A binding tutorial

When I first started making quilts, binding was the most complicated part for me. 

I read many, many tutorials and still couldn’t quite master the part of attaching the two ends of the binding on the quilt. 

I finally had to come up with my very own way. After that, binding got easier and easier. 

There are many ways of binding a quilt. There is no right or wrong way, and you should choose a method that works best for you. 

Here is my method:

I measure all four sides of my quilt and add 10″. I divide that number by 44 (or width of your fabric), round up to the next whole number and that is how many 2.5″ strips I cut. 

For example: if my quilt is 60″ square. I multiply 60 x 4 =240. Divide by 44 = 5.45. Round that number to 6. And so I cut six 2.5″ strips. 

I sew them altogether end to end and press them in half. Then roll them up into these cute little binding rolls. 

Now take your binding, leaving a 10″ or so tail, sew it down onto the front perimeter of your quilt with a 1/4″ seam. Be sure that you are starting toward the middle in one of the sides. And that you are sewing along the raw edge part of your binding. 

When you get to a corner, you are going to stop 1/4″ from the corner, backstitch and cut your thread. 

Move your quilt to begin sewing on the next side. Take your binding and fold it over at a ninety degree angle on top of your binding you’ve already seen down. 

And then bring it down towards you, on top of the fold you just made. Backstitch and begin sewing right at the corner. 

You want to do this step at every corner. 

You want to leave about a 10″ gap before reaching where you first started sewing your binding. 

Here is where I think my method gets a little different from most.  

I straighten out my quilt on top of my machine near the needle like you see in the pic above. I let the quilt part closest to me hang towards my lap and scoot myself up real close, holding with my torso that quilt taute against my desk. 

With my right hand through the throat of machine I pull the other side of the quilt taut. With my left I punch the binding, making sure it lies flat against the quilt. 

With a pen I draw a little line against the fold where my two binding end meet. 

This gets folded up into the quilt, so you don’t have to worry about t being seen. 

I do this for both ends of the binding. 

Now I losses my grip on my quilt and unfold my binding. 

Take the top binding and lay it flat, right side up. 

Take the bottom side of your binding, still folded and hold it right up to your little line you’ve drawn. Like below. 

Be sure to line up your drawn line with the crease on your binding. Like above. Then unfold. 

If you can’t hold it in place then stick a couple of pins. You want to make sure it doesn’t move. 

Now sew diagonally from one corner to the next. Like above. 

Now you should be able to hold your quilt taut and see that your binding is going to line up perfectly with your quilt. 

Once you know it will, you can then cut the binding you don’t need. 

With the edge of your quilt away from you, cut 1/4″ below your stitch line on your binding. 

Fold your binding back up, and starting where you left off on your binding, stitch to where you originally starte, closing that gap you left. 

Be sure to backstitch in the beginning and end. 

Now flip your quilt over so that the back of it is on top. 
This is where I swap to my walking foot. The walking foot keeps this process smooth, but if you don’t have one, that’s okay. I binded quilt for years without one. 

Starting in the middle of one of your sides, start stitching down your binding as close to the edge of your binding as you can get without being in danger of coming off of it. 

This is really a preference thing. 

I don’t like a big lip on my binding so I get pretty close. 

When you get to a corner, bring up your next side of binding so that it makes a pretty fold like above. Once you stitch to that next side, lift your pressed foot and pivot. 

Keep stitching on that side, making sure your corners are all done the same way. 

Once you reach where you started don’t forget to back stitch and lock your stitching in place 

Voila!  Binding done. 

This is the front of your quilt. 

And here is the back. 

If you are having trouble finding a binding method that works for you, keep trying. There are so many methods. 

After making a few quilts, binding becomes one of the easier steps, so keep trying. 

💜, melanie


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