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Make a Quilt - Binding

05 March 2015 09:00

Have you finished quilting yet?  It's exciting, isn't it, seeing it look more and more like a quilt!

When the quilting's finished, it's time to bind the edges.  Before you can add a binding, you need to trim the edges.  At the moment, each side may be a different width, the backing is probably still longer than the wadding and your quilt may be out-of-square.  

Lay your quilt flat and check that the top is square.  This best done with a large ruler.  

At the same time, trim the edges of your quilt.  I have allowed a ¼" seam, but decided I wanted ½" of binding on the top, so I trimmed the wadding and backing ¼" wider than the quilt top.

Now you need to make your binding.  Bias binding is probably easiest to use, but you can use straight fabric if you don't have enough to cut it on the bias.  (You might need to use a separate strip for each side, as the corners will be more difficult with straight binding.)  You can use the same fabric as the backing, or something different.  You can even make your binding using short lengths of all the fabrics you've used in the quilt.  It's entirely up to you.

Cut strips of fabric for your binding the width you want (twice the width you want the finished binding to be, plus two seam allowances, plus extra to allow for the depth of the quilt; I cut mine 2" wide, for a ½" binding) and the total length of all the sides of your quilt plus extra for joining - plus a bit extra to be sure; you don't want to be ½" short at the end!

You will probably need to join your strips to make one long piece.  Join them with a diagonal ¼" seam.  Make sure the the ends of each piece of binding are square and put them right sides together, at right angles.  Leave a little of each one sticking out a bit, as it makes it easier to see the corners.

Stitch across the corner.  Check you're using the correct diagonal before you stitch!

Open out the strips and press the seam open.

Trim the seam, including anything which shows on the right side.

Now to sew the binding in place.  There are several ways to do this and to deal with the corners.  I'm using one way, but if you want to do it a different way, there are lots of tutorials on the internet - or you might even have a book!  I've put some tutorials, along with lots of quilts for inspiration, on my Pinterest board Quilts.

Starting somewhere around the middle of one side, pin the binding face down onto the quilt top. lining up the edge of the binding with the edge of the quilt top.

Sew a ¼" seam to the corner, stopping ¼" from the edge of the quilt top.  Fold the loose binding up (off the top of the quilt) to create a 45° angle.  Finger press.

Now fold the binding straight down, following the edge of the quilt top.  (Keep the 45° degree angle underneath!)

Stitch from the edge of the quilt to ¼" from the next corner.  Continue all the way round the quilt to 12" - 15" from where you started.  Join the two ends of the binding.  There is a very good explanation of how to do this on Canoe Ridge Creations web site.  Finish sewing the binding to the quilt.

Press the binding away from the quilt.  Fold it over to the back of the quilt.  Turn the raw edge under, making sure that you cover the line of machine stitchng.


Slip stitch in place.  Again, there are various ways of doing this, including the one on Canoe Ridge Creations and one on Fabric Bias.

Admire your finished quilt!  (And take a photo of it, sending it for us to see!)


For the backing and binding I used Time for Tea by Sarah Summers.