the rolls. It can even be done with scraps and small bits that are left over from an appliqué project.

2. Iron the SoftFuse Premium strips to the folded edge of prepared French fold or double fold binding. Leave a small edge of binding exposed. Leave the paper backing in place. These photos are on a bias binding cut 2 ¼" wide and then folded and pressed in half, wrong sides together.

3. Sew the prepared binding to the quilt edge. Make sure the binding is SoftFuse Premium side up!

4. Trim away the excess backing and batting -- the paper backing is still in place.

5. At the ironing board, remove the paper backing and roll the binding to the back. (For a flatter finish on the front, lift the folded edge of the binding away from the quilt and give a very quick light pressing motion to the binding before you roll the binding to the back - not pictured.)

6. Make sure the binding covers the stitching line and extends beyond it about 1/8". Press in place. Looks great doesn't it? (Yes, if you were rushing to put a binding on for Show and Tell at the guild meeting, you can stop right here and finish by hand or machine later.)

7. To finish by machine, I usually use invisible thread on top - but in the bobbin, Aurifill 50 wt , naturally, that matches the binding and when I stitch in the ditch from the top….

8. I get this nice finish on the back and a very nice soft binding. How cool is that!
Here is a close up of the back side of the binding.

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  1. couldn't u do the same thing with any fusible? great technique tho; anything to make binding easier is a winner in my book.

  2. You probably could, but Shades Soft Fuse is the thinnest, softest fusible so it adds no bulk.

  3. Very interesting! I think I'll try this tip on my next quilt. Do you think it is permanent enough without sewing to use on a wall hanging that will never be washed? Thanks, Marti.

    1. I have several small quilts that I've taken to classes for years that are bound this way. The bindings are still in fine condition -- but I haven't washed these quilts. For quilts that will be used and washed, I do the final sewing step. The fusible tape makes it so easy!

  4. The website for the SoftFuse Premium has been disabled. Where can I purchase it?

    1. Hi Alice -- We're sorry for the trouble and have let Stacy know. SoftFuse products are also on the web here:

  5. Marti, I purchased my first roll of SoftFuse this summer and love it for applique, thank for the great binding tip, I will use next time I do a binding. Thanks