For the neatest of finishes on your patchwork projects, it has to be a double-fold quilt binding. If you’ve never tried this method before, we’ll show you all the steps of binding a quilt, with step-by-step photos, a video guide and a starter project to get you practising your new skills! Let's begin...
So you’ve finished making your first quilt sandwich but now you’re wondering how to bind it like a pro? Whether you’re brand new to quilt making and aren’t sure where to start, or it’s been a while and you want a refresher, read on for our easy guide to binding a quilt with mitred corners.
The instructions in this quilt binding tutorial show you how to make and bind a quilt with double-fold binding. To make double-fold binding, you simply need one long strip of fabric, pressed in half lengthways, with wrong sides together.
The ‘double’ fold comes when you attach the binding to your quilt and fold it over.
The most common width for your binding strips is 2½in, which allows for about 3⁄8in of quilt thickness. You can adjust this width, as needed, for your quilt batting or depending how wide you like your binding to be.
Binding a quilt by machine: video guide
You Will Need
Fabric for binding
Binding a quilt by machine: attaching your binding
Starting at the centre bottom of your quilt and following the traditional or seamed method (see below), attach the double-fold binding with raw edges aligned using a 1⁄4in seam. End your line of stitching 1⁄4in from the first corner of the quilt. Backstitch a few stitches to secure. Remove the quilt from your machine, and fold the binding up, away from the quilt, at a 90-degree angle.
To add mitred corners on quilt binding, use a binding clip to hold the corner, fold the binding back down onto your quilt, aligning the raw edges along the next side. Clip your binding in place along this entire edge. Stitch this edge down, starting and stopping ¼in from each corner, as before. Repeat steps 1-2 until all four corners are mitred, and finish according to your chosen method (see below).
Set the binding seam by pressing your stitching in place. With the quilt top face up, press the binding away from the quilt, working one edge at a time. Don’t worry about flattening the corners yet.
Flip the quilt over and begin pressing the binding to the reverse, extending this fold all the way to the end of the binding along one side. Clip in place.
Fold the next edge up over the quilt, completing the mitre at the corner. Work your way around the quilt until all sides are folded and clipped in place. Make sure the folded edge covers the stitched seam on the reverse of your quilt by about 1⁄8in.
Attaching the reverse
Many people choose to hand finish their binding, stitching the folded edge with invisible stitches to the reverse. We used a contrasting thread here so that you can see the stitches, but if you choose a thread that matches your binding, the stitches will blend right in. Remember to take a few stitches along the folds of your mitred corners to hold these in place.
You could also machine stitch to finish, using a ditch quilting foot. With your quilt face up, stitch in the ditch between your quilt and binding. When you reach a corner, put the needle down and pivot before sewing the next side. This will catch down the folded edge of binding on the back, while giving you an invisible line of stitching on the front.
Quilt binding: joining the ends
Now we’ll show you two ways to start and finish your binding. The traditional method is great for small items, such as mini quilts and coasters, while the seamed method gives you a more uniform finish on longer edges.
To start off, unfold one end of your binding, trim at a 45-degree angle and press under by ½in along the short edge. Align the unfolded raw edge with your quilt and stitch down 3-5in. Refold the binding and continue stitching at the point where you left off.
To finish off, trim the end of the binding so it overlaps the beginning folded edge by about 1in. Tuck this end into the folded binding at the start and pin in place. Finish stitching past the raw edge, making sure you sew down both the start and end of the binding.
Start sewing your binding leaving an unsewn 8in tail. Continue around the quilt, stopping 8in before the start of the binding. Lay one end of binding along the edge of the quilt. Trim the strip at about the halfway point of the unstitched edge, cutting the strip straight.
Lay the remaining end of binding over the top, and mark where the strips meet. Measure the width of the unfolded binding strip, add this to the length, and trim the strip at this point. So if you are using a 2½in strip, the two binding ends should overlap by 2½in.
Unfold the two ends and place right sides together, so the pieces are at right angles to one another. Draw a 45-degree diagonal line across one end and sew along the drawn line. Trim the seam to ¼in and finger press open. Refold your binding and finish attaching to the quilt.
“What do I need to bind a quilt?”
Binding clips are a lot easier to use than pins because they easily clip over the multiple layers used in binding.
Ditch Quilting Foot
For machine-finished binding, this foot will help you achieve a flawless finish by hiding your final seam from the front.
For hand-finishing binding, invisible thread is the perfect choice, especially if you’re not confident with your stitches. Otherwise, choose a thread that matches the colour of your binding.