1. Wait until the last minute to acquire the fabric for binding your quilt. It is important to have already shown the almost-finished quilt to the child for whom it is intended, so that she will ask you every 5 minutes if it is ready. Realize you are broke and will have to use scraps to make the binding. Tell yourself it doesn't really matter - it's your quilt!
2. Consult a book written by a "professional" that has "pictures" and "tips." Read these directions once then close the book and put it somewhere where you will be sure to forget where it is. Don't be afraid to blame the children for moving it!
3. Cut strips of fabric to the proper width. What is the proper width? Consult the book. Go ahead - we'll wait while you look for it. Don't forget to close it and set it down again.
4. If the book says you can use strips from 2 inches wide to 2.5 inches, go with the smallest size recommended. That way, there'll be no room for error!
5. Lay the strips across each other perpendicularly, then sew from corner to corner. Trim seam to 1/4 inch and press open. Then drop a few f-bombs as you realize you sewed them right side to wrong side. Keep that seam ripper handy!
6. Once you have sewn all the strips together, fold the strip in half and press. Be sure to stand on some of the strip as you are ironing.
7. Pin the open edge of the strip to the raw edge of your quilt on one side. Where should you start? At the corner? In the middle? Consult the book. Wonder aloud why you don't just leave it open to the correct page so you can reference it when needed. When you cannot figure out what to do from the obtuse instructions, close the book and kick it across the room.
8. Start sewing any damn place. Struggle to keep the quilt moving through the machine in a straight line. Wonder if it's possible that the feed dogs on your machine actually move fabric in a circle. Wonder if quilts really need binding. Stop sewing 1/4 inch from the edge. Or less. Or more. Whatever you can manage. Backstitch and pour a cocktail.
9. To create the mitered corner, take the strip of fabric and flip it around aimlessly, trying to remember what you saw in that stupid book, because, god, you really don't want to have to crawl under the table where you kicked it to retrieve it. Look it up on the internet, only to be distracted by those godawful leggings Lindsay Lohan insists on wearing.
10. Get the damn book anyway and study the picture until you are sure you have the angle and flip and whatever thing down. End up with something that looks more like an origami swan. Tell yourself it doesn't matter - it's your quilt!
11. Continue to sew the binding in a meandering line. Pour yourself another cocktail. Since the damn thing looks like you were drunk while you did it, you might as well be drunk while you do it. Viva Cuervo!
12. When you get to the end of the strip, panic - because you have no idea how to join the end to the beginning. Consult the motherfucking book AGAIN. GOD, you hate that book. Read some nonsense about a "tail" and "tucking" and then start giggling as your mind comes up with some really lame dirty jokes. When your 5-year-old daughter asks what you are laughing about, just say "Underpants." It will be partially true and she will totally understand why you would be giggling about it.
13. Thread a really fat needle with some cheap thread. Make a knot at the end roughly as large as your own head. Slipstitch the remaining edge of the binding to the other side of the quilt.
15. No, seriously. Slipstitch the binding to the quilt. Yes, by hand. Well, it's not my fault you are 39 and already need bifocals. And I don't EVEN want to hear about your "carpal tunnel" acting up today. Put on your big girl panties and DO IT!
16. Give up after several stitches that can't possibly be right. Consult internet one more time and discover a few helpful videos on You Tube. Realize that you have been straining so hard to see the quilt without proper eyewear, you now cannot see anything smaller than your husband. Ask husband to refresh your drinky-poo.
17. Tell yourself it doesn't matter. It's your quilt! Then topstitch that stupid fucking binding down, give it to your daughter, who is beyond thrilled, and revel in the glory of your first completed quilt!