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How to Bind a Quilt

sewing the binding to the quilt edge

The binding of a quilt is a final opportunity for a design element for your quilt. The purpose of the binding is to both finish the look of the quilt as well as to protect the edges from wear.

There are many ways to bind a quilt. Some of them are harder than others. This page is going to cover the absolute easiest and most frugal way to bind a quilt. When you become a more experienced quilter, you can learn to do mitered corners, curved edges, or even pillow folds.

With this method of binding a quilt you are going to do one side of the quilt at a time. You will need a strip of fabric for each edge of the quilt. It should be the length of the quilt side plus an extra few inches for each side.

Bear in mind that you can seam the strip of fabric. Seaming is done not only for frugal reasons, but as a design element. Some colorful quilts change colors every 12 inches or so for effect.

This is a double fold binding. After you cut the strip of fabric, you fold it in half lengthwise and press it. If you want a narrow binding, cut the strips 2 1/4 inches. If you want a wider binding, you can cut them up to 3 1/2 inches.

Leaving about 1 inch of the binding off the quilt, put the binding on the quilt, raw edges together as pictured at the top of this page.

Sew the binding on the quilt from one edge to the other edge. You should also have an inch of binding unattached at the other edge of the quilt.

You next need to trim the batting. You need to leave enough batting so that when the binding is pulled to the back of the quilt, the binding will have batting in it.

Turning under the edge of the bindingNow go to the iron, and press under the raw edge of the binding, per the picture to the left.

The folded edge of the binding should be even with the edge of the quilt. The raw edges should be securely folded into the quilt.

Now it is just a matter of turning down the binding to the sewing line, and stitching the binding down.

The picture below is the back side of the quilt. It illustrates the binding after it has been turned down and is ready to be sewn.

You can hand sew it down, or you can use your machine. You can machine sew it with a straight stitch or zigzag stitch.

binding pinned from the back After you do one side of the quilt, do the opposite side. Then do the other 2 sides. and you are done.

One thing worth mentioning is that you are going to have bulk in the corners. You may want to do some trimming to reduce that bulk.

Below is a picture of a scrappy heart table runner with the same narrow tight binding. This is how the binding will look from the front of the quilt.

binding of table runner

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