Binding Tutorial

When I first started binding quilts one of my biggest fears was seaming the binding strip together at the very end.  At first I overlapped the seams and didn’t sew them together.  That was awful and looked like a bulky mess.

Then I got the binding tool.

I had watched Jenny from Missouri Star and she made it look so very easy.  I ended up ordering one and loved it.

Fast forward a couple years….I lost it.  I was too spend-thrift to buy another…so I started doing it on my own.  Being I had used the binding tool for so long, I could kind of make it work without one using about the same technique only lazily cutting instead.  Then I found my binding tool.  But by now I was using 2 1/4″ binding instead so it wasn’t working quite right.  So back to doing it on my own with no percision…but good enough.

That was working okay…then one day I was going through my Facebook feed and saw a video.  I watched it…then rewatched…then when I was binding my baby quilt, I decided to give it a try.

I was thrilled and tried it on the baby quilt I finished recently.  It worked splendidly and I decided to write blog post about it.  So I started this post…but…do you think I can find the original video I watched.  I couldn’t.  BUMMER.

So…when I went to bind the Daylilies quilt I took pictures so I could show you how.  If I can’t show the video, at least show you the pictures.  Here goes….Tack the binding down leaving a tail on each end.  The distance apart you stop isn’t a big deal, just be sure that they over lap for a minimum of 3″ and your space between starting and stopping is more than 7″.

Lay the fist strip down flat against the quilt as shown in the photo below.

Get another piece of fabric that is the same width as your binding strip.  I took one that was a different color so you can more easily see the piece in the tutorial.  My strips are cut at 2 1/4″ so my “other” strip is 2 1/4″ too.  For those of you who cut at 2 1/2″, your “other” piece should be 2 1/2″ wide.

Lay it on top of the first piece perpendicular as shown.  Align the edges as shown.

Now lay the other tail end of the strip on top of the “other” piece.

Now cut the top tail off even with the overlapped edge of the “other” fabric.  In the photo below, notice the “other” strip.  The bottom binding strip is even with one edge.  The top binding strip is cut even with the other edge.  Make sure the two binding strips are overlapping.

Remove the “other” piece of fabric.  Your tail ends should look like this.

Open up the binding strips.  

With right sides together pin them in place like you do to connect the strips.

Sew on the diagonal.

I purposely sewed with teal thread so you can see the seam.

Remove pins and clip the diagonal corner off.  Press sean open.

Lay the binding strip down and sew in place.  PERFECT!!

This is now my newly adopted method for connecting the final binding piece.  I love it and it’s SUPER easy….no tool needed.

What method do you use for this?  Inquiring minds what to know!!

28 thoughts on “Binding Tutorial”

  1. I do it the exact same way. Except I leave my tails a little longer to give a little more room to sew on the diagonal. No need to ever buy a binding tool.

  2. I connect binding ends as you describe but I cut about 1 inch off the binding I just sewed on as my guide when I overlap the ends. And as mentioned above I make sure the ends are sewn correctly before cutting the diagonal off.

  3. Forgot to add: I use a large straight pin to attach the quilt together (fold onto the backing, or front of quilt, and place pin through all layers) so it doesn’t keep trying to pull the binding apart and out of my hands. Did that make any sense? I hope so!

  4. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I just watched a video on that this afternoon!! I was taught the Fons and Porter way when I first learned to quilt so that is what I use. Darn, I can’t remember where I saw the video…I went to my trash to see which blog had it, but can’t find it! Sorry.

  5. I do it the way you showed also. Learned it in a guild meeting years ago. In fact I just finished binding a quilt this evening! It was one of my best bindings ever.

  6. I used the tool too but every time I used it had to watch the tutorial. I saw same video on Facebook and now use your method…foolproof unless you twist when sew together…so I pin, then check, then sew together. I do press the join seam open, like all the binding strips join. No bulk!

  7. My first binding was a mess, then I learned the faux flange method, then the method you currently using. This is so easy to do once you get that trick of the amount to over lap.
    I really enjoy your blog thank you

  8. I use Bonnie Hunter’s method of folding down one binding end, marking with a pin, then bringing the opposite end to the pin mark. You then cut, match diagonal seams and stitch. It’s perfect every time and easy.

  9. Next time I bind a quilt, I’ll be using this method. My biggest problem is sewing the diagonal in the wrong direction, but I’ll use Cheryl’s suggestion of pinning first to check, then sew together. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Different methods seem to click for different people. The method you demonstrated today for us really just clicks for me!! A lightbulb moment happened as I viewed this. Thank you!!

  11. I’ve been overlapping my ends for years and I do it deftly I guess because I’m not bothered with bulk. Sometimes I do it your way. I recently sewed the binding onto On Ringo Lake and it was a big quilt! I just had breast cancer surgery so my left arm was still sore and aching but doctor said to use it. I cut 2 1/4″ binding like I always do, joined on the diagonal and then pressed in half for a long strip. then I wrapped the entire strip around my right hand creating a loop of binding. Pin each end, inside and out. Then I was able to manhandle the quilt with left arm, unpinning the outside end and holding the binding down onto the end of the quilt. With my right hand, I held the loop of binding in it. This kept the binding neat and organized the enitre length of it and I just rolled off what I needed to sew on. I have pics of this if anyone wants them.

  12. I do my binding exactly that way. I cut a rectangular piece from my binding strip to be the “other” piece – so I always know it is he correct width for the overlap. I find that pinning and checking first is vital and I always press the seam open AND press the finished binding to the quilt to make sure it lies neat and flat before stitching it down.

  13. It’s probably not good that I have no idea how I do bindings. I think I look at some instructions and then wing it. With the xmas gift quilts I’m working on, though, I will have to do better so this post was timely.

  14. I use this same method for binding my quilts and it works like a charm. I recently tried the flange binding and I like the look of it on some of the quilts. I still use a 2.5 inch binding but I think I should give the 2.25 a try.

  15. SusanfromKentucky

    I do it the way you’ve shown and learned it from a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial. Maybe that’s the one you saw.

  16. I do the same, but don’t bother with the other fabric to measure. I just overlap them, measure my width (I have gone down to a 2 inch strip due to a comment from the fair judge saying be sure binding is full) and mark with a pen. I do have to coach myself every time to put the starting part on top of the end to be sure it will lay right and I have also managed to get it twisted and have to unsew. . . a local lady showed me this years ago and it made binding so much easier.

  17. Hi Jo. I hope this finds you well. I used to do a horrible job of joining the binding until I found this tutoral from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts,
    There will some steps you won’t do with but for me I get a consistent result that I like by following these steps. Its great that there are so many different ways to get the same result allowing you to find the ones that works best for you.

  18. I do my binding like you are showing. I watched Dot’s video and want to give this method a try also. Thanks for sharing that Dot. That is a new method for me.

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