How to Sew Binding on a Quilt (VIDEO!)


We're happy to continue our Quilting 101 series here on the SQ blog where we give you tutorials on all of the steps to make a quilt from start to finish. Now we are finally at the end of this sewing journey and wrapping up (quite literally) your quilt. It's time to learn how to sew binding on a quilt! Hooray! Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!!

Sewing quilt binding may not be the most exciting part of making a quilt, but it is the icing on your beautiful cake – so it’s best to take the extra time and do it right. The video below will demonstrate how to sew binding on a quilt step by step.

Quilt Binding Supplies

A complete tutorial on how to sew binding on a quilt. This video tutorial shows how to sew binding and attach it seamlessly to the edges of a quilt | Suzy Quilts -

Some optional supplies include:

A complete tutorial on how to sew binding on a quilt. This video tutorial shows how to sew binding and attach it seamlessly to the edges of a quilt | Suzy Quilts -

What is Quilt Binding and How Do I Make It?

I’m glad you asked! Binding is a strip of fabric used to cover the raw edges of a quilt. To make binding you need to:

  1. Measure the perimeter of your quilt to determine how much binding you will need.
  2. Do the math. Here’s an example:
    • Your quilt is 56" x 66"
    • To find the perimeter calculate (56 x 2) + (66 x 2) = 244.
    • Because you will need some extra wiggle room for seam allowances, add 12" to that number: 256
    • Divide the perimeter by the width of your fabric (most quilting cotton off the bolt is 42" wide minus the selvage, so let’s say 40") 256 ÷ 40 = 6.4
    • Based on our amazing quilty math skills, we know that we need 7 strips of fabric.
  3. If you HATE math, here is a link to a binding calculator that will figure all of that out for you (you’re welcome).
  4. Using a rotary cutter, cutting mat and a ruler, cut 2 ¼" strips of fabric. This will make a nice, uniform appearance on both the front and the back. (Using the example above, you would need to cut 7 strips of fabric.)
  5. Connect the strips by placing two strips, right sides together and sewing at a 90° angle. Sew the them together on a 45° angle across the diagonal. Sewing mitered seams like this helps them blend into the fabric better and lessens bulky seams. See photo.
  6. Once all of the strips are connected, trim the excess fabric so each seam is a ¼".
  7. Press seams open with an iron. Press the strips in half so that the right side of the fabric stays on the outside. 
A complete tutorial on how to sew binding on a quilt. This video tutorial shows how to sew binding and attach it seamlessly to the edges of a quilt | Suzy Quilts -

How to Sew Binding to a Quilt

Line up the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the quilt. The folded edge should be facing toward the quilt. Leaving 6" - 8" of extra fabric, start sewing the binding around the edges of the quilt.

Refer to the tutorial video for details on how to rotate the binding so that the corners of the quilt have perfect 45° angles. The video tutorial will also demonstrate how to connect the two edges of binding seamlessly.

A complete tutorial on how to sew binding on a quilt. This video tutorial shows how to sew binding and attach it seamlessly to the edges of a quilt | Suzy Quilts -
A complete tutorial on how to sew binding on a quilt. This video tutorial shows how to sew binding and attach it seamlessly to the edges of a quilt | Suzy Quilts -

Two Different Ways to Finish Binding

Sewing binding to your quilt is twofold – the first step is sewing the binding to the edges of the quilt, the second step is to fold the binding over and tack it down. It is the second step that allows for a couple options.

  1. The first technique (demonstrated in the video) uses a whip stitch to hand-sew the folded part of the binding to the quilt. This process looks cleaner because the finishing stitches are invisible.

    To whip stitch, thread a needle and tie a knot on the end of about 18” of thread. Tuck the knot underneath the binding. Grab a bit of the backing of the quilt and push the needle through the binding.

    Continue forming each stitch be bringing the needle in behind each previous stitch and pushing it out ahead of the last stitch. Make sure not to sew all the way through to the front side of the quilt. If you accidentally do that, your binding stitches will be visible on the front.
  2. The second technique uses a sewing machine to tack down the binding. These stitches are much more obvious and are visible on both the front and the back of the quilt. This may not look as nice as the first option, but it is much faster. If you are pressed for time or are mass-producing quilts, this will be the better option.

Congrats! You finished your quilt. Now go make another one and happy sewing! xo

71 thoughts on “How to Sew Binding on a Quilt (VIDEO!)

  1. Youngmi An says:

    This is magical! I usually make a pocket at the start of my binding and tuck the end of the binding into it. It works but it gets pretty bulky. Can’t wait to try your method on my next quilt!

  2. Nina says:

    Million Thanks for this great Binding Tutorialvideo. Will try your binding method next time. Can`t wait to start my new project 🙂

  3. Sew Uber says:

    Hi Suzy. Found your blog on Pinterest and I must say I’m a new fan. You rock this tutorial. Can’t wait to do some quilting on the weekends with my girls. 🙂 TFS!

  4. Kate says:

    Your video to finish the binding just BLEW MY MIND! Love love love – now going to finish my navy dino quilt+

  5. Priscilla Phinney says:

    Just wanted to thank you for the binding tutorial. I have been quilting for over 20 years and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) figure out how to finish off and join binding ends to form a diagonal. I saw your video, tried it, and I was like, “Whaaat? that was so easy!!”

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      yah!!! It’s intimidating, for sure, but so easy once it clicks! I didn’t master it until I made myself sew 10 placements for my mother-in-law and bind all of them.

    • Vickie says:

      I too wouldnt try the diagonal ending. I triped aross the binding tutorial after printing off Twisted Ribbons.You showed evey step clearly and didnt assume the learner already knew a step. . So helpful!!! Thank you!!!!

  6. Helen Louise says:

    This is the best tutorial I’ve viewed regarding binding an edge. It’s wonderful that you’re so willing to teach us how! Thank you for the technique, the great camera work, and your pleasant speaking voice. And thank goodness no chaotic background music!!

  7. Kate says:

    Can I just tell you how much I LOVE this tutorial on ending the binding?! My mom and I would sweat over the process trying to follow pictures in a Joanns book on how to end it-love ripping seams out over and over and now – TA DA! You have ended our fear of ending the binding! Thank you thank you!

  8. Tamara Gingerich says:

    This is the tutorial I’ve been searching for all my life! No, seriously though…I knew there had to be an easier way to do the binding and was doing something very similiar minus the pins…GENIUS I tell ya! Why did it take me so long to creep your blog in its entirety? You’re brilliant at what you do and I am beyond grateful you share your talent!

  9. Claire says:

    This is amazing – I have forever dreaded the process of joining the edges of binding because it always, always, always is just a mess of bulk but I always thought to myself that that was just how it was meant to be (or convinced myself that’s how it is meant to be… probably the latter). I’ve just tried your method of joining seams on my latest quilt this morning and THANK YOU SUZY for changing my relationship with binding. I’ll love you forever for it. Thank you.

  10. Alayna says:

    Love your tutorial. So helpful for joining the binding ends. But I can’t seem to figure out why the binding is wavy. Any ideas?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      The binding could be wavy for a couple reasons: 1. When creating your binding, try your best to cut it on grain. If you cut it on the bias, it could stretch and get wavy. 2. When sewing binding to the quilt, are you using a walking foot that is feeding the layers well through your machine? When sewing the two together, if the feed dogs are pulling the quilt sandwich through the machine more than the foot is pulling the top fabric, there can be tension issues which can cause the fabric to stretch – thus being wavy.

      If you are doing both of those things correctly, my next suggestion would be to pin your binding to the quilt sandwich before sewing it, that way you know to sure there is no tension issue. You can pin each side as you sew. Good luck!

      • Alayna Wearly says:

        Suzy, I tried one of your suggestions on my next quilt. I used the walking to attach the binding. It still is not laying flat. This suggests to me that I need to try your binding suggestion next. I am just surprised because I always learned to but binding on the bias. But I am happy to change if it looks better! Will I still be able to make the neat corners using binding that is cut on the grain?

  11. JC says:

    These tutorials/videos are so so helpful. I am trying to find a good tutorial for the part when you are done quilting it and before you bind it- do you baste all around the outside of the quilt before you square it off? I saw your recent Q&A that discussed how to square off- thank you for being a reliable source of info!

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      At this point I take my ruler and rotary cutter and trim off the excess backing and batting. There’s really not a special trick to it, I just try to make sure the corners are squared up with my ruler.

  12. Jean says:

    I just followed your steps to connecting the beginning and the end of the binding seamlessly. You made it so easy to understand. Thank you, thank you! I finally am on my way to mastering this step!

  13. Cathey Montgomery says:

    Love the tutorial. Thanks. My question is probably dumb but I need to ask. After you hand stitch up the 45degree angle, do you tie off and come to the edge and start hand stitching again or do you stitch back down and go on?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Once I get the the top of the 45-degree corner, I poke my needle through and come back out on the other edge of the binding. So yes to you question, except I skip the stitching back down part. Does that make sense?

  14. Jenn says:

    Hand stitched binding just looks so much cleaner and neater.. It’s hit and miss on the machine. You’re sewing blind on the underside. Thank you for a lovely tutorial!!

  15. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for this!
    I only got it wrong once… second time was the charm.
    Problem I have now is that I’m working with flannel (with warm & natural batting). I upped my binding width to 3 inches, but I don’t think it is wide enough…

    • Jo says:

      If you cut your binding fabric 3″ wide and use a 1/4″ seam, you’d end up with a 1/2″ wide binding over a 1/4″ seam allowance. (Unless you wrap it over the back to be much wider on the back side.)

  16. barbara says:

    I see big stitch hand quilting on some of your bindings. Have you discussed how to do that? I’ve never seen that before and I like the look. Thanks

  17. Jo says:

    Thank you! This is a great tutorial for binding, and it worked well for me. I did it for the first time and the mitered corners came out very nice. The only part I don’t understand is why, since your aren’t stretching any other part of the binding fabric, you leave a 1/4″ gap for the connection, because that causes the binding fabric to have to stretch for that section of binding.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      If you connect the binding at a 45-degree angle it should fit perfectly with no stretch. If you would prefer a straight vertical seam connection, there is no need to leave a 1/4″ gap.

  18. Danielle says:

    I am a pretty new quilter (finishing up quilt #4!!) and I want to thank you for your helpful tutorials. I found your blog through this video last year when I was making my first quilt and have followed you ever since (I have read a LOT of your older posts too!). Every time I bind a quilt I watch it, and every time I doubt myself…but it comes out perfectly every time! Thank you! The next quilt I’m going to make is Mod Mountains using my grandfather’s shirts.

  19. Jen says:

    This was really really helpful, I’m finishing off my first quilt (a two year process…), Thank you for making such simple tutorials so even such a newbie can understand xx

  20. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for a clear and reasonable tutorial on binding. Joining the ends drives me crazy! It works so much better when I remember to leave extra room for maneuvering on the diagonal seam, as well as room to iron the new seam and fold of the binding. Question: why do you recommend leaving a 1/4″ gap between the folded ends before sewing? I used your method twice recently and had a bit of excess binding (tiny pucker) when I sewed the finished binding down. Again, of all the tutorials I watched, I like yours best!

  21. Kerry Webb says:

    Hi Suzy, I am Kerry Webb, 70 YO, and just made my first quilt from scratch. I’m discounting the quilts I made with my mother where she taught me to hand quilt on one stretched over a quilting frame, because she is the person who pieced the top and did all the other work I now have an appreciation for. Anyway, your tutorial on Quilting 101 was essential to my success. You made the mitered corners and the completion of sewing on the binding so easy! This leads to my question. Is it possible for me to save the video on my computer? People’s lives change. You could find new opportunities that would lead to the loss of these videos. I am more than willing to buy the ability to download them. I already downloaded the Maypole pattern for my next quilt. What do you think? Thanks for your wonderful site!
    Kerry Webb

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Hi Kerry, interesting question! I’m more than happy to give you this video for free. Have you heard of this website – It allows you to record your computer screen. So you could actually play this video and record it through that site, which then lets you download the mp4. It’s pretty cool!

  22. Nicole BL says:

    Thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge! This video is so helpful! Im following it to complete my SugarPOP quilt.

  23. Cathy says:

    I always turn the ends the wrong way and sew the wrong direction when I sew the ends together. Your explanation and clear video model helped so much. I ripped it out 4x last night, and did it first try today with your video <3 Thanks!

  24. Chrissy says:

    I had never used a walking foot to attach binding before… it didn’t want to work for me when I just tried it :-/. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but it started, then the stitches just stood in place for a good long while and wouldn’t advance along my fabric. Is that a problem with my machine? My walking foot? My technique?

  25. Donna says:

    This tutorial was just what I was looking for! Your explanation of joining the binding was by far the best that I have found, and I have tried many, mostly unsuccessfully. Thanks for this post.

  26. Devyn Duhon says:

    I teach family consumer sciences and my class is working on quilts. My first student was able to piece the ends of her binding perfectly using your method! Amazing!!! Thank you!

  27. Carmen says:

    I used this method on a quilt and it came out perfectly! However, I tried it on a second quilt and was quite unsuccessful. I twisted the binding, I sewed on the wrong diagonal, it was too long. I actually tried 5 times! I eventually went back to my own method and got it done. Luckily all the ripping out I did didn’t ruin the fabric. I’ll probably try again. Probably.

  28. Chris Lumber says:

    This is brilliant! I’m just starting out and have been doing potholders and mug rugs, and have struggled with ending the binding. Can’t wait to try this! Thank you!

  29. Linda Casotti says:

    Thank you for saving my bacon and sanity. I practiced several times on batting with scrap fabric and am ready to bind my first quilt!

  30. Caitlyn Hutchison says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! I have to rewatch it every time I sew a binding so please never take it down. 🙂

  31. Susan Riley says:

    This video is so perfect except for one thing. You say to use a walking foot, but you also back stitch. I can’t backstitch with a walking foot. And my walking foot does not look like yours. It attaches to the needle adjustment screw. Help!

  32. Shannon Whicker says:

    I have come back to this tutorial multiple times now (including last night) and it always works like a charm! Thanks for the tutorial, Suzy.

  33. Barbara says:

    Every time I click on the video tutorial on how to apply the binding, it just disappears, rather than playing. Though honestly I don’t really want to have to watch a video whenever I want a quick refresher on how to do the corners. I really wish I could just find written directions for applying bindings.

  34. Donna Skinner says:

    Hi – I am having the same problem with the video — “How to sew binding on a quilt.” It just disappears when I try to play it – both on my laptop & phone. There was no direct option to watch on YouTube. (I always watch this when connecting the ends of the binding!) Can the link be corrected? Thank you.

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