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How to Make Perfect Binding

 

 

 

 

There's more than one way to bind your quilt, but almost every method uses:

  • A strip of fabric folded in half for extra durability
  • A mitering technique for sharp, professional-looking corners.

Scroll down for instructions to see how simple it can be, using the Complete Kit below.

Complete Perfect Binding Kit

Everything you need to make durable double-folded binding strips & get sharp mitered corners.

      • Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit: Magically cut perfect strips, using rulers you already have. No slipping! No eyeballing!
      • 1¼" Sasher: Magically fold and press a 2½" strip. No burnt fingers!
      • Fork Pins: Hold the end of the strip when folding & pressing.
      • Prep-Tool: Mark the stopping point at a scant 1/4" for sharp mitered corners.
      • Fabric Marker with black & gray refills: Mark light or dark fabric to take the guesswork out of getting sharp mitered corners.
      • Wonder Clips: Hold the binding in place when sewing it to the quilt.

Purchase individual tools here.

 

 

 

 

There's more than one way to bind your quilt, but almost every method uses:

  • A strip of fabric folded in half for extra durability
  • A mitering technique for sharp, professional-looking corners.

See how simple it can be, using the Complete Kit below.

First, Trim Off the Excess Batting & Backing.

Make sure the edges are straight and the corners are 90 degrees.

You can use a single ruler or use the Handle / Connector, that comes free
with the Complete Kit, to make this step easier.

Measure the Outside of Your Quilt.

You will need to sew enough strips together to wrap around the entire quilt with a little extra for the mitered corners and to join the ends.

To know how long of a strip you will need, add the length and the width, multiply by 2, and then add 12 inches.  

 

For a 36" x 60" Crib Quilt Top

 

36" + 60" = 96"

 

96" x 2 = 192"

 

192" + 12" = 204"

 

Most quilt fabric on a bolt is about 42" wide, minus the selvage edges, so five strips should work. (5 x 42" = 210")

** You'll Need 5 Strips. **

 

For a 102" x 100" Cal King Top

 

102" + 100" = 202"

 

202" x 2 = 404"

 

404" + 12" = 416"

 

If your fabric is a little less than 42" wide, you may need one more strip, but ten strips should work. (10 x 42" = 420")

** You'll Need 10 Strips. **

Let's Cut the Strips.

First, square up and straighten the raw edge of your fabric.

You can use a single ruler or use the Handle/Connector, that comes FREE with the Complete Perfect Binding Kit, to make a corner square.

The Most Common Width for Binding Strips is 2½".

Upgrade your ruler and you'll only have to find the 2 ½" line once.

No matter how many strips you need, they will all come out exactly the same.

Sew the Strips Together.

Why Diagonal Seams?

Straight seams would overlap and create bumps. Diagonal seams pressed open will be smooth, and practically undetectable.

Then, Fold & Press the Strips, Using Pauline's Sasher.

See Pauline demonstrate how to use the Sasher & Fork Pins.

First, Trim Off the Excess Batting & Backing.

Make sure the edges are straight and the corners are 90º.

You can use a single ruler or use the Handle / Connector, that comes free with the Complete Kit, to make this step easier.

Measure the Outside of Your Quilt.

You will need to sew enough strips together to wrap around the entire quilt with a little extra for the mitered corners and to join the ends.

To know how long of a strip you will need, add the length and the width, multiply by 2, and then add 12 inches.  

For a 36" x 60" Crib Quilt Top:

36" + 60" = 96"

96" x 2 = 192"

192" + 12" = 204"

 

You'll Need 5 Strips:

Most quilt fabric on a bolt is about 42" wide, minus the selvage edges, so five strips should work. (5 x 42" = 210")

 

For a 102" x 100" Cal King Top

102" + 100" = 202"

202" x 2 = 404"

404" + 12" = 416"


You'll Need 10 Strips:

If your fabric is a little less than 42" wide, you may need one more strip, but ten strips should work. (10 x 42" = 420")

Let's Cut the Strips.

First, square up and straighten the raw edge of your fabric.

You can use a single ruler or use the Handle/Connector, that comes FREE with the Complete Perfect Binding Kit, to make a corner square.

The Most Common Width for Binding Strips is 2½".

Upgrade your ruler and you'll only have to find the 2 ½" line once.

No matter how many strips you need, they will all come out exactly the same.

Sew the Strips Together.

Why Diagonal Seams?

Straight seams would overlap and create bumps. Diagonal seams pressed open will be smooth, and practically undetectable.

Then, Fold & Press the Strips, Using Pauline's Sasher.

See Pauline demonstrate how to use the Sasher & Fork Pins.

Stitch the Folded Binding Strip to the Top of Your Quilt.

Wonder Clips by Clover make it easier.

First audition your starting point so that none of the diagonal seams, where you joined the strips, lands in a corner.

  • Start at least 12" from a corner.
  • Align the raw edges of your binding strip with the raw, squared-up edges of your quilt top.
  • Clip the binding around the edge of your quilt just to make sure a diagonal seam, where you joined the strips, doesn't land right in a corner.
  • If one does, adjust your starting point, so none of the seams in your strip ends up aligning with a corner.

Fold the Strip Up and Back Down
When Clipping It in the Corners.

Fold the binding strip up at a 90º angle.

Fold the binding strip back down, keeping the fold in the strip aligned with the top of your quilt.

Clip to hold in place and repeat in the other three corners.

Start stitching at least 6" from the end of your strip. You'll need that excess when you join the ends.

Stitch a ¼" from the aligned edges, always taking a few backstitches to lock the stitching when stopping or starting.

Remove the clips as you sew.

NOTE: The machine stitching is shown in white here for clarity, but use a matching color so it blends in.

It's Quite a Few Layers You'll be Stitching Through,
So Here Are a Few Tricks to Keep Everything Aligned.

  • If you have a walking foot, use it.
  • Before attaching the binding, you can stitch about 1/8" from the edges all the way around your finished top.
  • You can even go around a second time a little further out from the first, and the extra stitching will compress and hold the top, batting, and backing together before you add the binding.

Stitch the Folded Binding Strip to the Top of Your Quilt.

Wonder Clips by Clover make it easier.

First audition your starting point so that none of the diagonal seams, where you joined the strips, lands in a corner.

  • Start at least 12" from a corner.
  • Align the raw edges of your binding strip with the raw, squared-up edges of your quilt top.
  • Clip the binding around the edge of your quilt just to make sure a diagonal seam, where you joined the strips, doesn't land right in a corner.
  • If one does, adjust your starting point, so none of the seams in your strip ends up aligning with a corner.

Fold the Strip Up and Back Down
When Clipping It in the Corners.

Fold the binding strip up at a 90º angle.

Fold the binding strip back down, keeping the fold in the strip aligned with the top of your quilt.

Clip to hold in place and repeat in the other three corners.

Stitch a ¼" from the aligned edges, always taking a few backstitches to lock the stitching when stopping or starting.

Remove the clips as you sew.

Start stitching at least 6" from the end of your strip. You'll need that excess when you join the ends.

NOTE: The machine stitching is shown in white here for clarity, but use a matching color so it blends in.

It's Quite a Few Layers You'll be Stitching Through, So Here Are a Few Tricks to Keep Everything Aligned.

  • If you have a walking foot, use it.
  • Before attaching the binding, you can stitch about 1/8" from the edges all the way around your finished top.
  • You can even go around a second time a little further out from the first, and the extra stitching will compress and hold the top, batting, and backing together before you add the binding.

Let's Miter the Corners!

For sharp mitered corners, you need to stop sewing a scant 1/4" from the edge.

You can take all the guesswork out of finding the exact place to stop at a scant 1/4" by marking it with the Bohin Mechanical Pencil, using the Prep-Tool by Guidelines4Quilting as a Scant 1/4" guide.

Butt the lip edges on the Prep-Tool up to the edge of your top.

Mark the fabric along the outside edge of the Prep-Tool.

Mark the binding strip at the same distance from the edge.

Stop sewing when you get to the mark.

Sew at a 45º angle right into the corner of the quilt top.

Fold the binding strip straight up.

Fold the binding strip back down, keeping the fold in the strip aligned with the top of your quilt.

Continue stitching the binding to the top, taking a few back stitches when you start.

Do the same in the other corners and then stop when you get about 10 to 12 inches from where you started and take a few back-stitches.

Let's Miter the Corners!

For sharp mitered corners, you need to stop sewing a scant 1/4" from the edge.

You can take all the guesswork out of finding the exact place to stop at a scant 1/4" by marking it with the Bohin Mechanical Pencil, using the Prep-Tool by Guidelines4Quilting as a Scant 1/4" guide.

Butt the lip edges on the Prep-Tool up to the edge of your top.

Mark the fabric along the outside edge of the Prep-Tool.

Mark the binding strip at the same distance from the edge.

Stop sewing when you get to the mark.

Sew at a 45º angle right into the corner of the quilt top.

Fold the binding strip straight up.

Fold the binding strip back down, keeping the fold in the strip aligned with the top of your quilt.

Continue stitching the binding to the top, taking a few back stitches when you start.

Do the same in the other corners and then stop when you get about 10 to 12 inches from where you started and take a few back-stitches.

Now Let's Join the Ends.

Just make a square for the perfect join.

Let's join the ends with the same diagonal seam we used to join the strips.

When we first joined the strips, the overlapped part formed a 2½" square as outlined in green.

First, overlap the ends of the strips.

Since we started with a 2 1/2" strip, we want the overlapped part to be 2 1/2".

 

If you used a Fabric Guide from the Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit, set at 2½" to cut your strips, then just line it up to the end of the strip underneath so that you can mark where the strip on top overlaps the strip underneath by 2½".

Line the edge of the Fabric Guide up to the bump created by the end of the strip underneath.

Mark along the edge of the ruler where the strip on top overlaps the strip underneath by 2½".

Cut on the line you marked and the strips will now overlap each other by 2½".

Open both strips. Then fold & clip the quilt top between them to bring the ends closer together.

Rotate one strip so that you can line them up, right sides together at a 90-degree angle, just like you did when you joined the strips.

The overlap section will be a 2½" square. Put a pin in just above the center of the square as shown.

Unfold the quilt top and check to see that the strip will lay flat. You may need to rotate the top strip in the opposite direction if the binding is twisted and won't lay flat.

Refold the top and mark from corner to corner.

Finish stitching the binding to the top, back-stitching
where you start and stop.

Now Let's Join the Ends.

Just make a square for the perfect join.

Let's join the ends with the same diagonal seam we used to join the strips.

When we first joined the strips, the overlapped part formed a 2½" square as outlined in green.

First, overlap the ends of the strips.

Since we started with a 2 1/2" strip, we want the overlapped part to be 2 1/2".

If you used a Fabric Guide from the Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit, set at 2½" to cut your strips, then just line it up to the end of the strip underneath so that you can mark where the strip on top overlaps the strip underneath by 2½".

Line the edge of the Fabric Guide up to the bump created by the end of the strip underneath.

Mark along the edge of the ruler where the strip on top overlaps the strip underneath by 2½".

Cut on the line you marked and the strips will now overlap each other by 2½".

Open both strips. Then fold & clip the quilt top between them to bring the ends closer together.

Rotate one strip so that you can line them up, right sides together at a 90-degree angle, just like you did when you joined the strips.

The overlapped section will be a 2½" square. Put a pin in just above the center of the square as shown.

Unfold the quilt top and check to see that the strip will lay flat. You may need to rotate the top strip in the opposite direction if the binding is twisted and won't lay flat.

Refold the top and mark from corner to corner.

Finish stitching the binding to the top, back-stitching
where you start and stop.

Finally, Let's Hand-Stitch
the Binding to the Back of the Quilt.

Fold the strip up and press it flat to prepare to fold it to the back.

Use a sharp, hand sewing needle. A needle designed for applique works well.

Thread the needle using about 18 inches of matching thread. Much longer than that can get tangled and form knots as you are working it through the fabric.

Use a single thread, not doubled, and tie a quilter's knot at the end.

To make a quilter's knot, wrap the end of the thread three times around the needle. Then pull the needle through, hanging on to the loops to pull the knot tight.

Leave about a 6" tail on the end of the thread without a knot, so the single strand won't come out as you pull it through.

Start somewhere in the middle and bury your knot under the binding strip.

Fold the binding to the back of the quilt over the knot, and clip it in place.

The Knot and the end of the thread will be hidden under the binding.

Take a stitch into the backing and batting, being careful not to go all the way through to the other side.

Go from ⅛" to ¼", parallel to the binding strips folded edge, then come up and catch a little bite of the edge of the binding.

Go back into the backing and batting right at the same spot and go another ⅛" to ¼" and again up into the edge of the binding.

This is called a "Blind Stitch" and it gives a very attractive, almost invisible finish.

This shows the little bites into the binding in white, but with matching thread, they will be practically invisible.

Every few stitches, gently pull the thread tight to take out any slack and bury the stitches.

When you run out of thread, make a loop and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Run the needle through a spot under the binding to hide the thread and then cut off any remaining tail.

When you get to a corner, take one last bite of the binding right at the seam line from where you machine-stitched the binding to the front.

You will need to manipulate the fabric to form nice 45º miters on both the front and back.

Then take a bite out of the binding in the folded corner.

Run the needle up between the layers of binding right along the 45º folded edge.

Take a couple of tiny stitches, catching both sides of the miter, to close and secure it in place.

You can slip the needle all the way through to the front to secure the miter on the front side also.

Slip the needle back through to the back side coming out near the corner.

Continue blind-stitching all the way around.

 

 

 

When you get back where you started, tie a knot and then bury the thread going back in right at the knot, between the layers, and then clip off any remaining tail.

Done!

Your quilt is now bound with a durable double layer of
binding and practically invisible stitching.

Finally, Let's Hand-Stitch
the Binding to the Back of the Quilt.

Fold the strip up and press it flat to prepare to fold it to the back.

Use a sharp, hand sewing needle. A needle designed for applique works well.

Thread the needle using about 18 inches of matching thread. Much longer than that can get tangled and form knots as you are working it through the fabric.

Use a single thread, not doubled, and tie a quilter's knot at the end.

To make a quilter's knot, wrap the end of the thread three times around the needle. Then pull the needle through, hanging on to the loops to pull the knot tight.

Leave about a 6" tail on the end of the thread without a knot, so the single strand won't come out as you pull it through.

Start somewhere in the middle and bury your knot under the binding strip.

Fold the binding to the back of the quilt over the knot, and clip it in place.

The Knot and the end of the thread will be hidden under the binding.

Take a stitch into the backing and batting, being careful not to go all the way through to the other side.

Go from ⅛" to ¼", parallel to the binding strips folded edge, then come up and catch a little bite of the edge of the binding.

Go back into the backing and batting right at the same spot and go another ⅛" to ¼" and again up into the edge of the binding.

This is called a "Blind Stitch" and it gives a very attractive, almost invisible finish.

This shows the little bites into the binding in white, but with matching thread, they will be practically invisible.

Every few stitches, gently pull the thread tight to take out any slack and bury the stitches.

When you run out of thread, make a loop and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Run the needle through a spot under the binding to hide the thread and then cut off any remaining tail.

When you get to a corner, take one last bite of the binding right at the seam line from where you machine-stitched the binding to the front.

You will need to manipulate the fabric to form nice 45º miters on both the front and back.

Then take a bite out of the binding in the folded corner.

Run the needle up between the layers of binding right along the 45º folded edge.

Take a couple of tiny stitches, catching both sides of the miter, to close and secure it in place.

You can slip the needle all the way through to the front to secure the miter on the front side also.

Slip the needle back through to the back side coming out near the corner.

Continue blind-stitching all the way around.

When you get back where you started, tie a knot and then bury the thread going back in right at the knot, between the layers, and then clip off any remaining tail.

Done!

Your quilt is now bound with a durable double layer of binding and practically invisible stitching.

Complete Perfect Binding Kit

Kit Special: $104.17
+ Free Shipping in the US
reg. $115.74

Enter BK10 at checkout. 

FREE GIFT

Handle / Connector
$9.95 value

      • Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit: Magically cut perfect strips, using rulers you already have. No slipping! No eyeballing!
      • 1¼" Sasher: Magically fold and press a 2½" strip. No burnt fingers!
      • Fork Pins: Hold the end of the strip when folding & pressing.
      • Prep-Tool: Mark the stopping point at a scant 1/4" for sharp mitered corners.
      • Fabric Marker with black & gray refills: Mark light or dark fabric to take the guesswork out of getting sharp mitered corners.
      • Wonder Clips: Hold the binding in place when sewing it to the quilt.

Complete Perfect Binding Kit

FREE GIFT

Handle / Connector ($9.95 value)

Kit Special: $104.17
reg. $115.74

Enter BK10 
at checkout.
 

  • Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit: Magically cut perfect strips, using rulers you already have. No slipping! No eyeballing!
  • 1¼" Sasher: Magically fold and press a 2½" strip. No burnt fingers!
  • Fork Pins: Hold the end of the strip when folding & pressing.
  • Prep-Tool: Mark the stopping point at a scant 1/4" for sharp mitered corners.
  • Fabric Marker with black & gray refills: Mark light or dark fabric to take the guesswork out of getting sharp mitered corners.
  • Wonder Clips: Hold the binding in place when sewing it to the quilt.