Connecting quilt binding doesn't need to be a complicated process, and it most definitely doesn't need to be something you dread. This tutorial will show you the easiest way to connect quilt binding, but do you know the best part? It's also fast and looks great too. Say what??
In the binding tutorial video below I mention the supplies used, however, binding is one step in quilting where you really don't need fancy gadgets. You can do it all with your fingers, some pins, and a sewing machine. Check out this short little video to see what I mean!
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Quilt Binding Supplies
In the tutorial video and in a lot of these pictures I am using a quilt made from the Shining Star pattern during the Shining Star sew along. Additionally, some of the pics are with an Adventureland quilt from the tutorial — How To Use Adventureland Scraps For Quilt Binding.
Here's what you need to finish your quilt with binding:
The Easiest Way to Connect Quilt Binding
I think the easiest way to connect quilt binding is to use a vertical seam. This, of course, is not the only way to connect binding. I connect quilt binding in one of two ways:
- 45-degree seam: This type of seam is the least bulky, making it lay flatter and sew down easier. It also blends more, making it a great option when you do not want people to focus on the binding seams (eg. you are using the same fabric for the entire binding.) For a tutorial with a video on how to connect binding this way, visit How To Sew Binding On A Quilt (VIDEO!). You can also watch the embedded Instagram reel below.
- Vertical seam: This type of seam is bulkier and more obvious than a 45-degree seam, but that isn't always a bad thing! If sewing a scrappy binding, vertical seams can look really nice because they add emphasis to the starting and stopping of different fabrics.
Step 1: Lay out your binding then sew it around the perimeter of your quilt.
Before I sew binding to the outer perimeter of a quilt I lay the quilt flat on the floor. I then place my long binding strip around the perimeter just like in the photo below. I do this because I want to avoid seams landing in the corners. It's OK if a corner seam is unavoidable, that corner will just be a little bulky and a tricker to fold over when sewing it down later.
If you are brand new to binding a quilt, below are some helpful photos from the Adventureland Scrappy Binding tutorial on how to get a nicely mitered corner.
- When you get to the corner, stop and backstitch a 1/4" from the edge.
- Fold the binding back and up so the raw edge of the binding lines up with the raw edge of the quilt.
- Fold the binding once again down over itself creating a cute little pocket. This will be the extra fabric you need to create the mitered corner. Just remember that you always want the raw edge of your binding to line up with the raw edge of your quilt.
- Start sewing again slightly less than a 1/4" from the edge. Be sure to backstitch anytime your start or stop sewing.
Plan on leaving 8-12" space from the beginning stitches to the end stitches so you can have adequate wiggle room to connect the binding ends. Backstitch when starting and finishing.
Step 2: Fold the ends together, leaving no space between them.
Just like the picture below I am butting up the two ends leaving no space. Once I like where everything is, I press down with my fingers to create creases in both ends. These creases will be guidelines for pinning and sewing so make sure you press hard enough to see them.
Step 3: Use a pin to connect the two ends.
Pick up the left binding end. Stick a pin through the crease intersection on the WRONG side of the fabric. Now pick up the right binding end. Using the same pin that is still in the left end, stick it through the crease intersection on the RIGHT side of the fabric.
Your two binding ends are now in line with each other with the right sides together.
Step 4: Pin the strips together and sew on the vertical crease.
Use two pins to pin around that vertical crease. Gently take this to your sewing machine and sew along the crease. I used a stitch length of 1.5. Once your edges are sewn trim the excess fabric.
Step 5: Finish sewing the binding to the edge of the quilt.
This part is really gratifying because your binding should snap into place and lay flat against your quilt top. Now, all there is to do is pin the last bit into place and sew it down, backstitching at the beginning and end.
Step 6: Fold the binding around the raw quilt edge and tack it down.
Lastly, it's time to fold the binding over the raw edge of your quilt and either hand sew it down or machine sew it down. For a video tutorial on hand stitching binding, skip to minute 10 of this 12-minute video.
Need to finish this quilt fast? Try machine binding! Visit How To Machine Bind A Quilt for a full tutorial on using your sewing machine to complete this final binding step.
How do you finish your quilts? Do you think this is the easiest way to finish quilt binding? Let us know your thoughts and tips in the comments!