. . . . . . Enjoying the journey of quilting

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Quilt Binding Tutorial

  • Measure the length and width of your quilt times 2 and add between 20 - 25 inches.
    • The quilt for this tutorial was 90 x 65 inches. I need 335 inches of binding (90+65+90+62+25 = 335 inches).
  • I prefer a cross grain binding (fabric cut on the bias).  Cross grain binding is more durable after years of use. 
  • I also prefer narrow binding and will cut strips between 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 inches wide. This is determined by the thickness of your quilt. Since I used 80/20 batting I will be cutting 2 1/2 inch wide strips as the batting has more body and is thicker than 100% cotton.
    • Preparing fabric to cut strips: Fold about 1 yd to 1/2 yd corner to corner. Since my cutting mat is small I continued folding keeping the fold on one side. Trim the fold side off. Begin cutting your desired width of strips as shown in the bottom center picture below.
  • Strips will be sewn together diagonally. Seams will be less noticeable and more attractive. As shown in the picture below lay the strips right sides together crossways. Draw a sewing line from the left top corner to the bottom right corner and pin. Sew on the sewing line and trim leaving a 1/4 inch seam.

  • Fold the binding in half and press. Trim the ends. I like having my binding contained. Here I have rolled the binding placing it in a basket that will be placed on the floor to my right. Once I begin to sew the binding roll will not wander.

  • Locate the center bottom edge of the quilt and place a pin. Leaving a tail of binding about 12 - 15 inches long pin 7 inches down from the first pin, pinning the binding to the quilt. This will be the point where you begin stitching. Back stitch at the beginning. Using a 1/4 inch foot begin stitching the double folded binding right side to the top side of the quilt as shown in the far right photo below.

  • Sewing the Corners
    • Sew up to 1/4 inch from the edge. I like to mark the corner with a dot. Back stitch and cut the thread. 
    • As shown in the top right photo below flip the binding upward aligning the binding edge with the quilt edge. Fold the binding even with the top quilt edge. Begin stitching from the top edge. This will create a nice finish for your corners.

  • Finishing the tails.
    • Continue sewing the binding to the quilt until you reach 7 inches from the center pin at the bottom edge of the quilt. This will allow for a minimum of 14 - 15 inches to sew the ends of the binding strips diagonally.
    • Layer the right tail over the left tail making sure the tails are taut along the edge of the quilt. Pin. Snip 1/4 inch into the edges of the bindings strips where they meet at the center as shown in top center photo below.
    • With the left side tail layer it cross wise over the right side tail (as shown in the top right photo below)  matching the marks/snips so that the left side of the binding matches the marks/snips on the right binding (as shown in the bottom left photo below).
    • Draw a diagonal stitching line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. For testing purposes pin a pin along the stitching line to check to make sure that the binding is going to fit correctly before trimming the excess off.
    • Trim as shown in the bottom center photo leaving a 1/4 inch seam. Finger press the seam.
    • Now you are ready to sew the last leg of the binding to the quilt. Notice in the bottom right photo that the binding is a perfect fit.

  • Once the binding is sewn to the quilt press the binding from the top side pressing outward.
  • Next beginning with the corner start pinning the backside of the binding making sure the stitching line is covered. I am pinning since I am planning to machine stitch rather than hand stitch. If I was planning to hand stitch I would glue and press the backside to easily handle without being jabbed by pins.
  • Pin closely together.  With a walking foot stitch in the ditch from the front side while capturing the backside of the binding. Make sure you pull the pins out before approaching with the needle. I have sewn a couple of daisy headed pins to the quilt. If you happen to do this too snip part of the head off and begin restitching where the thread has been broken.

The Finished Quilt! Tah Dah!


  1. I just sewed on a binding last week and was looking for a tutorial to join the ends. I'm going to make sure I remember to use this when I need it next! Thanks for posting!

    1. Your welcome! I added it to my tutorial page to find it easily. As well as I like the idea of making it easier for others I have to make easy for myself. Each time I am ready to bind a quilt I have to take time out to review how to do it. LOL! Brain is not quite like a sponge as it once was.

  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I always have issues with joining the ends when binding.

  3. I always have to revisit on how to finish those ends as well. It may take a couple attempts to get it right! Writing the tutorial enforced me to be specific on how the strips should lay crossways and the correct side when matching the snips/marks.

  4. This looks great! I can't wait to get some sewing time and get to work!



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