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How to Sew Binding on a Quilt: Master This Essential Finishing Technique (2024)

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how to sew binding on a quiltTo sew binding on a quilt, start by choosing your binding type and cutting strips to match your quilt’s perimeter plus 10 inches. Join the strips with diagonal seams, then press them in half lengthwise.

Attach the binding to your quilt’s front or back, starting a few inches from a corner. Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance and miter the corners as you go. When you reach the starting point, overlap the ends and trim excess.

Finally, fold the binding over to the opposite side and secure it with a blind stitch or machine topstitch.

This essential technique will give your quilt a polished finish and protect its edges.

Ready to dive deeper into the art of quilt binding?

Key Takeaways

  • Binding isn’t just a pretty face – it’s the unsung hero that protects your quilt’s edges from wear and tear while adding that "chef’s kiss" finish. Think of it as the superhero cape for your quilting masterpiece!
  • When it comes to joining binding strips, think diagonal. It’s like doing the cha-cha with your fabric – a smooth, seamless dance that’ll have your quilt looking runway-ready.
  • Mitering corners might sound like rocket science, but it’s more like origami with attitude. Once you nail this folding technique, you’ll be turning corners smoother than a Formula 1 driver.
  • Whether you’re Team Hand-Sewing or Squad Machine-Finish, remember: practice makes perfect. Soon enough, you’ll be binding quilts faster than you can say "a stitch in time saves nine"!

How to Sew Binding on a Quilt?

Measure your quilt’s perimeter to determine the binding length. Cut, join, and press the binding strips before sewing them to the quilt’s edges, mitering the corners, and joining the binding ends. Finish by hand or machine.

Understanding Quilt Binding

Understanding Quilt Binding
Quilt binding serves two essential purposes: it protects your quilt’s edges from wear and tear while adding a polished finish to your project. You’ll encounter two main types of binding: single fold, which is simpler but less durable, and double fold, which offers better protection and a more professional look.

Purpose of Binding

Quilt binding isn’t just a pretty frame for your masterpiece; it’s the unsung hero that protects your quilt’s edges from wear and tear. You’ll find this finishing touch essential for durability and aesthetics.

By encasing the raw edges, binding prevents fraying and extends your quilt’s lifespan.

It’s your chance to add a final flourish, whether you opt for hand or machine stitching, decorative top stitches, or unique corner embellishments.

Types of Binding

Now that you understand binding’s purpose, let’s explore the types available. You’ll find various options to suit your quilt’s needs:

  1. Single-fold binding
  2. Double-fold binding
  3. Bias binding
  4. Straight-grain binding

Each type offers unique benefits for hand or machine sewing, corners, and design. Your choice depends on factors like quilt thickness, desired width, and color preferences. Remember, the right binding can elevate your quilt’s overall look and durability.

Preparing Your Materials

Preparing Your Materials
To start preparing your materials for quilt binding, you’ll need to select the right fabric and gather your tools. Choose a binding fabric that complements your quilt’s design and make sure you have essentials like a rotary cutter, quilting ruler, and sewing machine ready.

Fabric Selection

When selecting fabric for your quilt binding, you’ve got options galore!

Consider using the same fabric as your quilt top for a seamless look, or mix it up with contrasting colors and patterns. Scrap fabrics can create a playful patchwork binding, while bias binding offers flexibility for curved edges.

Don’t forget to match your thread to your fabric choice.

Tools Needed

To sew binding on your quilt, you’ll need a few essential tools.

Grab a rotary cutter and self-healing mat for precise cuts, and a quilter’s ruler for accurate measurements. Don’t forget sharp scissors, pins, and a walking foot for your sewing machine.

Choose thread that complements your fabric and binding type – single or double fold.

A hand-sewing needle is required for finishing touches, ensuring your quilt binding is secure and polished.

Calculating and Cutting Binding Strips

Calculating and Cutting Binding Strips
To begin sewing binding on your quilt, you’ll need to calculate the total length required and cut your fabric strips. Measure the perimeter of your quilt, add 10 inches for overlap, then cut 2.5-inch wide strips from your chosen binding fabric using a rotary cutter and ruler for precision.

Determining Binding Length

To determine your quilt binding length, measure all four sides of your quilt and add 20 inches for mitered corners and joining ends. Consider these factors:

  • Binding width: 2.25" for double fold or 1.75" for single fold
  • Straight versus bias cut: stability vs flexibility
  • Color coordination with your quilt top and backing
  • Fabric texture: match or contrast with your quilt
  • Embellishments: plan for decorative elements like piping

Cutting Techniques

To cut your binding strips, you’ll need a rotary blade and quilter’s ruler. Start by trimming selvage ends from your fabric. For single fold binding, cut 2" wide strips; for double fold, go with 2.5". Here’s a quick guide:

Binding Type Strip Width Pros
Single Fold 2" Less bulk
Double Fold 2.5" Durability
Bias 2.25" Flexibility

Joining Binding Strips

Joining Binding Strips
To join your binding strips, you’ll use the diagonal seam method for a smoother finish. After sewing the strips together at a 45-degree angle, press the seams open to reduce bulk and create a crisp edge for your quilt binding.

Diagonal Seam Method

Now that you’ve cut your binding strips, it’s time to join them. The diagonal seam method is your best bet for seamless, less bulky joins. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lay two strips perpendicular to each other, right sides together
  • Mark a 45-degree angle across the intersection
  • Sew along this line
  • Trim excess fabric, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance
  • Repeat until all strips are connected

This technique prevents bulky corners and creates a smooth, professional finish for your quilt binding.

Pressing Seams

After joining your binding strips, it’s time to press those seams.

Grab your iron and set it to the appropriate heat for your fabric weight. Open the seams flat and press them with firm, steady strokes.

This step is essential for crisp, professional-looking binding. Pay attention to seam allowances and different seam types.

Attaching Binding to the Quilt

Attaching Binding to the Quilt
You’ll need to decide whether to start attaching the binding to the front or back of your quilt, as both methods have their merits. Before you begin, set up your sewing machine with a walking foot or dual feed system to guarantee even stitching and prevent fabric shifting as you sew.

Choosing Front or Back First

Now that you’ve joined your binding strips, it’s time to decide where to start attaching them to your quilt. The choice between front or back first can impact your finishing process. Consider these factors:

  • Fabric thickness and how it affects binding placement
  • Hand versus machine finishing preference
  • Needle size compatibility with your chosen method
  • Thread choice for visibility or concealment
  • Personal comfort level with each technique

Your decision will set the stage for a smooth binding process.

Sewing Machine Setup

Now that you’ve decided which side to start on, it’s time to set up your sewing machine.

Choose a walking foot or dual feed system to guarantee even feeding of layers. Select a needle appropriate for your fabric weight and adjust the tension for a balanced stitch.

Set your stitch length to 2.5-3mm and fine-tune the presser foot pressure.

These adjustments will help you achieve a smooth, professional-looking binding.

Sewing the First Side of Binding

Sewing the First Side of Binding
Begin sewing the binding by choosing a starting point on the quilt’s edge, typically a few inches from a corner. Maintain a consistent 1/4-inch seam allowance as you stitch, ensuring the raw edges of the binding and quilt align for a neat finish.

Starting Point

Now that you’ve chosen your binding placement, it’s time to start sewing. Begin in the middle of one side, about 12 inches from a corner. This gives you wiggle room to join ends later. Match your thread color to your binding or quilt top for a seamless look. Consider using decorative stitches if they complement your quilting style and fabric textures.

Maintaining Even Seam Allowance

Once you’ve started sewing, maintaining a consistent seam allowance is paramount.

Focus on the quilt’s edge as you guide it through the machine. Adjust your needle size and thread tension for the best results. A uniform 1/4-inch seam will guarantee your binding lies flat and appears professional.

Mitering Corners

Mitering Corners
To miter corners, fold the binding up at a 45-degree angle, then fold it back down, matching the folded edge with the quilt. Trim both ends to about ¼", then bring the quilt back to the machine, pin the ends, and sew them together.

Folding Technique

When you reach a corner, stop stitching 1/4" from the edge. Lift the presser foot and rotate the quilt 90 degrees.

Fold the binding up at a 45-degree angle, creating a diagonal crease. Then, bring it back down, aligning the raw edge with the quilt’s edge. This folding technique guarantees neat, mitered corners.

Remember to adjust your seam allowances and pressing methods for different folding options and bias strip widths.

Securing Mitered Corners

Securing mitered corners is essential for a polished quilt finish. You’ll want to attain corner precision and seam strength while maintaining proper binding tension. Here’s how to master this technique:

  1. Fold the binding up at a 45-degree angle
  2. Crease the fold firmly with your fingernail
  3. Bring the binding back down, aligning it with the quilt edge
  4. Pin in place, double-checking miter accuracy

Joining the Ends of Binding

Joining the Ends of Binding
To join the ends of your quilt binding, you’ll use the overlap method. Trim the excess binding, leaving about a 6-inch overlap, then fold and press the ends to create a neat junction before sewing them together.

Overlap Method

Joining the ends of your quilt binding is a critical step in guaranteeing a seamless finish. The overlap method involves creating a continuous binding strip with no apparent seams or bulk. Here’s a detailed guide:

  1. Make sure you have ample length in your binding, with at least 10 extra inches beyond the edge you’re binding.
  2. Decide on the approximate join point, marking it with a pen. Leave a tail that covers the mark and extends a few inches beyond.
  3. Begin sewing about 6 inches from the join mark, using a seam allowance that suits your project. Sew all the way around until you reach the final side.
  4. As you approach the joining point from the opposite side, stop sewing a few inches short, making sure you have enough binding to exceed the joining point.
  5. Cut off the extra binding. Smooth it out so that both ends overlap beyond the joining point.
  6. Open up the extra binding to its full width and align the center crease with your join point.
  7. Mark and cut the binding pieces so that they overlap with the same width as your binding strip.
  8. Fold the quilt in half at the join point for easier handling.
  9. Place the two binding pieces right sides together at a 90-degree angle, making sure the ends are square. Pin them together if needed.
  10. Sew from one corner to the other through both layers, opening it up to check your work.
  11. Cut off any excess fabric, leaving a small seam allowance. Press the seam open.
  12. Refold the binding, smooth it out, and sew the gap between the two points of stitching.
  13. Turn the binding over to the other side, and your join will be barely visible.

Trimming Excess

After overlapping the binding ends, you’ll need to trim the excess. Fold the binding in half and press the seams flat.

Trim any selvage and excess fabric, leaving about a quarter-inch overlap. This step guarantees a clean, professional finish.

As you work, remember to miter the corners for that crisp, polished look.

Don’t worry if it feels fiddly – practice makes perfect!

Finishing the Binding by Hand

Finishing the Binding by Hand
To finish your quilt binding by hand, you’ll use a blind stitch technique that conceals your stitches for a clean look. Start by securing your thread with a knot, then work your way around the quilt’s edge, catching the folded binding and a small bit of the quilt back with each stitch.

Blind Stitch Technique

Now that you’ve joined the binding ends, it’s time to master the blind stitch technique. This invisible hand-sewing method creates a polished finish. Choose a fine quilting thread weight and a sharp needle point for best results. While traditional bias strips work well, consider alternatives like straight-grain binding for added stability.

  • Picture your needle weaving in and out like a silent snake
  • Imagine the thread disappearing into the fabric’s embrace
  • Visualize your fingertips dancing along the quilt’s edge

Securing Thread

Once you’ve mastered the blind stitch, it’s time to secure your thread. As you near the end of your binding, you’ll want to lock in your hard work.

Take your needle and make a small knot close to the fabric. Then, slip the needle between the quilt layers, pulling it through about an inch away.

Snip the thread close to the fabric’s surface.

Machine Finishing the Binding

Machine Finishing the Binding
To finish your quilt binding by machine, you’ll use a topstitching method that secures the folded edge to the quilt’s front or back. You can opt for a straight stitch or explore decorative stitch options on your sewing machine to add a unique touch to your quilt’s final look.

Topstitching Method

Now that you’ve attached the binding to the back of your quilt, it’s time to flip it over and machine-bind the front.

Here are some tips for this step:

  • Use a walking foot or dual feed system to sew the binding to the quilt.
  • Adjust your needle position so that the inside edge of the walking foot acts as a guide.
  • Use a thread color that matches your binding fabric.
  • Set your stitch length to around 2.5-3.5, depending on the weight of your fabric.
  • Use a stiletto, seam ripper, or pin to hold the binding in place as you sew.
  • Pay attention to stitching the corners. Stop with the needle down, pivot, and reposition the needle slightly to create an extra stitch at the corner.

    With these tips, you’ll be able to achieve a beautiful and secure machine-bound finish for your quilt!

Decorative Stitch Options

Want to add flair to your quilt binding? Try decorative stitches! Your machine likely has built-in options like zigzag or scallop patterns.

Experiment with embellishments like embroidery or appliqué for extra pizzazz. Match thread color to your binding or go bold with contrast.

Printed binding fabric can be a showstopper, too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you sew quilt binding on the front or back first?

Like threading a needle, precision is key. You’ll want to sew your quilt binding on the front first. Start by attaching it to the quilt’s top side, then fold it over and secure it to the back for a polished finish.

What is the easiest quilt binding method?

You’ll find machine-sewn double-fold binding the easiest method. Cut strips, sew them together, fold in half, attach to the quilt’s front, then flip to the back and stitch down. It’s quick, durable, and gives a clean finish.

How do you sew the end of a quilt binding?

To sew the end of your quilt binding, overlap the starting point by a few inches. Trim excess, fold under the raw edge, and pin in place. Stitch carefully along the fold to secure it seamlessly.

What foot do you use to sew binding on a quilt?

You’ll want to use a walking foot or dual feed system for sewing binding on your quilt. These feet guarantee even feeding of layers, preventing puckering and shifting. They’re your best friends for smooth, professional-looking results.

How do you sew a quilt binding?

Ready to give your quilt a polished finish? Here’s how to sew a quilt binding in six simple steps:

  1. Calculate and cut your binding strips.
  2. Sew the binding into a continuous length.
  3. Press the binding wrong sides together.
  4. Attach the binding to the quilt front, mitering corners.
  5. Secure the binding to the quilt back with clips.
  6. Hand-stitch the binding in place with a blind stitch.

How to sew the binding to the quilt edge?

Start by pinning the binding to the quilt’s edge, right sides together. Use a walking foot to sew a 1/4" seam, stopping 1/4" from each corner. Miter corners by folding and tucking, then continue sewing until you’ve gone all around.

How do you cut bias binding on a quilt?

Though it may seem intimidating, cutting bias binding isn’t rocket science. You’ll need to cut your fabric at a 45-degree angle to the grain. Measure and mark your strips, then use a rotary cutter for clean, precise edges.

How long should a quilt binding be?

You’ll need your binding to be about 10-15 inches longer than your quilt’s perimeter. Measure all four sides, add them up, then tack on those extra inches. It’s better to have a bit too much than too little.

How do I fix wavy or rippled binding?

To fix wavy binding, you’ll need to unpick the affected areas. Repin the binding, ensuring it’s taut but not stretched. As you resew, gently ease the fabric to avoid puckering. Press thoroughly when finished for a crisp edge.

Can I use bias binding for straight-edge quilts?

You might think bias binding‘s only for curves, but it’s perfect for straight edges too. You’ll love how it hugs your quilt’s corners and lies flat. It’s flexible, durable, and adds a professional finish to your project.

Whats the best thread color for invisible binding stitches?

For invisible binding stitches, choose a thread color that matches your backing fabric. You’ll want to blend in, not stand out. Consider using a fine, high-quality thread for the best results. Don’t forget to test on a scrap first!

How do I handle binding on scalloped quilt edges?

As smooth as silk, you’ll tackle scalloped edges like a pro. Cut bias strips wider, clip curves, and ease fabric around scallops. Pin carefully, stitch slowly, and trim excess. You’ll create a beautifully bound scalloped quilt edge.

Should binding be prewashed before attaching to quilts?

You don’t need to prewash binding for quilts. It’s best to use unwashed fabric to match the quilt’s shrinkage. If you’ve prewashed the quilt top and backing, then prewash the binding too for consistency.


Did you know that 70% of quilters consider binding the most satisfying part of the quilting process? Now that you’ve learned how to sew binding on a quilt, you’re equipped to join their ranks.

You’ve mastered everything from fabric selection to mitering corners and finishing techniques. Whether you choose hand or machine methods, your quilts will now have a professional, polished edge.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.