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How to Add Chenille It Blooming Bias Tape As Binding

Whenever I share my treasured Phoenix quilt, I always get asked two things:

What is that binding?  


How do you do that?

I get it.  The very first time I saw chenille it binding was on the Sweet Home Quilt made by Sharon Holland of Sharon Holland Designs.  My mind was blown and I asked those same two questions!

Before I give you a step by step tutorial, let me tell you a little bit about chenille it.  Chenille-it is a bias tape that "blooms" in the wash.  You sew it on to your project like you would a ribbon--a straight stitch right down the middle of the tape.

It is available in two widths, 3/8" and 5/8" and comes in many colors.

3/8" chenille it is great for adding texture to the top of your quilt.  It's not as wide and allows you to outline blocks or even to create script.  I've seen makers use it to "write" words on their pillows or to simply add texture to a block.

But what I REALLY love is using chenille-it as binding.  For that, you will want to use the 5/8" chenille it.

Generally, one roll of chenille-it will be enough to bind a throw sized quilt.  The quilt pictured above is the Phoenix quilt (pattern by Sharon Holland) and measures 63" square.  I used one roll of chenille-it in Pale Blue for this quilt.

There are two important things to keep in mind when using chenille-it.  

1.  Dark colors of chenille it can bleed--so be cautious when washing your quilt and use color catchers if you plan to use a color like red, navy or black.

2.  Chenillie-it as binding does NOT enclose the edges of your quilt like traditional binding.  For this reason, please either serge your edges or use a zig zag stitch along the edges of your quilt prior to applying your chenille it tape.

Let's get started!

Supplies Needed:

1.  A quilted quilt that has had the edges serged or finished with a zig zag stitch (see #2 above if you skipped that!)

2.  A 5/8" wide roll of chenille it in the color of your choice

3.  A sewing machine to sew it on


1.  After you have serged or zig zagged stitch the edges of your quilt, lay it out so you can measure out the chenille it tape you will need.  

2.  You are going to need to cut 16 strips total for the quilt-- 2 layers for all sides on the top  (8) and 2 layers for all the sides for the bottom (8 more for a total of 16).  It is important that there are two layers on top and bottom all around.  Otherwise, your binding will not fill in nicely.

3. This step is the trickiest part--I promise! You need to cut and place the tape.

I usually start along the longest edge.  I place two strips along the top AND two strips along the bottom of the right edge, using pins or binding clips to hold it in place. 

I place the tape so there is a bit of overhang off the edge.  Don't go too far over the edge though, as you need to sew as close to the middle of the chenille-it tape as possible and make sure it attaches to the quilt. 

4.  Sew along the chenille it tape, being sure you are sewing through all layers of the tape on front and back, and along the edge of the quilt.  Go slow to keep anything from shifting.

5.  Repeat this process for all sides.

6.  You can wash your quilt on a cool, gentle cycle and tumble dry on low heat to "fluff" the chenille it tape.  If you are using a dark color of chenille-it, use 2-3 color catchers as dark colors can bleed!

Alternate Option:

 If you don't want to wash your quilt, you can use a stiff brush to fluff the binding by hand.  Get a bristly brush (I use a clean "boar bristle" hair brush) and spray the binding with water, then brush it.    This is a great option if you don't want to wash your quilt prior to gifting/photographing it, but will be more time consuming.


There have been times--and I know this will be hard to believe--that I have rushed and the chenille-it has shifted off the quilt.  lol

So I always double check the edges before washing my quilt.  If I have any gaps where the chenille it shifted too far off the edge--there is an easy fix I have used. 

I simply cut another small strip of chenille it to cover the area that needs it and stitch it on.

It's all going to fluff and blend anyway, and it is ok if there is a bit of "extra" fluff in one section.

And there you go!  Chenille-it is a great way to get that wow factor and it's so soft and cuddly for baby quilts, too.  

Let me know if you plan to try it and feel free to reach out with questions!  I'm always happy to help a fellow quilter.  



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