Tip – Binding Perfection

This tip was provided by member Jo B.    Learn how to measure, cut, and join the ends of your pieces for a smooth and perfect continuous binding.     tipbinding1

Measure the outside dimensions of your quilt. You will need about 10-15 ” more binding than this measurement. Fabric Requirements: Divide above number by 42 (width of fabric). This is the number of strips you will need to cut. Multiply by the width of your cut strips (2″ or 2.5″). This will be how much yardage you will need for your binding.

Example: 200″ around quilt including 10″ extra.
200/42=4.76 (Cut 5 strips)
5X2″=10″ or 1/3 yd. of fabric required to bind.

1. Cut your binding fabric from 2″-2 1/2″ widths of fabric depending on your personal preference. A 2″ strip, doubled equals 1 inch, minus a 1/4″ seam leaves you with a perfect 1/4″ binding. Great for making a perfect point at the corners. Remember: As you increase the size of your strips, you must also increase the size of the seam taken when sewing it onto the quilt.

2. Join pieces using 45 degree seams. Trim to 1/4″. Press seams to one side, then press the joined strips in half, lengthwise, with wrong sides together.

3. Match the raw edges of the binding to the raw edge of your quilt sandwich (quilted top/batting/backing) starting on the bottom edge of the quilt with the end of the binding about in the middle or a little over the middle of the quilt. Start sewing about 4-6″ from the first corner. (If a very small wall hanging, even closer) You may wish to use a walking foot.

4. Stitch to 1/4″ from the edge (or same distance as your chosen seam allowance). Pivot with needle down and sew off the quilt at a 45 degree angle into the corner. Break the thread.

5. Turn the binding back over itself using the 45 degree stitching as a guide so that the tail lines up straight with the next edge. Fold it straight down over itself lining up raw edges with the second side. You just mitered the corner!

6. Secure with backstitch at the beginning of the stitching and continue down the second side to the next corner.

7. Repeat these steps at each corner until all 4 are completed. After completing the last corner, stitch the ending tail 4-6″ from the last corner. Secure the stitch.

Joining the Ends of the Binding

  1. Lay the tail end flat on the edge of the quilt. flat on the edge of the quilt. If it is longer than the side of the quilt, cut it off just shy of where you started the stitching. tipbinding2
  2. Take the start tail and lay it on top of the end tail. Make sure the top tail is several inches away from (shorter than) where you stopped stitching. Make a mark with a marking pencil, or place a pin into the end tail even with the end of the start tail. Make sure that both tails are laid out smooth and taut, no fullness in either. tipbinding3
  3. Lift both tails off the quilt edge and unfold the pressed edge. tipbinding4
  4. Turn the start tail over toward you so that the right side is facing down to the right side of the end tail. The OUTSIDE edge should be parallel to the pin (or mark). Line up the end of the start tail even with the outside edge of the end tail. (Using a pin or clamp to hold some of the quilt out of the way will reduce bulk  while you work.)   tipbinding5
  5. Pin. Draw a line or pin on a 45 degree line from the upper left to the lower right corner. Stitch along this line.              tipbinding6
  6. Lay the sewn binding out flat, allowing it to fold naturally. Unpin the quilt so it lies flat. Check to make sure the seam is laying properly and that the binding is the correct length. If measured correctly, it should lay nice and flat. If not, remove the stitching and redo before cutting the binding.                       tipbinding7
  7.  Trim the seam to 1/4″ and press open or to one side.  tipbinding9
  8. Stitch the binding down to complete the final side.  tipbinding11

Curved Bindings

Use the same technique for curved bindings as well. Just cut your strips on the bias so they will easily curve around your edge.