Monday, September 17, 2012

Quilt Binding Tutorial

Quilt Binding ready to sew on a quilt

Here is a quick and easy quilt binding tutorial to help you make your own binding in the fabric of your choice.  It makes the whole process super simple and you will have beautiful sharp, square corners when you are done.

1.  For the length of binding needed, measure and add up all four sides of the completed quilt and add 25 inches to the total.
Diagram to help calculate the length of binding needed

2.  Cut long strips of fabric, 2.5” in width.   Cut enough strips to sew together to equal the total length calculated above.  If you prefer a narrower binding, cut the strips 2 1/4” in width. If you prefer a scrappy look, cut the strips out of different fabrics and the length of the strips is entirely up to you.

Quilt binding ready to sew onto the quilt

3.  Attach the strips of fabric as shown in the picture below.  Stitch from corner to corner as shown by the black line in the picture.

How to sew binding strips together

4.  Use a ruler to trim to ¼” seam allowance.

Trim the seams on the quilt binding

The chain piecing technique can be used when sewing the strips together.  

Chain stitch the binding pieces in a row

5.  Once the strips are sewn together and the seam allowances are trimmed, press the seams open.  Then fold the strip in half and press, as demonstrated in the photo below.

Fold the Binding Strip in Half and Press with an Iron

6.  Now the binding is ready to sew to the quilt.  Line up the binding along the edge of the quilt with the raw edges of the binding lined up with the edge of the quilt, preferably somewhere on the lower part of the quilt.

Leave about 10” of extra binding loose at the beginning to aid in sewing up the edges at the end.  Start sewing 10” from the beginning of the binding demonstrated by the black arrow in the picture below.

Pin the Prepared Binding Strips to the Quilt

7.  Start sewing the binding to the quilt with ¼” seam allowance.  Backstitch or lockstitch at the beginning.  When you reach the corner, stop ¼” away from the end and backstitch to lock in the stitch.

Remove the quilt from the machine and fold the additional binding straight up as demonstrated in the picture below.

Fold the Binding Strip Back at the Corner to Sew a Neat Quilt Corner

Hold the corner in place and then fold the binding back down.  Hold or pin in place and start sewing from the end.

Fold Binding to Make a Square Quilt Corner

Continue this process all the way around the quilt.  Stop stitching with the last 10” of binding loose.  Backstitch or lockstitch at the end.

8.  Unfold the binding flat and pin to keep it flat.  Then line up the edges on the diagonal as shown below.

Sew the binding ends together

9.  Unfold one strip over the other and pin the two strips together along the diagonal fold.  This is where the two strips will be sewn together.  It might help to use a marking tool to mark the stitch line.  This is an easy way to accurately pin on the diagonal.

Sew the binding ends together

The picture below shows the two ends of the binding pulled away from the quilt edge and pinned on the diagonal.

Sew along the black line.

Sew the Binding Ends Together

11.   Fold the binding back in place to test if the sizing is accurate.  Do this before cutting anything.  Once it is determined that the length is correct, open the binding and trim the seam allowance to ¼”.  Press the seams open with an iron, a pressing tool or your finger.  Fold the binding back into place along the quilt and finish sewing it to the quilt.

Quilt Binding Tutorial | © Saltwater Quilts 2012

12.  Fold the binding over and whipstitch the binding to the quilt back.

All Finished!  Your quilt is now complete.

If you would like to see more of the quilt in these pictures, it can be found at the following post:  Rainbow Steps and Stairs

You can find the pattern to make this quilt here on my Etsy shop.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Very inspiring for a way super beginner like myself. I am very much so still learning about all things related to my sewing machine. I need all the great tutorials I can manage on quilting!


  2. Wow great tutorial..Im at this step on my quilt..Thanks

  3. Great job on the tutorial, Candace. It's fun to see the different ways people do things!

  4. This is so good to know! I've always wondered how to do it. Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. You make this look so easy - great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  6. Thank you for such an easy binding tutorial. I got it right the first time I tried the method you show on how to attach the ends of the binding. Thanks for sharing.

    1. That's great! I am glad that it worked well for you. My goal was to make it a quick, easy process. No throwing the quilt across the room in frustration. :)

  7. Thank you for the binding tutorial! I have pinned this for when I have the nerve to try quilting.


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