Saturday, June 11, 2011

Binding 101

This is all about binding.
I'm documenting this mostly for a friend
who asked the favor.....
And for anyone else who wants to know
the ins and outs of how I make a continuous binding.
I've seen other tutorials on this...
but they were slightly different than my way.
 I guess I'm adding my TWO cents
to the blogosphere.

I begin with a 2 1/2" strip
usually cut selvage to selvage
Pieced the length I need and pressed in half.

I'm going to do a fancy scalloped edge!
If that's the case, I cut the strips on the bias
so they will easily curve as I sew.

I begin attaching the binding in the middle of the side of the quilt
Leaving a nice long tail.....10" or so.

Looks like I was in a hurry here and didn't put the walking foot on.

I'm attaching the binding to the FRONT of this quilt
because I'm going to turn it over and
HAND stitch it to the back.
Often times I attach the binding to the BACK
and then roll it over to the front,
top stitching it down with my machine...
especially quilts that I donate.

Here's the corner.
STOP about 1/4" before you get there

make a little diagonal stitch to corner.
Did you notice my binding is not RIGHT next to the edge?
I kind of like having that extra filling there in the binding.

fold up.

Fold down....right there on the corner.
Begin stitching again.....
Only 3 more corners to go!

When you get close the end....
You should have two tails.
10" or so long.

Trim the left side of the binding
 working in the middle of your unsewn section.
Fold the right side of the binding back.
You should have an EDGE (on the left)
meeting a FOLD (on the right).

2 1/2" from the fold
and draw a line....
Then TRIM.

Your binding should now be EXACTLY
2 1/2" longer than the measurements of your quilt.

What if you cut your binding 2 3/4" instead of 2 1/2"???
You would cut the binding
2 3/4" Longer.

This is why you have LONG tails.
We need some room to WORK. ;)
These are the ends of your binding.
Put them right sides together at a right angle....
making sure it's not twisted!

Draw a diagonal line.

Sew and trim.
Before you trim....check that you did it right!

Oh good!!!
It worked.
Pin and finish sewing your binding on!!!!
No one will ever know
where you began....
where you ended!!!

They will just know that you loved them....
Because you made them a quilt!!!


  1. mmmmhhhhhh! nice clear tutorial. Getting the finishing bit right was always my undoing. This is a great help. Thank you beth.

  2. Excellent Beth! I do everything exactly as you except where you say you don't sew the binding right next to the edge. What I do is cut the backing and batting 1/4 inch larger than the front. That gives you a nice plump binding without having to cut any of your front which may include some points!! Let me know if this doesn't make sense.

  3. Very nice! You make it look easy and oh, so neat! Great technique.

  4. That's exactly how I do mine!

  5. Very similar to how I do mine, except I cut my strips 2" wide, and sew it right at the edge. Great tutorial!!

  6. They will just know that you loved them....
    Because you made them a quilt!!!


  7. Hi Beth, do you join the strips diagionally to make the continuous length too? If so, I make mine *almost* the same ... I read that the fold should not be ironed/pressed because the outer half has further to travel than the inner half so the pressed fold is slightly in the wrong place. I don't know how correct it is, but it saves time and work so I go with that suggestion!!!

  8. Thank you for the technique, especially the ending. That is SO MUCH better than I was taught and have done it the hard way for years.

  9. Benta, thanks for the extra tips! and yes...I join the strips diagonally when joining them. ;)

  10. Very nice tutorial, Beth. But, do you trim the edges of your quilt before you sew binding to it?.... because I never trim away until afterward. Also, that method of joining the beginning and ending tails has never worked well for me. I sew my binding very differently, with machine-sewn mitered corners. I'm just mentioning these things because I think it's wonderful that quilting gives us all many great options so we can find a way that works best for each of us. I'd invite you to look at my binding tutorial. (See tutorials menu tab.) It's really different!

  11. I like the hint on the donated quilt, and plan to give it a try on my next donation quilt.

  12. Hi Beth - Nice job! I join my ends almost the same way, don't you love how it looks with no obvious start/stop spot! I do trim/square up my quilt after quilting and before adding my binding. I cut my strips at 2-1/2, and sew on at 3/8". Love hearing all of the variations on a theme! :)

  13. I am confused a little bit. Where you're about to join the 2 ends together, you trim the left side end (which is where you started, right?) so it reaches to the middle of the unsewn area. Then you fold back the right side (the part that was sewn down last), so that the fold just touches the trimmed end. Then measure back from the fold the width of the binding & cut it off at that measurement. Is that right? Since I'm at work & don't have anything to pretend with, I'm trying to reason myself thru' the directions! LOL And I just got back from vacation yesterday & am piled up with the work no one else does while I'm gone, so....!
    I actually think I get it, now that I written this!
    Thanks for the great tute!! :D

  14. Great tutorial! It's in my Tips & Techniques folder now! Thanks so much. It's nice to have it so well documented with photos.

  15. Thanks for the great tutorial. I've always done a pocket binding because that's what made the most sense, but have wondered how everyone else managed to get those "seamless" bindings. I'll have to give this one a try.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.