What Causes Ripples in Bindings?
Learn the cause and how to fix quilt binding mistakes with this guide.
We are adding the pattern to your Quilt Basket.
The pattern was added to your Quilt Basket.
Binding your quilt is one of the most rewarding stages of the quilting process. It is the final sprint of a marathon; a quilter’s version of the finish line.
Few things can dampen that excitement like ripples in your binding. What causes ripples in bindings?
This guide will go over the most common reasons and solutions. Wavy bindings are often resulting from uneven feeding.
Below, I am sharing some common causes and preventative measures to help reduce binding ripple occurrences.
If you are new to quilting or want a refresher on what sorts of quilting are available to you, then these must-know quilting techniques and styles are just the resource you need.
>>> 7 Must-Know Quilting Techniques and Styles
Uneven Quilt Edges and Out of Square Corners
Problem: You have uneven quilt edges and out of square corners. The edges of your quilt sandwich and its corners serve as guides when attaching your binding. If your quilt’s edges are uneven and the corners not square, one side of your binding will likely have more slack than the other. The extra fabric will need somewhere to go causing the ripples to occur.
Troubleshoot: Take your time when squaring your quilt sandwich. Avoid jagged trimming that may cause confusion when following the quilt’s edge with your presser foot. Stabilize your mitered corners by pinning the loose folded edge to your quilt before sewing another side.
As shown in the image below: Stabilize your mitered corners by pinning the loose folded edge to your quilt before sewing another side.
Insufficient Feed Dogs
Problem: You have insufficient feed dogs on your machine. A binding strip adds two layers to your quilt sandwich making it difficult for the feed dogs to effectively and evenly guide your quilt through the presser foot.
Troubleshoot: Your walking foot attachment is an essential tool when sewing multiple layers of fabric together. This applies to your binding too. You will need to measure and test a ¼ seam allowance before starting, but the added feed dogs will make all the difference in avoiding ripples.
As shown in the image below: Without a walking foot and its additional feed dogs, the binding can easily slip and go askew beneath a patchwork foot.
Speed Sewing and Gravity
Problem: You are speed sewing and subject to gravity's force. Moving your quilt through your machine and keeping your binding strip straight can be challenging when sewing quickly. The top layer of the binding strip below has pulled away from the quilt’s raw edge as a result of speedy sewing and the quilt’s weighty bulk.
Troubleshoot: Stop sewing, cut the thread and remove the stitches until the raw edges of your binding and quilt are matched. Use a large table to help accommodate the weight of your quilt. Backstitch over your previous stitches to secure them, and continue to attach your binding at a slower speed.
As shown in the image below: The top layer of the binding strip below has pulled away from the quilt’s raw edge as a result of speedy sewing and the quilt’s weighty bulk.
Additional Quilt Binding Tips
If you spot ripples after the binding has been completed attached, unstitch the area to help determine the cause. Did the raw edges of the binding come unmatched? Is the mitered corner folded to create a perfect 90 degrees? Is the edge of the quilt sandwich curved and causing an inaccurate guide?
Should the techniques above not resolve the slack in the binding, cut the affected section until the strip lays flat along the quilt’s edge. Attach a new strip as per usual.
Prevention and frequent visual assessments of your binding while sewing are the best ways to reduce the occurrence of ripples. Ensure even feeding by careful trimming, using a walking foot and slowing your sewing speed. If signs of ripples begin to appear, take action promptly to help get you to that well-deserved finish line!
Cristina De Miranda is the quilter and pattern designer behind Ships & Violins. She is based in Toronto, Canada.
How to Square Up a Quilt Block >>>
Now that you've learned how to fix quilt binding mistakes, what other quilting questions do you have?
Let us know in the comment section below!
Read NextScrappy Binding
Free projects, giveaways, exclusive partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!
Your Recently Viewed Projects
Images from other quilters
Project of the Day
Add a little sunshine to your day with this simply gorgeous Sunshine Texas Star Block Pattern. This free quilt block pattern is the… Continue reading: "Sunshine Texas Star Block Patternvideocam"
- Scrappy Binding
- Easy Quilt Binding Tutorial
- How to Bind Hexagon Quilts
- Easy Peasy Binding Tutorial
- How to Self Bind A Quilt
- Quilt Binding Part 2: Attaching Your Binding
- Binding and Hanging a Mini Quilt
- Video Tutorial: Couching Yarn on Quilt Binding
- 3 Pin Binding Method
- Double Fold Binding Tutorial Part 1
Our Newest Projects & Articles
- Double Orange Peel Quilt Block (with Denim Background)
- Favorite Fast Four Patch Quilt Pattern For Beginners
- How To Make A Quilt From Start To Finish 8 Easy Steps
- Witch Hat Halloween Table Runner Quilt Pattern
- The Perfect Log Cabin Quilt Block Tutorial
- How To Sew Quilted Potholder Tutorial Pattern
- Solar System Mug Rug
- Old Glory Quilt Pattern
- Beginner Baby Cheater Quilt Pattern
- How To Make A Butterfly Garden Table Runner
- 12 Awesome Free Quilt Patterns and Small Quilted Projects
- 14 Easy Baby Quilt Patterns for Boys and Girls
- 17 Quilting Tutorials: Quilting for Beginners and Top Tips for How to Quilt
- DIY Home Decor: How to Make Placemats and Other Easy Sewing Projects for a Country Kitchen
- Easy Quilt Patterns: 11 Applique Quilt Patterns + Quick Quilts
- How to Make a Jelly Roll Quilt: 9 Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns
- How to Quilt a Bag With Style: 7 Free Bag Patterns and Purse Patterns
- Patterns for Quilting: 8 Free Quilt Block Patterns to Make a Quilt for Your Home
- Spectacular Quilt Star Patterns: How to Make a Quilt with 8 Star Quilt Block Patterns and Quilted Star Designs
- Super String Quilts: 13 Paper Piecing and Scrap Quilt Patterns