SELF BINDING QUILTS

Self binding quilts

Self binding quilts

 

An easy method of binding is to make the backing bigger than the quilt top and fold it forwards over the quilt top to bind the raw edges of the quilt.  This is known as self binding the quilt.

 

 

 

Preparing the quilt for self binding

Backing and wadding wider than the quilt top

Backing and wadding wider than the quilt top

Trim the wadding first

Trim the wadding first

I always make the wadding and backing bigger than the quilt top anyway to allow for any shrinkage of movement during quilting.

If you are self binding your quilt, trim the wadding to about 1/4″ beyond the quilt top.  Trim the backing fabric 1.1/2″ wider than the quilt top all round.

 

Folding the self binding on the quilt edge

Fold the backing to the quilt edge

Fold the backing to the quilt edge

Fold the edge of the backing in to the edge of the quilt top and then fold it again so that the fold in the backing lies on top of the quilt, overlapping by about 1/4″.  Folding the backing for self binding in this way means that you have the added protection of two layers of fabric around the quilt edge which takes the most wear in a quilt.  It also means that you have a fold to sew, meaning there is no time consuming folding under of the raw edge.

 

Sewing the self binding to the quilt

The quilt self binding can be sewn in place either by machine or by hand.  I personally prefer hand sewing quilt binding, although machine is definitely quicker!

There are two ways of treating the corners when self binding:  there are probably many more than two, but I have two for you in this article.

Quilt self binding with mitred corners

Trim the corner

Trim the corner

Fold the backing across the corner

Fold the backing across the corner

 

If you prefer your quilt to have mitred corners, clip 1″ off the corner of the backing and turn the remaining edge in over the quilt top as shown.

 

 

Fold the backing on the right

Fold the backing on the right

The mitred self binding quilt corner

The mitred self binding quilt corner

 

Fold the backing on the right of the corner twice as for the rest of the self binding.  Do the same again for the binding to the left of the corner.  The quilt corner should now have a neat mitre ready for sewing in place.

 

Alternative method for self binding quilt corners

Fold the self binding right up to the corner

Fold the self binding right up to the corner

Fold the next edge around the corner

Fold the next edge around the corner

The other method for dealing with self binding a quilt corner is more straightforward but to my mind not as neat.  Fold the binding under twice right up to the corner.  Fold the binding on the next edge twice, taking care to keep the corner square.  You have several layers of fabric there now so you might need to tuck in any bit that isn’t following the line of the corner.

 

The beauty of self binding quilts is that you can sew all the way round without taking your quilt out of the sewing machine and there is no joining the ends of the binding to cope with.

Disadvantages are perhaps that you don’t have a frame for the back of the quilt and you have fewer colour choices.

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Comments

  1. Hi Rose – I don’t know where else to go to find this info. I want to make a fold-over protector for the top of my quilt. My husband has very oily skin and I’m trying to think of a way to do this. Do I sew it on the back with a button-down front? Any help you can give me is appreciated.

    • Hi Lorraine. My apologies for the delay in replying – I’ve been trying to think of ideas. You probably don’t want to have a protector sewn on because if it can be taken off then you can wash it on its own. Perhaps if you had buttons or pressed studs on both back and front that might work, although I suppose that might be uncomfortable. Sorry – I don’t think that I can be much help here.

  2. Darlene Hintze says:

    I had never turned a binding from the back to front – Your instructions were great. Thank you

  3. My first time doing a t-shirt quilt and using the backing for a binding. Since the quilt turned out quite large because of the number of t-shirts available, I am now questioning the idea of stitching the binding. You mentioned that you prefer hand stitching. I do, also. Especially since the quilt turned out so large and sewing by machine sounds overwhelming due to space available. Do you hand stitch all the way thru to the back or do you simply stitch the binding to the front? Thank you for your assistance.

    • Hi Norma. Well done – you must be so pleased with such a large project. For the binding I would only stitch it to the front – I think that would be neater. I’m not sure whether you have quilted the three layers together at any stage. You must do this or the layers will move against each other. As it’s such a large quilt you may prefer to hand tie for the quilting. You can find out about hand tying on this link:

    • http://ludlowquiltandsew.co.uk/beginner-quilting/hand-tying-quilts/
  • Thank you for your tutorial, so helpful! I self binded my little lap quilt but had 2 small sections where the top fabric shrank away from the binding. I was able to fix, but not sure why this happened–should I have prewashed my fabric? Or perhaps some of my stitching didn’t catch enough of the top fabric?

    • Hi Jen. I think it could have been caused by either of those reasons. I personally don’t pre wash my fabrics, because in general they don’t tend to shrink these days but that’s not to say that you couldn’t still have had some shrinkage. I tend to have my stitches fairly close together when I sew the binding. I think this helps to anchor the binding to the quilt.

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