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
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 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
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 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
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.