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  • Writer's pictureKelli

Binding - A quick and simple how-to


You either love or hate it.

Me? I used to HATE it! I could never get the ends to join smoothly, I was all over the place. I was tired of spending so much time on making great quilts, just to "ruin" them with my lack of binding skills, so I set out to figure out a simple how-to that worked for me.

I want to share that with you, so that maybe if you are in camp-I-hate-the-binding-process, I can help you start to love it!

First up, the tools.

You will need:

  • a ruler

  • a cutting board

  • an iron

  • a rotary cutter (a fresh blade is always best)

  • a sewing machine + quilt or project to bind

***optional*** but totally worth it, in my opinion, a seam roller

Step One.

Decide the width of binding you want.

Some prefer skinnier (2.25in strips), some prefer thicker (3in strips). The most common size for quilt binding is 2.5in strips - this is what I prefer and this is what will be used for this example.

Cut your fabric into the amount of 2.5in strips needed for your size quilt.

** This can be done by cutting your strips on the bias (45 degree line) or with the grain. Cutting on the bias is good if you are going to be binding curves because it is where the stretch in the fabric is. I cut all mine with the grain - to avoid TOO much stretch, but join my strips on the bias to give a little strength to my seam and spread out the bulk.**

Step Two.

Join your strips together on the bias. Place short ends right sides together and perpendicular to each other and sew a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Step Three.

Iron your seams open, then iron your strip in half. Then trim off the "extra" piece from the seam.

*some opt to trim the seam to 1/4in before pressing the seam open, which is fine too. I find that part comes down to preference.*

***Wanna skip doing Steps 1-3? Grab a roll of premade binding from my shop. Each roll is about 7 yards long and will be enough to bind up to a large throw (about 64 x 72)***

Step Four.

Attach your binding to your quilt. Start by leaving a 3-4 inch tail before you begin stitching. I also like to make sure my first seam isn't going to land right on a corner - typically if my first seam isn't on a corner, my other seams aren't either - not always true - but mostly true :)

*When machine binding, I attach my binding to the back of my quilt first, then the front last so that the stitch line you see is on the back. When hand binding, I attach my binding to the quilt front first and hand stitch to the back.*

See the video below for a tutorial on how to complete your corners.

Continue around the quilt until you have about a 12-15 inch space left - I like to have room to work with. The space you leave is up to you, but leave enough so that you have room to maneuver both ends of the binding in your machine when joining them.

Step Five.

Join the binding ends. I like to also join these ends on the bias so that you can't tell where I started/ended on the binding.

*This is in the video above, but here are some still shots and step-by-steps to help you visualize it in another way*

You are going to bring both tail ends together, folding them back so ends meet. Finger press or seam roll so that there is a crease mark. You can also use pins - I'm just not a pin fan:)

Next, you are going to place the ends, right side together, and sew together. The tail on the top (the one you ended sewing with) will be on the bottom. The tail on the bottom (the tail you started sewing with) will be on the top. Line up the crease from the top tail with the side of binding on the bottom tail + the side from the top tail with the crease from the bottom tail. Sew a diagonal line.

Check to see if the binding lays flat, then cut off extra tail pieces. If adding a quilt label, add it in now, then continue to sew binding down.

Step Six.

Iron binding over and attach to the opposite side.


Binding is attached and lookin' oh so good!



Quilt in Photos: Crystalline Quilt by Alderwood Studios

Quilt in Video: Nordic Charm Quilt by Simply MackBeth Design Co.

Premade Binding available here.

Quilt Labels + Tags from EverEmblem use code: SIMPLY10 for 10% off your order.

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