Optional Rainbow Binding Instructions (pattern bonus!)

Do you want to recreate the fun rainbow binding that Kitty Wilkin used for her Staggered Quilt? Here are the instructions!

Please note: these instructions are a bonus add on to the Staggered quilt. You’ll need to use these instructions along with the original pattern.

Materials & Cutting

Cut (1) 2 1/2″ square from each of the 14 colored fabrics in your quilt top (14 total)
Cut (1) 2 1/2″ x WOF strip from your binding fabric. Subcut (13) 2 1/2″ squares.

Assembly – Note: Shorten stitch length to 2.0 to strengthen joins and press seams open to reduce bulk.

Sew 2 1/2” rainbow squares alternating with 2 1/2” binding squares in the same order as used on your quilt top. Attach the bottom end of the strip to the rest of your 2.5″ binding strips, letting the raw edge of the topmost colored square be the top edge of your binding. Fold in half lengthwise and press to make your binding strips.

There are many different methods to bind a quilt, so feel free to use your binding method of choice to sew your rainbow binding to your quilt, making sure to align the colored squares in your binding with the right-most rainbow strips in Col 6 for a visual extension of the rainbow.

If you don’t have a binding method of choice, here’s how Kitty did it:

Aligning the colored squares in your binding strip with the rightmost rainbow strips in Column 6, clip or pin your binding in place, ensuring that the colored strips in your binding align with colored strips in your quilt top. If the density of your quilting or inconsistency of seams results in an inconsistency of spacing, now is a great time to adjust the rainbow squares in the binding to match your quilt top. Usually unsewing and tightening the seams in just a few spaces will help fix any visual offset.

Leaving an approximately 10″ unsewn tail at the top of your binding (aka begin sewing around the third colored square), sew the binding to the quilt edge. Backstitch at the beginning to secure the stitches, and check to make sure that your rainbow binding squares are aligned with the rainbow quilt top as you sew. Attach binding as usual, turning corners as shown in this great binding tutorial by Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.

After you turn the final edge, sew an inch or two and then backstitch and trim thread, leaving about 15″ of unsewn space between the tail of your binding strip and the top red square at the beginning of your binding strip. Overlap the binding edges, carefully trimming the tail of your binding strip square so that it overlaps the raw edge of the top colored square by exactly 1/2″. Open the binding strips and sew right sides together along the short raw edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Finger press seam open. Refold the now joined binding and finish sewing it to the quilt. Fold binding over and attach to the back of the quilt, either by hand or by machine. (I love using invisible ladder stitch and stitching by hand!)

Enjoy your rainbow binding extension for your Staggered Quilt, and please use #staggeredquilt and #quilttheory on social media so that we can see, too!