How to Bind a Quilt – Part 2

by Kim on March 12, 2009

Well, the time has come! We are to our final step in making our quilt! I hope you have learned something new and have enjoyed the journey!  

If you missed Part 1, be sure to do those steps first.  That will have you making one continuous binding strip for your quilt.

Step 1: Lay the binding strip on top of the quilt, aligning the raw edges of the strip to the raw edges of the quilt.  

*Note:  Begin this strip about 1/3rd of the way down one side of your quilt top.

Step 2:  Leave approximately a 6 inch tail of your strip unsewn when you are about to begin.  Using a 3/8″ seam allowance (or the width of my walking foot) begin stitching the binding to the quilt.  Begin sewing and backstitch. 

**Note: I used a 3/8″ seam allowance because it was easy to line up the fabric with my walking foot.  Another common measurement for binding is using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  I use a 1/4″ seam allowance when my cut strip widths are 2 1/4″ inches wide. Whatever seam allowance you decide, be sure to remember it because it will be important as you come to Step 3.

Step 3:  As you get closer to the corner, stop sewing 3/8″ from the end. (If you are using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stop sewing 1/4″ from the end.) Backstitch.

Step 4:  Lift needle and foot and remove the quilt from the machine.  Lift your binding up and over itself so that the raw edges are in line with the raw edge of the quilt.

Step 5:  Fold your strip back down (over itself) so the there is a fold still along the top edge, and the raw edges of the strip and the quilt are matching again.

Step 6:  Begin sewing 3/8″  away from the corner (or 1/4″ if you are using that seam allowance).  Backstitch.  Some quilters may start sewing right from the edge.  Both methods will work.

Step 7:  Continue this method for all four corners of your quilt.

Step 8:  When you get towards the end of your binding, stop sewing approximately 8 inches from the end of your strip.

Step 9:  This part can be a little tricky and there are several ways you can do this.  One way is to simply overlap your ends. My friend and co-worker, Lorie, made a great tutorial on this.  Before she even starts sewing on her binding, she folds the short (starting) end of the binding 1/2″.  Then when it comes time to finish, here is what she recommends: When you reach the end of the binding, stop stitching and cut it 1” beyond the starting point of the binding.  The raw end should be on top.

Complete stitching to the end and backstitch.

Simple enough, right? Absolutely!  Here’s another way — You can bring your strips out and unfold. Sew at that 45 degree angle like you did when you were attaching the strips together in the first place.  Trim and press open seam.  Adjust to fit the quilt exactly.  I cut the excess so that I had approximately a 3 inch overlap. Then when I sewed the strips together, it fit back onto my quilt nicely.

Step 10: Place your joined binding back onto the quilt and finish stitching. Backstitch at the end.

Step 11:  Fold your binding to the back, covering the raw edge of the quilt.  The corners will form a nice miter when they are folded back.

Step 12:  The binding on the back should be brought over enough to cover the stitching line.  With needle and thread, stitch down the binding to the back of the quilt using a blind hem stitch.  I’ll work on that part tomorrow and post a photo when I’m done.  I’ve also seen this step completed by using a clear thread for the top, a coordinating bobbin thread, and sewing with the “stitch in the ditch” method.  This works and is faster, but I think hand stitching is not only relaxing, but a bit more precise, too.  Either way works great as I’ve done it both ways.  It’s just a preference, but I will say that I prefer stitching it with needle and thread.

Again, enjoy the time spent making this.  In fact, I’m renting a movie tomorrow and will stitch the back while watching.  Am I the only one that can’t sit still through a movie? :)
Have fun!


1 Jamie Cook 03.13.09 at 9:31 am

Kim, Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have had so much fun, making something I never thought I could. You made it so easy w/ all the pictures. Thanks again! Jamie

2 Joyce 03.13.09 at 9:42 am

Thanks. I’m not up to the final steps but am enjoying making the quilt. I have learned so much. You have done a wonderful job making each step clear. The photos are great and have helped make it easy. I aslo am making something I never thought I could.

3 Carla 03.13.09 at 11:27 am

Woo-Hoo – I’m finished!!! I posted a quick pic on my blog, but will be sure to post another with the quilt hanging in place.

You did a fantastic job explaining all of the finishing steps! I can’t believe how quickly it came together. I was dreading this last little bit, but it was easy-peasy…and fun!!!

4 Jen 03.15.09 at 1:49 pm

Add me to the finished list! I love it, thank you so much YCMT! Pics and blog here:

5 Sara 03.15.09 at 8:43 pm

Yay! Thanks so much for posting all the steps. I’m sure it was time consuming. I appreciate you taking the time to do all that was involved with this (sewing, pictures, writing directions, etc.) I’ve really enjoyed learning something new! I’m not finished yet, but will definitely post pics soon.

6 holly 03.18.09 at 7:40 pm

i’m not finished. i need to flip the binding to the back and stitch it down. i am going to use the clear thread on top/stitch in the ditch method. but i’m scared! LOL. i’ll do it though. and i’ll get thru it.

and, no. i cannot sit in front of the tv and “do nothing.” i have a special crochet project that i work on when i watch tv.

i think only women feel they have to be productive while relaxing.

7 Brenda 03.19.09 at 2:14 pm

Not only a great narrative but the pictures were sized for special detail. Older eyes so appreciate that. THANK YOU

8 Suzanne 03.19.09 at 8:32 pm

I have read many explanations of mitering the corners, but your step-by-step photos finally made it clear! Thanks, I can’t wait to try it!

9 Pat Triska 03.25.09 at 4:26 am

The tutorial was very informative. I now can finish my quilts in a more professional way. I am a quilt addict. I love material and am always working in my mind on the next project. I also donate quilts to “Project Linus” which give sick kids in hospitals a little security. I also love getting the newsletter and seeing all the cute things that I can make. I wish my grandchildren were still little so I could do a little sewing for them.

10 Barbara 03.27.09 at 1:24 pm

THANK YOU!! I am just getting ready to finish my first quilt and this was a timely post.

Again, thank you……

Now,,,any ideas for the meandering stitch??

11 Chris 04.16.09 at 8:00 am

Hi! Congratulations getting the YCQT up and running, looks like a great website. Thanks so much for the binding tutorial, have done it before but not lately so a reminder wasn’t a bad thing! Chris

12 Jaya 04.22.09 at 11:55 pm

i’m done!! i did it, i made my first quilt! it was so easy, with the step-by-step instructions you so graciously shared with us.. i have posted a picture on my blog, and i would like to upload it on ycqt too.. can you make these instructions (blog posts) into an ebook and post it as a free project in the ycqt site, then we can all upload our creations there. thank you, Kim, for making this tutorial, you’ve made my day!

p.s. i would never have attempted it if it did not have “babysteps” in the first post.. If I can make this (with three kids running around the house) in under a month, then anyone can!

13 Jaya 04.23.09 at 12:31 am… mommy brain..i made it in four months, not one. where did all the time go?

14 volosheetle 05.03.09 at 11:49 pm

Best reviews of the day about Depression, Essay on teen depression, Depression help ways and Major depression symptoms.

15 Kei 04.13.10 at 8:19 am

I finally finished my quilt!!!! Over a year since I started it, but it looks good and I’m very proud of it.

Comments on this entry are closed.