Quilt Binding Techniques for the Creative Quilter

I may have mentioned that binding a quilt is my least favorite part of the quilt-making process. But I’ve realized that if I’m going to reduce the number of UFOs in my studio, I’m going to have to learn how to bind a quilt in a way that I enjoy.

quilt binding with hand sewing
Jane Dávila uses a hand sewn “chicken stitch”
to finish her quilt binding, in this example
from “QATV” 1000.

The more quilts I see, the more I realized there are many quilt binding variations and possibilities especially for art quilts that aren’t going to be used.

Art quilter Jane Dávila likes to use non-traditional methods for binding quilt edges. When she gets an idea, she makes a sample to explore whether it works or not.

“Sometimes a great idea in my head doesn’t work that well in reality,” Jane tells Pokey Bolton on segment 1008 of “Quilting Arts TV.”

But when her quilt binding concept does work, Jane saves the sample for future reference. Then, when she is ready to finish a quilt, she has a set of visual references to choose from.

One non-traditional method of binding quilt edges Jane likes to use is edge stitching. Using a walking foot, Jane stitched close to the edge of the quilt sandwich. Sometimes she matches the thread color to the fabric and sometimes she uses contrasting thread. She may also stitch more than one line around the perimeter of the quilt, or stitch one or two additional lines on the top and bottom only. Jane sometimes plays with the kind of stitched line, too, using a varying zigzag stitch width, for example.

binding a quilt with paint
“Binding” a quilt with paint is decorative
and seals the edges.

If Jane wants to close the edges so they won’t fray, or just to add a bit of color, she paints the edges. To make sure you paint just the exposed edge, Jane recommends using a flat brush and painting across the edge, perpendicular to the quilt front.

Even when she uses a more traditional-style quilt binding, Jane likes to add texture and personality to the front of the quilt. She sometimes applies a bit of hand stitching across the machine-stitched seam. Or, she adds beading at the lower corners or across the bottom of the quilt.

Seeing these creative ways to bind a quilt is making me look at my UFOs with new eyes. I can tell you some of my unfinished quilts are going to be finished very soon!

You can learn more finishing and quilt binding techniques in “QATV” Series 1000, now available.

P.S. What’s your favorite way to bind a quilt? Share your thoughts and ideas with me and the rest of the Quilting Daily community.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Binding & Finishing, Quilting Daily Blog, Sewing Techniques

3 thoughts on “Quilt Binding Techniques for the Creative Quilter

  1. After I sew the binding onto the front of the quilt, I turn it over and, using masking tape, I tape the edge of the binding to the back of the quilt. I then go back to the front of the quilt and stitch in the ditch along the binding seam there. Hopefully I haven’t stitched across too much of the tape on the back. I then remove the tape. It works best if your binding is cut at least 2-1/2 inches wide.

  2. Thanks for the great new ideas! My current favorite way is using a nice yarn around the perimeter. I use a decorative thread (especially like Razzle Dazzle) to zigzag couch the yarn to the edges. It may take a couple of turns around the quilt, but it is a great edging.