How To Sew Binding On A Quilt (VIDEO!)

How-To-Sew-Binding

You have finished piecing your quilt, sandwiched your batting, completed quilting it together and trimmed the excess batting. Hooray! Pat yourself on the back. There’s just one tiny little step before you are completely finished.

Sewing 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 each step of the binding process.

Supplies:

Hopefully you will already have most of the tools needed for sewing binding if you have made a quilt. Below is a list of what you will need:​

Quilt-Binding-Tools

Some optional supplies include:

How To Sew Binding

What Is 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:

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  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.
Quilt Binding Tutorial

Sew Binding To The 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.

Hand Sew Quilt Binding
Sew-Binding-Quilt

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

Suzy Quilts

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23 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!!”

  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. Pingback: What’s So Special About Bias Binding? - Suzy Quilts

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

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