binding a quilt

Easy quilt binding tutorial

Binding a quilt can sometimes be a little daunting, and if you don’t do it properly you may spoil all the hard work you’ve put into your quilt.  Here is how I bind my quilts.

Before you can begin binding, you need to measure your quilt to determine the length of binding you will need.

I like to cut a 2,5″ strip, and fabric only comes in 45″ widths (quilter’s cotton), so you will have to join your strips.  Most quilters use a diagonal seam to join their strips, but because I always seem to get my right and wrongs sides of the strips wrong when you press your diagonal seams open, I stick to a vertical join.

So:

  1. Measure your quilt to determine the length of binding you need, at 5 or so inches.
  2. Cut 2,5″ strips from your chosen binding fabric, and join the strips so that they measure the length you determine in step 1.
  3. Press your joins open – this reduces bulk in your binding.
  4. Press your strip (the long joined one) in half, so that your binding measures 1,25″ in width.

You have your strip of fabric, and you’re almost ready to attach it to your fabric.  First fold a triangle on the corner where you are going to start and then fold the binding in half again.  Press this well.

how to fold over the start of your binding

Fold over the end that you are going to start from.

starting point for good binding

Second fold on binding end that you're going to start from.

I use my walking foot to attach binding to my quilts.  You can use your quarter inch foot as well, but I like the added assistance that the walking foot gives me with all the different layers of fabric and batting.  You do want to maintain a quarter inch seam.

Open up your binding so that you can see the first triangle fold that you made a moment ago.  Stitch down the open piece for 2 or 3″, stop and trim your thread.

inside folded over and ready for stitching

Starting to attach the binding to the quilt.

first stitch the inside for a few inches

First stitch the inside of the binding only.

starting your binding

Fold your binding closed, and continue from the point where you stitched only the bottom half.

first step of binding corner

When you get to your first corner, stop a quarter inch from that corner. Turn your quilt and fold your binding away from you so that you have a straight line from the corner of the quilt to the folded corner of the binding.

second fold on binding

Fold the binding back over the triangle fold you just made, and align it with the edge of the quilt.

continuing from the corner

Continue stitching, starting a quarter inch from the edge. It will make the perfect corner to the previous quarter inch stop.

trim your binding strip.

When you have gone around your quilt, made your corners according to the above picture, and you get close to the starting point, you will again pause for a moment. Trim your binding tail so that the remainder just fits into the first 2 or 3" that you stitched the bottom half of your binding at the start of the process.

trim the tail of your binding

Trim the tail to fit in the space.

tuck the binding into the folded part.

Tuck the tail into the folded part of the binding beginning.

continue stitching

Fold it back over, and continue to your starting point of both layers.

Finished join

Your finished join for beginning and end of binding.

Pull the quilt binding clips closer and fold your binding over the edge.  Continue all around your quilt, paying special attention to your corner folds.

binding clips

Binding clips are perfect for folding and securing your binding for stitching.

binding corner

Your perfect corner when you use this method. To fold your corner, first fold one side and then fold the other side so that your have a perfect fold like this on both the front and the back side of the quilt.

Finishing

Most quilters prefer to finish off the binding by hand.  I don’t!  The binding clips have a line on the flat side that aligns with the front and gives you an indication of where your stitching will go if you stitched in the ditch of the binding.

I also like to add some decorative stitching to my quilts at this point, and it also make sure that I catch the back of the binding.

That’s it!  We’re done!

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