How to bind a quilt

Wall quilt with Bob the dog.

If you’ve followed along with trimming your blocks and joining your blocks, then you are now ready to add an edging or binding to your quilt.

We are continuing with the same quilt, the Tulip applique quilt design which is available here. This is also the design that features in my first Creative Challenge, so I hope you will find this post useful if you are taking part.

Preparing your quilt

The first thing to do is to trim the edges of your completed quilt. Although we trimmed the blocks and measured the seam allowances when we sewed them together, it’s likely that there will be a few uneven joins along the edge. Use your rulers and rotary cutter to trim each side of the quilt.

Uneven edge after joining quilt blocks
Uneven edge after joining
Quilt edge after trimming
Quilt edge after trimming

Measure all around your quilt to determine how much binging you will need. My nine blocks made a quilt 24” x 24″, so I need 96″ of binding.

Make the binding

Cut strips from your binding fabric on the bias, 3″ wide.

Cutting bias strips with ruler and rotary cutter
Cutting bias strips with ruler and rotary cutter

You will need to join the bias strips. Place the diagonal ends across each other and stitch together. Press the seam to one side.

Bias strips sewn together.
Bias strips sewn together.
Seam pressed to one side
Seam pressed to one side

Cut one end of the bias strip square and press in 1/4″. Open out again.

End of binding trimmed square
End of binding trimmed square
End of binding pressed to wrong side 1/4"
End of binding pressed to wrong side 1/4″

Fold the binding so the raw edges meet, seams to the inside. Press lightly.

Attach the binding

Now pin the binding along the edge of the quilt, all raw edges matching, and leaving the first inch free, stitch almost to the corner. You will need to stop the stitching before the corner to allow the binding to turn.

I stitched a 1/2″ seam allowance because I have a linen fabric that fray easily. If you are using a more stable fabric like a quilting cotton, you could sew a 1/4″ seam. Because my seam allowance was 1/2″, I stopped 1/2″ before the end. You can just see the vanishing pen mark on the fabric where I stopped stitching.

Binding folded and pinned in place
Binding folded and pinned in place
Stitching stops short of the end
Stitching stops short of the end

Turn the corner

Turning the corner to make a neat mitre is easier than it looks. Because you stopped the stitching short of the end, you can now fold the binding up to make a tidy angle.

Binding folded up to form an angle
Binding folded up to form an angle

Now you need to bring the binding straight down to meet the edge on the next side. Pin level with the previous stitching. This is where the next stitching will start.

Fold the binding down along the next edge
Fold the binding down along the next edge

Continue stitching as before, and turn the remaining corners in exactly the same way.

Join the ends together

When you get back to the beginning, fold in the end you pressed to start with. Trim the binding so the ends overlap and tuck one inside the other. Stitch across the join.

Turn the last corner
Turn the last corner
Trim binding with an overlap
Trim binding with an overlap
Tuck binding end inside
Tuck end inside
Binding stitched across join
Stitch across join

Turn binding to wrong side, creating a mitre at the corners. Fold and pin along each edge. At the corners, fold over neatly.

Fold binding to wrong side
Open out binding

 

Fold corners to make a mitre
Fold corners to make a mitre

 

Fold over and pin
Fold over and pin

 

Fold over at the corners
Fold over at the corners

 

Pinned from the front
Pinned from the front

Finishing the binding

From the front, stitch in the ditch all around the quilt, along the edge of the binding.

Binding stitched down from front.
Binding stitched down from front.

Congratulations! You have completed your quilt. Now take a photo and show us what a fab job you did!

Wall quilt with Bob the dog.
Wall quilt with Bob the dog.

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