How to make binding for a quilt

The binding you make for your quilt can change the whole look of your finished creation. In this beginner's how to guide, we'll show you how to make binding strips in any fabric you fancy to finish off your quilt in style.

How to make quilt binding

So you’ve finished piecing your quilt top, and you’ve basted your quilt sandwich. Go you! Now it’s time for the fun bit! (Well, they’re all fun bits really, but we’re especially fond of the finishing stage – binding your quilt).

Consider the colours and patterns in your quilt and then select a fabric that will enhance or contrast with these. Think of the binding as your quilt’s frame.

You can bind a quilt in really any fabric from your stash. In this how to guide we’ll show you how to cut your chosen binding fabric into strips, then join them together to make the binding for your quilt. Once you’ve made your strips you’ll find links below for our sister guides for how to then use your binding strips to bind your quilt!

Your binding needs to be strong and hard-wearing, so when you're shopping for binding fabric, opt for a 100% cotton fabric that will survive handling.

“How much binding fabric do I need?”

Measure the quilt all round and then add 20in (50cm) extra – you’ll need the excess!

Divide this number by 36 to get the yardage required for your quilt.

Most quilts require ½yd to 5⁄8yd for binding, but check your measurements to be sure.

Before binding your quilt, make a quilt sandwich (we show you how here), compete your desired quilting and then remove any tacking or pins and deal with thread ends by burying them in the batting.

Press the quilt sandwich and trim the edges so they are even with the quilt top all round. Check the quilt is right-angled.

How to make binding strips for quilts


Step 1

Begin by cutting fabric strips across the width of the fabric to form the basis of your binding. To work out much binding you will need, measure the quilt all round and add about 20in extra. Divide this number by the width of your fabric (normally 42in). This tells you how many strips to cut; round this number up. Cut binding strips 2½in wide then cut your binding strips to measure 2½in (6.5cm) wide.

How to make quilt binding


Step 2

Using ¼inch (6mm) seam allowances, join the strips together to the length required. Sew them together at right angles to create a diagonal join.

How to join binding strips together for quilts

Step 3

Press the seams open, then press the binding in half, with wrong sides together. Lay your quilt out on the floor or a large flat surface in front of you and arrange the binding strip around the edges to work out a starting position where the seams won’t fall on any of the 4 corners.

How to make binding strips

Now you’re ready to bind your quilt! We show you how to use the strips to encase the edges of your quilt sandwich in our guide to binding a quilt with double-fold binding.

How to make quilt binding strips