Quilt Binding Techniques and Tips

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This binding is cut on the bias to create the diagonal stripe around the quilt.

Once you’ve finished your quilt top and have quilted the layers together, you’re ready to add the quilt binding.

It’s this quilt making step that always makes me want to pause so I can look over a quilt binding tutorial. Even though I’ve bound many a quilt, somehow I inevitably forget one important step that spurs a flood of frustration (and a lot of seam ripping).

In an effort to pull out less hair next time I’m binding a quilt, I’ve decided to put together a list of quilt binding tutorials along with some helpful hints.

I’m a visual learner so my first stop when looking for quality quilting tutorials is QNNtv. This site is chock full of quilting videos you can stream instantly with a subscription. If you aren’t subscribing already, you can try it free for a week. There are also a lot of videos you can watch for free anytime just by creating a username. Here you’ll be able to learn all sorts of quilting techniques from a wide variety of quilters. Plus, there are so many videos about binding you can’t go wrong!

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Press seams open to reduce bulk.

My two favorite video series for quilting basics are My First Quilt and Quilty. In the How to Bind a Quilt episode of My First Quilt, host Sara Gallegos demonstrates binding basics from cutting and mitering corners to matching the two ends of binding for a continuous look. Instead of hand stitch her binding, Sara shows us how to utilize the decorative stitches on a home sewing machine to attach the binding.

In the How to Make Quilt Binding series of Quilty, Ebony Love joins host Mary Fons for three episodes all about binding quilts. In Part 1, Ebony discusses the difference between bias binding and using crosswise grain strips for binding, as well as how to create a continuous binding strip. In Part 2, Ebony and Mary attach the binding to the quilt top and show us how to sew the two ends of the binding together seamlessly (which is the part I struggle with most). Finally in Part 3, the duo walks us through turning the binding to the back of the quilt and using a zig zag stitch to attach it to the quilt.

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Leave 8-10″ between where your binding is attached so you have room to join the end pieces.

Here are some tips to make binding a little easier:

  • As you create your binding press seams open to reduce bulk.
  • Before you machine stitch the binding onto the quilt, test your seam allowance by using a long basting stitch. Stitch an inch or two then flip the binding over the edge of the quilt to confirm it is long enough to cover your line of stitching; make adjustments as necessary.
  • To attach the end pieces of the continuous binding, cut so one end overlaps the other the width of your binding (i.e. one end will overlap the other 2-1/2” when combining a binding that’s 2-1/2”).
  • To reduce bulk in a mitered corner you’ll pin along one edge of the quilt toward the corner. Once you get to the corner and are making the miter, you’ll want the edge you are coming from to be on top. (To see a demonstration of this, you’ll want to watch How to Make Quilt Binding, Part 3)
  • Take your time! There’s no point in speeding through this last step, especially when you’ve put a lot of time and love into the quilt you’re finishing.

I highly recommend taking a peek at these video tutorials whether or not you’ve struggled with the quilt binding process.  The four videos I’ve described are all free, so you might as well see if they can help improve your technique so you can bind your next quilt beautifully.

Speaking of free, Quilting Daily has a free eBook all about quilt binding and finishing. If you prefer books to videos or if you want to explore quilt binding alternatives, you won’t want to miss out on this freebie.

Happy binding!

Brenna's Signature

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Binding & Finishing, Quilting Daily Blog

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