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After you’re done creating your quilt, the last thing you’d want to do is bind it.
Binding involves covering its raw edges to give it a smooth, clean, and attractive finish.
If you don’t know how to do this, the following article will take you the full details of the easiest way to bind your quilt like a pro.
Let’s get straight to the guide:
Step 1: Determine the suitable binding fabric
The first step to binding your quilt is actually selecting the type of cloth you want to use for the job. Base your selection on how you want your finished quilt to look.
You can choose the same fabric as your quilt or something different. Regardless of what you pick, however, be sure to check its sturdiness. Fabrics with crosswise grains or those whose grains run diagonally tend to be sturdier than those bearing lengthwise grains.
Step 2: How much of bind fabric to use?
Next, you should consider the amount of your preferred fabric to use in your binding process. This usually depends on the size of your quilt as well as how you want your binding to stand out.
If you’ve already incorporated a border into your quilting, you might use a thinner binding fabric successfully. Otherwise, you might need to use a wider strip.
As for the length of your binding strips, they should be cut with 12-15 additional inches to give you enough room to work in when it comes to joining the ends together.
You can use the standard fabric scissors to cut your fabric pieces (or the rotary cutter, if working on larger projects).
Step 3: Join the strips together
This allows you to end up with one long strip that will outline the perimeter of your quilt.
Joining the pieces is as simple as laying them together at right angles, with their ends overlapping, to make them look like an inverted letter “L.” use a straight pin to join them at the outer corners.
Then, stitch a diagonal line that runs through where the two strips meet. Pull down the top strip to make both pieces form a straight line. Trim away any extra fabric triangle outside the seam, and be sure to leave a quarter-inch seam allowance.
Similarly, attach more pieces until you obtain a long strip that can sufficiently run through around your quilt. When done, iron it to make it straight and flat, then fold in half (lengthwise) to form a crease in the middle of the strip.
TIP: an excellent way of keeping your strip neat it is wrapping it around a ruler. This way, it’ll remain the way you ironed it until you start using it in the following step…
Step 4: Prepare your quilt for binding
This step doesn’t involve a lot of work. It’s all about making your already made quilt ready for the binding strip.
Using your sewing machine, sew in a straight line around 1/8” from quilt edge and around its perimeter. This helps keep the quilt layers as flat as possible when binding it.
Also, remember to trim off the excess battling as well as rough edges around your quilt to make it appear smoother and ready to incorporate the binding strip.
Step 5: Time to sew the binding
To begin the binding, take the strip and match its raw edges with the raw edges of your quilt- ensuring that the folded part of the strip rests on the inside of the top of your quilt.
Start sewing roughly 3 inches (or midway) from the corner; remember to leave an unsew tail that you’ll tuck into your binding in the later steps.
When stitching, it’s recommended that you choose a seam allowance that best fits the look of the quilt. As a beginner, I’d suggest that you start with a ¼” allowance, the most common value.
Continue sewing along the quilt’s first side until you reach a distance (from the corner) of the same size as your seam allowance. In the case of ¼” inch allowance, stop sewing when you reach a ¼ distance from the corner.
Step 6: How to turn a corner
Now that you’re standing a quarter inch away from the corner, how do you correctly turn it to form a smooth, good-looking edge for your finished quilt?
It’s simple. You’ll need to miter the corner as explained below:
- Twist the entire long unsewn strip up such that it appears parallel to the side of the quilt you’ll continue stitching after turning the corner.
If you do it correctly, the edge of this strip should form an angle of 45 degrees.
- Finger press the strip in that position and fold it down so that its raw edges get perfectly lined up with the raw edge of the quilt side you’ll stitch next.
- Now sew a new line starting at 45 degrees from where your last stitch ended. Consider backstitching over the corner you’ve just mitered to ensure the binding firmly stays in place.
Continue stitching along the entire perimeter of your quilt, with the same seam allowance of 1/4”. When you reach a corner, just repeat the same process I’ve explained above.
Step 8: Connecting the ends
After stitching around your quilt, mitering the edges and corners correctly, you’ll finally land where you started the binding.
At this place, you’d want to tuck the tails together to form a complete strip as explained in the steps below:
- Trim the tail to leave a few inches that will sufficiently tuck into the “starting” tail.
- Now fold the “starting” tail diagonally to form a pocket where you can easily tuck in the above tail and ensure both tails edges are lined up.
- Continue sewing along the edge of the quilt to connect the two ends together; you can extend the stitching over the original seam by roughly an inch or so.
Hooray! You’ve just completed stitching the first side of your quilt. In the next and final step, I’ll show you how to bind the other side to complete the process…
Step 9: Binding the other side of your quilt
Assuming you’ve already flipped your quilt over to the other side, roll the binding strip over the edge to the same extent as your preferred seam allowance (i.e., ¼ inch).
Now start sewing along the edge of your quilt-carefully and slowly as you adjust your quilt as necessary to ensure you get a straight seam.
When you reach a corner, just miter it; fold the end of the strip at 45 degrees at that corner, and then position it flat along the other edge. Pivot the quilt carefully around the corner to stitch well. Do the same for all the other corners.
Continue stitching until you reach where you started, extend the stitching by around an inch, backstitch and finally cut the thread.
If you prefer learning by visuals, the following video will take you through the binding steps we’ve just described above:
That’s how easy binding a quilt is and feels! If you’re a beginner who doesn't have an idea how to bind your quilt, the above guide will take you through the critical steps needed to make a perfect binding around your quilt, including how to pick the right binding fabric, to give your quilt a neat and eye-appealing look.
From here, get straight to binding your quilt and come back with your results.
We’d be happy to see your first binding!