How-To: Get Better Binding

Double-layer binding is easy to apply and adds durability to your finished quilt.

Cut the Strips:

diagonal seams

The cutting instructions for each project tell you the width and number of binding strips to cut. Unless otherwise specified, cut binding strips on the straight grain of the fabric. Place binding strips perpendicular to each other and stitch to join the binding strips with diagonal seams to make one long binding strip. Trim and press seams open to reduce bulk.

Attach the Binding:

With the wrong side inside, fold under 1″ at one end of the binding strip and press. Then press the strip in half lengthwise with the wrong side inside. Place the binding strip against the right side of the quilt top along one edge, aligning the binding strip’s raw edges with the quilt top’s raw edge (do not start at a corner). Begin sewing the binding in place 2″ from the folded end.

Turn the Corner:

Binding Step 1

Stop sewing when you’re 1⁄4″ from the corner (or a distance equal to the seam allowance you’re using). Backstitch, then clip the threads (Photo 1).

Binding Step 2Remove the quilt from under the sewing- machine presser foot. Fold the binding strip upward, creating a diagonal fold, and finger-press (Photo 2).

Binding Step 3

Holding the diagonal fold in place with your finger, bring the binding strip down in line with the next edge, making a horizontal fold that aligns with the quilt edge. Start sewing again at the top of the horizontal fold, stitching through all layers (Photo 3). Sew around the quilt, turning each corner like this.

Finish It:

When you return to the starting point, encase the binding strip’s raw edge inside the folded end and finish sewing to the starting point. Trim the batting and backing fabric even with the quilt top edges if not done earlier. Turn the binding over the edge to the back. Hand-stitch the binding to the backing fabric only, covering the machine stitching. To make the binding corners on the quilt back match the mitered corners on the quilt front, hand-stitch up to a corner and make a fold in the binding. Secure the fold with a couple stitches, then continue stitching the binding in place along the next edge.


Need more help? Check out these videos from our sister sewing blog, HowToSew.com.

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