How to bind a quilt.

There are many ways to bind a quilt, this is how I do it.

1.  Measure around the outside of the quilt and add 10″ (25.5cm).

 

2.  Cut as many 2-1/4″ (5.5cm) wide strips as you will need to make this measurement.

For example:  a 60″ square quilt would be 240″ + 10″ = 250

250/40″ (width of fabric) strips = 6.25 strips

 

3.  So I join my six and a bit strips end to end using diagonal seams. Once they are sewn, I trim the seam allowance to approximately a 1/4″ (6mm). And press the seams open. This helps to share the bulk around so I don’t end up with big lumps in my binding.

 

Diagonal seam
Diagonal seam
Diagonal seam pressed open
Diagonal seam trimmed and pressed open

4.  Press the entire strip in half along the length – Wrong Sides Together. Now your binding is ready to go.

Press strip in half along the length, Wrong Sides Together.
Press strip in half along the length, Wrong Sides Together.

 

5.  Square-up the edges of the quilt. Make sure the corners are true. Use a square ruler and cut both sides of the corner without moving the ruler.

Place a square ruler on the corner of the quilt.
Place a square ruler on the corner of the quilt.

 

Trim corner without moving the ruler.
Trim corner without moving the ruler.

6.   On the Right Side of the quilt, start somewhere along the middle of one side. Pin the binding to the starting position and roughly place the binding all the way around the edge of the quilt. Make sure the diagonal seams DO NOT fall on the corners. If they do, move the start position along and repeat. Its not impossible to sew the diagonal seam into the corners, its just a lot easier not to.

 

Starting point
Starting point

7.  When you are happy with your starting placement. Move 10″ (25.5cm) along the binding from the start. This is where to start stitching. USE A WALKING FOOT OR DUAL FEED System. Line up the raw edged of the binding strip and the edge of the quilt. Check your 1/4″ seam allowance by stitching for 4″ (10cm) then stop and wrap the binding strip from the front of the quilt over the raw edges to the back. The folded edge should cover the machine stitching line. If not adjust your seam allowance.

 

Leave 10" of binding loose before you start sewing.
Leave 10″ of binding loose before you start sewing.

8.  Now sew the binding to the quilt top, matching the raw edges as you go and keeping your seam allowance consistent. I generally use a 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance. What ever seam allowance you are using is your stopping distance from the corner of the quilt. So I stop a 1/4″ (6mm) from the edge and sew a few reverse stitches. Take the quilt out and cut the threads. On the flat bed of your sewing machine turn the quilt so the next edge to be sewn is running straight from you to the machine. Flip the binding up toward the machine making a diagonal fold on the quilt.

Stop sewing 1/4" from the edge of the quilt and reverse to lock stitches.
Stop sewing 1/4″ from the edge of the quilt and reverse to lock stitches.

 

 

binding12

Make a diagonal fold.
Make a diagonal fold.

9.  Then fold straight down so that the raw edges to be sewn line up. The fold at the top edge of the quilt must be equal with the top of the quilt. If there is too much fabric at the top it will create a big bump. Place the bind and quilt under the needle and sew from the very edge straight down to the next corner. Again stopping a 1/4″ from the edge. Repeat this corner method on each corner.

 

Fold the binding down so the fold is equal with the top of the quilt and the binding lays along the edge to be sewn.
Fold the binding down so the fold is equal with the top of the quilt and the binding lays along the edge to be sewn.
Sew right from the top fold then continue around the quilt.
Sew right from the top fold then continue around the quilt.

binding16

binding17

10.  When you are getting close to where you started STOP 12″ (30cm) from your start point. Leave the long tails of binding attached. Breath.

 

Stop 10 to 12" from where you started sewing
Stop 12″ from where you started sewing

11.  Go to the middle of the binding gap and cut ONE end of the binding off square.

 

12.  On a flat surface, position the cut end of the binding along the raw edge as if it was sewn. Lay the other end over the cut end. Overlap these two strips by the original width of the binding strips 2-1/4″ in this case. Cut the second end of the binding strip making sure that they overlap by 2-1/4″ (I said that twice because its really important).

 

Ends overlap by width of binding strip = 2.25"
Ends overlap by width of binding strip = 2.25″

13.  Scrunch up the quilt so you can work with the two ends of the binding strip. Make a diagonal join by placing the strips Right Sides Together and rotate the corners by one…Pin where you would stitch and check that you have the stitch line going the correct way and nothing is twisted. It is really easy to get this muddled up. I always check this before I sew and then again before I cut the seam allowance off.

binding20

binding21

14.  Okay when you are satisfied that its the correct way, stitch the diagonal seam. Pull it flat to check that its correct. And cut the seam allowance back to a 1/4″ (6mm). Press the seam open.

 

Trim seam and press open
Trim seam and press open

15.  Now continue stitching the binding on as you did before, using a walking foot or dual feed system and a 1/4″ seam allowance. It should fit nicely.

 

16.  The final step is to flip the folded edge of the binding to the back and hand stitch it covering the machine stitch line. As you flip the corners they will create gorgeous little mitered corners. Make sure your stitches don’t show on the front of the quilt. I using approximately a 1/4″ (6mm) stitch length for this.

Hand stitch folded edge of the binding to the back of the quilt, covering the machine stitching.
Hand stitch folded edge of the binding to the back of the quilt, covering the machine stitching.
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