how to sew binding on a quilt

How To Sew Binding on a Quilt: A Step-By-Step Tutorial

Have you finished quilting your quilt top and are ready to complete it with binding but don’t know where to start? Adding binding is the final step that neatly finishes the edges of your quilt with a decorative border. With suitable materials, preparation, and stitching techniques, you can learn how to sew the binding on a quilt for perfectly finished edges. This binding tutorial will teach you how to attach binding strips cut on the bias to your quilt using machine and hand stitching. We’ll also cover how to miter corners to complete your quilt binding neatly. Let’s get started!

Gather Your Materials for Quilt Binding

Before you can begin sewing binding onto your quilt sandwich, you must gather the right supplies. The primary material you’ll need is the binding strip. Traditionally, binding strips are cut on the bias from bias tape or binding fabric to allow them to stretch around curves and corners on the quilt. Cut your binding strip to the desired width, 2 1⁄4″. You’ll also need your prepared quilt sandwich with the quilt top, batting, and backing fabric. Other useful tools include a sewing machine, rotary cutter, ruler, wonder clips, hand sewing needle, and thread that matches your binding fabric. With these quilt binding materials, you’ll be ready to start the binding process.

Cut and Prepare the Binding

Cut and Prepare the Binding
Photo credit: freepik

Once you have your fabric, it’s time to cut and prepare the binding strip. First, cut your fabric on the bias by aligning the 45-degree angle line on your ruler. Cut continuous strips the width of your finished binding plus 1⁄4″ for the seam allowance. For example, cut 2 1⁄2″ strips for 2 1⁄4″ double-fold binding. Sew the strips at a diagonal seam to create one continuous binding strip. Press the seams open. Then, fold the entire strip lengthwise, wrong sides together, aligning the raw edges and pressing to crease the folded edge. Your continuous folded binding strip is now ready to attach!

Sew the Binding to the Front of the Quilt

With your prepared binding strip and quilt sandwich, you can now sew the binding onto the front of the quilt. Begin at the midpoint of one side of the quilt. Align the unfinished edge of the binding strip with the unfinished edge of the quilt top, ensuring that the right sides are facing each other. Leave a 6″ tail of binding unattached. Sew with a 1⁄4″ seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end. Stop 1⁄4″ before the corner and backstitch. Repeat around all edges of the quilt until you have sewn on the entire binding strip.

Fold the Binding to the Back of the Quilt

After sewn the binding to the front of your quilt sandwich, it’s time to fold it over to the backside. Start by trimming the beginning binding tail at a diagonal. Fold the tail straight up and out of the way. Then, fold the binding over the quilt’s raw edge to the back side, pressing with wonder clips to hold it in place if needed. The stitching line should be just underneath the folded edge. Continue folding and pressing the binding around the quilt edges.

Finish Sewing the Binding

The last step is securing the binding to the back of the quilt. You can stitch the binding down by machine or hand. For machine binding, use an invisible stitch in the ditch of the binding to topstitch it in place. For hand stitching, use a ladder stitch, slipping the needle between the binding and quilt backing. Invisibly stitch all the binding edges. When you reach an outside corner, fold the binding at a precise 45-degree diagonal at the corner point. On the inside corners, fold the binding straight across to miter the corner. Add a few extra stitches at the mitered corners to reinforce them. You did it – your binding is done!

FAQ:

What width should I cut my binding strips?

Cut your fabric strips 2 1/2″ wide for standard double-fold binding. This allows for a 1/4″ seam allowance and finished 2 1/4″ wide binding. Adjust the width based on your desired finished binding dimensions.


What fabric should I use for binding strips?

Cotton quilting fabric or pre-made bias tape work well. Cut strips on the bias for the best stretch and shape around curves. Solid binding nicely frames prints or provides a pop of color.


How much binding do I need?

Multiply the perimeter of your quilt by 2, then add 12″ for joins and seam allowances. For example, a 50″ x 70″ quilt needs about 264″ of binding [(50+70)x2 + 12″].

Can I machine bind an entire quilt?

Yes, you can stitch the binding entirely by machine using an invisible stitch in the binding ditch. Make sure to miter the corners precisely.


What stitch should I use to hand sew the binding?

A ladder stitch or blind stitch are invisible options for hand-finishing the binding. The needle dips between the layers, catching just a thread or two.


How do I get sharp mitered corners on the binding?

Make sure your corners are at precise 45-degree angles. Pin or clip the binding to hold the mitered fold in place while sewing both sides.


Should binding match the quilt back or front?

Traditionally, it matches the front, but use whatever color or fabric you prefer. Contrasting binding can frame the quilt beautifully.


What can I use if I don’t have binding strips?

You can cut bias tape from fabric scraps or use pre-made packaged binding strips. Or, creatively bind with lace, rickrack, fabric strips, or decorative tape.

Conclusion:

Sewing on the binding is the satisfying final step to finish off your quilt. Now that you know how to cut bias binding strips, attach them to the front of your quilt sandwich, fold them to the back, and stitch them down, you can beautifully bind any quilt! Keep this binding tutorial handy for your next baby quilt or quilt pattern you complete. I hope this great tutorial gives you the confidence to add the perfect finishing touch to your quilted projects. Do you have any tips for getting perfectly mitered corners when sewing on binding? Let me know in the comments! Happy quilting!

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Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 169

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