Immediately afterwards, I prepare my binding. I mean *immediately* afterwards. Before fabric is put away, before I fold up the top, I do a quick measure, cut my binding, prepare & roll it up.
I do this for several reasons-
1. Based on some past experience, if I wait until after it’s quilted, who knows where I’ve put the fabric- honestly, who knows if I haven’t used it in something else. (I may have, um yeah, done that more times that I’d like to admit. At least I finally learned!)
2. When I’m done quilting, the finish line end of the project seems so close that I want to apply that binding as fast as possible before I lose momentum- I mean, really- we’re talking about finishing a UFO here folks!
3. Because I had to measure for the binding, I know how big I need to make the backing. Now when I’m out & about, I know how much yardage to look for when spying the sale fabrics. (note, I use sale fabrics on my backings. They may or may not match the top of the quilt. I’m ok with this. It gives my quilts character. I’m also not a matchy-matchy person in real life. My favorite quilts are the ones with the wild Hawaiian fabric for backings that don’t relate to the quilt top at all. I should do a backing quilt show for you all.)
In chatting with my friend LuAnn about this tip earlier today, she mentioned she likes to make the binding right after piecing too, but she also (& she’s ever so clever for this!) pins a note on the quilt with the size, so she can reference it later for when she’s loading it onto her longarm, or needing a specific size for a present…. LuAnn has some great tips!
Here’s my pile o’ bindings. Since they’re so different I can tell which goes with which quilt, but you might want to pin a note reminding you what quilt top it belongs to!