Quilt binding made easy

We've been playing around with our new new 2-in-1 Binding Tool. You can find them online and it's inspired us to make this guide to binding your quilts.

Quilt binding tutorial

As all us quilters know, how to bind a quilt is one of the most useful skills we have in our repertoire! Whether you’ve been binding quilts for years or you’re still learning the ropes, this handy tool is a great addition to your sewing kit. We’ve created this guide to binding your quilt so that you can follow it even if you don’t have a binding tool at home. As we go we’ll include tips for converting this advice if you’re sewing along at home without a tool to hand.

You will need

First, let’s assemble our supplies. You’ll need:

  • your finished quilt top
  • ready-made binding strips
  • marking pencil or chalk
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • binding clips or pins
  • if you have one, a binding tool.
What do you need to bind a quilt?

Step 1

Pin or clip your binding along the first edge of your quilt.

If you’re using a binding tool: Use the markers on the edges of the tool, either the ¼in or the ½in depending on the width of your binding, to mark where you will stop sewing for perfect mitred corners. Simply slot the quilt sandwich corner into the cutout and mark where it comes to on the quilt. If your quilt is particularly thick, you can also lay the tool at the corner as shown.

If you’re not using a binding tool: mark this point, above, but with a ruler.

Quilt binding tutorial step 1
Quilt binding walkthrough step 1

Step 2

Sew all around the edges of your quilt to attach your binding, stopping at your marked dots in each corner. Leave a 12½in unstitched gap between the start and end of your binding and 8in tails at each end.

Quilt binding tutorial step 2

Step 3

If you’re using the tool: Place the short flat edge under the binding on one side touching the end of the stitching (edge A aligned with the quilt edge) and mark on the line.

If you’re not using the tool: Do this step with a ruler instead!

Quilt binding tutorial step 3

Step 4

Unfold the binding and line up the mark on your tool with the mark  on the binding. Trim the end of the binding around the end of the tool.

If you’re not using a tool: Mark a diagonal 45 degree angle line from the one you’ve just ruled to the edge of the strip and cut it with a rotary cutter.

Quilt binding tutorial step 4

Step 5

Rotate the tool so that Edge B is aligned with the quilt edge and the short flat edge is touching the stitching on the other side. Mark the other binding tail.

Quilt binding tutorial step 5

Step 6

Unfold the binding and line up the mark line with the mark as before. Trim the end of the binding.

Quilt binding tutorial step 6

Step 7

Align the two angled ends right sides together, pin or clip, then sew together with a ¼in seam.

Quilt binding tutorial step 7
Quilt binding tutorial step 7B
Quilt binding tutorial joining the ends

Step 8

Refold the binding, pin or clip to the quilt sandwich and stitch in place overlapping the stitches of the previous seam.

Quilt binding tutorial step 8
Quilt binding tutorial step 8B

Step 9

Fold your binding over to the other side of the quilt and pin or clip in place. Your will see your corners are perfectly mitred. Stitch in place to complete your binding.

Quilt binding tutorial step 9
Quilt binding tutorial step 9B
Quilt binding tutorial step 9C

More tips and tricks for better binding

  • If your quilt has curved edges or corners be sure to cut your binding strips on the bias.
  • Striped fabrics are often a great choice for binding. Cut these strips at right angles to the fabric stripe, or cut these along the bias for a candy-striped effect.
  • Scrappy binding is a great way to use up leftover fabrics from a project. Cut assorted lengths of fabric your desired width from a range of fabrics and stitch them together into one length.
  • Avoid having binding strip seams fall in the corners of the quilt as these will be tricky to fold into mitred corners. This can be estimated by roughly lying the binding strip around the perimeter of the quilt.
  • Rolling up your binding helps keep the tails under control while attaching it to your quilt. If you have a quilting table with legs, these can be used to wrap your binding length around for easy unravelling.