Binding Tutorial Part 1

Finished binding rolled up

Quilt Binding Tutorial - Make Binding

There are many different ways people do the basics of quilting. That's what makes being part of this community fun and interactive! We are always learning from one another. Often I scroll through Instagram and see someone's "how-to" video, and they're doing something I've never seen before or a different way of doing something that I've never thought!
Just because you do something differently than someone else doesn't make your way or their way "wrong." Some of us are self-taught, others "classically trained," and some learned by our grandmother's or mother's knee. I love it all!
Here are the steps how I've learned to make binding. I use these steps every time, and I've never varied from it in 16 years. Except, recently I did start hand-binding using a big-stitch. I plan to make a blog article on big stitch binding this fall. You can read about big-stitch hand quilting in this article HERE.

Make Binding

How Much Fabric Do I Need?
First, binding needs to be made. The amount of binding is found by adding up all four sides of your quilt and adding on 10" to that amount. I then divide this amount by 42" (the width of the fabric) to find out how many strips I need. Then I multiply this number by 2.5 to see how much fabric I need to purchase in order to make the binding.


For example, if my quilt is 50" x 60" then the sum of the perimeter of the quilt is 220". Then I add on 10" more, and that gives me 230". I divide 230" by 42" which gives me 5.48. That means I'll need to round up to needing 6 strips of binding. Take 6 strips and multiply it by 2 1/2" which will give us 15 inches. So we'll need 15" of fabric to make binding. I would recommend buying 1/2 yard of binding fabric in this example.


How Do I Make the Strips?

Take your binding fabric and cut it into 2 1/2" strips. In our example above, we needed six strips. Cut off the selvage edges from the strips. 

 Cutting Off Selvage

Take one strip right side up, and place another strip wrong side up on top of it at the end. Match up the corners so they are perpendicular which the right side fabric going horizontally and the wrong side fabric going vertically.

right side of fabric facing wrong side of fabric

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner where the 2 fabrics overlap. You will sew on this diagonal line.

draw a diagonal line from corner to corner drawn line  sew on the diagonal line

Then cut 1/4" away from the seam to cut off the excess little triangle piece of fabric. Press the fabric open so the top and bottom edges of the fabric make a perfect line. Continue joining the binding strips in the manner until they are all connected in one long continuous strip.

cut 1/4" away from seam  iron the seam open into a long strip

Fold the binding in half so the top long edge matches the bottom long edge. Iron the full length of the fold to finish making the binding strip.


iron top to bottom of the fabric so it's folded in half

That's it! To keep it neat and tidy, I sometimes roll it on a cardboard tube. In reality, I mostly roll it around my hand and make a tidy roll. I've seen some people store it on their extra spool holder on their machine. Mine will usually rest in my lap as I sew.

I like using continuous bias binding. The diagonal seam that connects the strips are easier on the eye and less noticeable than vertical seams. I hope you like it too!

finished binding

Check back soon for another blog article on attaching the binding to the quilt and mitered corners!

 This binding is being made for the color variation of the Redemption Trail Quilt. You can read the blog post about the quilt HERE. The kit for the quilt can be bought HERE.


1 comment

  • I am so glad I found this site! Thank you so much for sharing these ideas.

    Jane Torres Clark

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