A fabric binding is the final step in making a beautiful handmade quilt. The binding has to be a continuous strip long enough to go around the entire quilt. In order to make continuous binding, you will need to join strips of fabric together. This tutorial will show you how to sew the strips of fabric together with a diagonal seam to make the binding seams more sturdy, less bulky and less noticeable. Read on to learn how to make quilt binding strips and how to join the binding strips together.
New to quilting? Check out our Beginner Quilting Series for lots of useful information and tips on how to quilt. In addition at the end of this blog, we have links to some simple quilt projects.
Learn the best way to sew quilt binding strips together by watching our video or keep reading this post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
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Quilt binding tips
WHAT IS BINDING?
Binding is used to cover the raw edges of a project. It is most often used in quilts, wall hangings, placemats, aprons, and many other things.
HOW to calculate quilt binding length
To determine how much quilt binding you will need to go around the edges of the quilt, lay the quilt out flat. Measure the quilt width and measure the quilt length. Add these two measurements together and multiply that measurement by 2. Then add 20" to that total to allow for joining of the strips together.
(Quilt width x 2) + (Quilt length x 2) + 20" = Quilt Binding Length
If you are still uncertain about calculating the quilt binding length and how much fabric you will need, there are a number of binding calculators online. Here are a few we recommend:
Binding Calculator by Cut Sew Quick
Binding Calculations by Scissortail Quilting
Binding Calculator by Heartbeat Quilting
Binding Calculator by OklaRoots
How to cut BINDING strips
There are two ways to cut your fabric for making binding strips - straight grain or on the bias.
What are straight grain strips? There are two types of straight grain strips - cross-grain strips or lengthwise grain strips. Cross-grain strips are cut across the width of the fabric from selvage to selvage. Lengthwise grain strips are cut parallel with the selvage.
What are bias cut strips? Bias cut strips are strips of fabric cut on the bias (45-degree angle). Bias cut strips are a lot more stretchy and are ideal for binding projects with curvy edges.
Most quilters make binding using cross-grain strips.
How wide should you cut the binding strips? Before cutting the strips you have to decide whether you want single fold or double fold binding. Jaybird Quilts has an excellent tutorial on single fold binding and we have a video tutorial on double-fold binding.
The width of the strips is a personal choice but most people cut them either 2 ¼” or 2 ½” wide for double-fold binding. Double-fold binding is the preferred type of binding for most quilters and is my personal choice because the edge of the quilt gets a lot of wear and double-fold binding is more durable.
Another binding option is a scrappy binding. You can sew leftover binding from other projects together or create a scrappy binding by using fabric from your scrap stash.
how to make quilt binding
Now let's get started on how to make cross-grain quilt binding by joining strips of fabric together.
WHAT SUPPLIES DO YOU NEED
- Cotton Quilting Fabric
- Rotary Cutter, Cutting Mat and Cutting Ruler
- Sewing Machine
- Iron and Ironing Surface
STEP 1: CUT BINDING STRIPS
Begin by pressing the fabric to remove any wrinkles before you start cutting the binding strips.
Lay the folded fabric on the cutting mat with the wrong sides together and selvages aligned evenly. With a rotary cutter and ruler, cut the binding strips the width you want.
STEP 2: JOINING AND MARKING
The desired method of joining the strips is with a diagonal seam because the seam will be less conspicuous.
Place one strip on a flat surface with the right-side-up. Place the second strip, right-side down, on top of the first strip at a 90-degree angle. The ends of each strip should extend beyond each other to make sure the selvage does not get sewn into the binding.
Line up a ruler across the two intersections diagonally and draw a line using your marker of choice from corner to corner. To make sure the fabrics do not shift when sewing, carefully pin them together.
STEP 3: SEW
Move to the sewing machine and using a straight stitch, sew along the drawn line.
STEP 4: TRIM
Trim off the excess fabric with a rotary cutter or scissors leaving a seam allowance of ¼”. Trim off the little dog ears or triangular piece at the end of the seam.
Continue adding strips in the same manner until you have one long strip the length required for your quilt or quilt project.
STEP 5: PRESS
With an iron, press the seams open so they look like the above example.
The front of the strip should look like this. After folding the binding and sewing it onto the quilt or project, the diagonal seam will be almost invisible.
You now know how to join strips of fabric together to make a continuous quilt binding. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
HERE ARE A FEW EASY BEGINNER QUILT PROJECT
Easy Charm Pack Quilt - This four patch quilt pattern is a wonderful quilt for a beginner quilter.
Baby Crib Quilt Tutorial - Looking for another beginner quilt tutorial? Check out this wonderful baby quilt pattern.
Beginner Quilt Tutorial - Click for another beginner quilt tutorial.
Learn how to machine bind a pot holder with this tutorial.
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