Ok, so now we're going to tackle the binding. Now, I am no expert on this - there are loads of really great binding tutorials out there on the web that can probably explain it much better than me, and I really would recommend that you try out lots of different ways until you find the one that works for you. If you already have a binding method that works for you then use that. On the larger quilts I have made I have always used a double fold binding but, during the course of the mug rug swap, someone suggested that a single fold binding might be easier to work with on such a small piece and I certainly found that to be true, so that is what I'm going to show you.
First things first, you need to measure the perimeter of your mug rug, and then cut your strip of binding fabric allowing at least an extra 10". I cut my strip 1.5inches wide. Press it nice and flat. Now, here you might be expecting me to tell you to fold and press your binding strip - but I'm not! This is another tip I picked up, (I think from a youtube tute but I can't remember which exactly. If anyone recognises any of the tips I've used please do let me know so that I can give credit). Anyway, basically the gist was that, once you have sewn your strip to the front of your quilt, the fabric can shift slightly as you fold it over, so any folds ironed in may not be in the right place anymore.
So, starting on one of the long sides, pin your strip, right sides together, to the front of your mug rug.
As you can see, I put the start of the strip at the left hand corner, but placed the pin about 2-3 inches in from the right corner. This is because you need to leave a gap of, I would say, 3-4 inches in the middle for sorting out the joining of the ends. (You may also notice that I don't go in for lots of pinning - for something this small it's simple enough to just hold the fabric in position although, as you will soon see, I do use a pin when doing the corners)
Anyway, backstitch a few stitches to secure then sew along the edge, I use the edge of my presser foot as a guide. (Although I think it is slightly bigger, let's just assume it is a 1/4" foot, it will make things simpler!) When you are a 1/4" away from the corner, backstitch to secure and then remove from the machine. (If you want to use a wider seam that is fine, but you need to stop that same distance from the corners - so if you have a 1/2" seam you stop 1/2" away from the corner, okay?)
Right, now we are going to mitre the corner. Fold your binding strip up at 90 degrees from the top edge of the rug and finger press the fold. (This is where you might like to put a pin in - the diagonal fold should meet the corner of the rug)
If you had a pin in the first fold, ease that out and stick it in here, so you can see the 45degree line we've created. Now, put the rug back into your machine, line up your presser foot with the edge of the rug and lower the needle 1/4" away from the corner, right where the pin/crease is. *See edit below. (Obviously, you don't want to hit the pin and break your needle but I find it's useful as a guideline. Once the needle is down you can take the pin out.) Start stitching, backstitch for a couple of stitches to secure then continue down to the next corner. Then just repeat the whole corner process again. (Does that all make sense? It's really very hard to put into words something that you just do!)
* Edited to add: I've recently discovered a new way of mitring the corners which, in my mind, is nothing short of genius, and I've actually now changed the way I do it. I've left my original instruction here, as that seems to be the generally accepted way of doing it, but I would also urge you to go and have a look at this tutorial by Kerry of VeryKerryBerry. Basically what she does is, once you have turned the corner, instead of starting stitching again 1/4" in from the edge, she starts at the very edge. I have tried this a couple of times and it produces the most perfect corners ever! Thanks for the tip Kerry!
Okay, assuming that did all make sense to you and you got round all four corners, once you're back on the side you started at you need to stop 3-4 inches away from where you started. This is where it gets a bit unorthodox, but just bear with me, okay? I've always found joining the ends of the binding the trickiest bit, but this is a way I've found that works for me.
Once that's done, this is what it should look like from the front (below). The corners should just fold nicely into place. You could press the front of the piece at this point to get the binding nice and flat but I didn't bother.
So now we are moving onto the handstitching, which I really enjoy doing. Working from the back of the rug, and starting on the side with the join, fold the binding strip in towards the edge of your rug, making sure that where the strips join you keep them nice and snug together.
Now, fold the strip over again onto the back of the rug and pin into place. The binding should cover the row of stitching where you attached the strip to the front. (The stitching you can see in the pic below is actually where I quilted the rug, so that's ok!) You may need to fiddle a little with the join to get it to sit nicely.
Stop just before you get to the first corner. I'm now trying and failing to come up with the words to adequately describe what I did at the corners, so I'll just show you and hope that it makes sense!
Did that help? Ack, despite having a blog for over two years, writing is still not my strong point! Anyway, feel free to fiddle around a bit with the corners as you fold the fabric over to get it to sit nicely, then I do a couple of little stitches up the corner bit, then carry on around the edge until it's all sewn down.
As I said, a slightly unorthodox way of doing it and I haven't tried this with a double fold binding yet (must do that - will report back!) but it works for me! I hope this has all made sense and that some of you will have found it useful. Please do let me know if you make any rugs using this tute, I'd love to see what you come up with!