The beginner quilt is now nearing completion so the next stage is finding out how to bind a quilt. Quilt bindings come in a wonderful variety of styles but my standard quilt binding is a double fold quilt binding. It is simple to add to the quilt, strong because there are two layers of fabric and provides a distinct frame to the quilt. All the edges of the beginner quilt are straight so I am showing in this tutorial straight grain quilt binding rather than bias binding.
How much quilt binding?
Before you can bind your quilt you obviously need to know how much quilt binding to make. To do this measure the length and width of the quilt. You will need twice this length for your binding. My beginner quilt is 74″ square at this stage so I will need to make twice 74″ plus 74″, which is 296″. I know I could just say four times the measurement for one side, but I phrased it that way because quilts can very often be a different width and length. I tend to allow a good 20″ or so more to allow for corners and finishing, so I will cut at least 310″ for the quilt binding. That means cutting eight strips across the width of fabric. 2.1/2″ is a good width for quilt binding – it gives a good frame to the quilt.
Joining two lengths of quilt binding
In order to join two lengths of quilt binding, place two strips of fabric with right sides together at right angles to each other. Sew the diagonal of the square formed by the two strips of binding and trim the excess triangle about 1/4″ from the seam. When you open out the length of quilt binding it gives a straight line but with a diagonal seam which much less bulk than a straight seam would have done.
Sewing the quilt binding to the quilt
Fold the quilt binding strip in half along the length so that you have a 1.1/4″ wide double strip. Find a place about half way down one edge of the quilt and place the quilt binding strip with the fold towards the middle and the two raw edges in line with the quilt edge.
Begin sewing about 1″ or 2″ from the end of the binding so that you leave a trailing edge. Using a 1/4″ seam sew until you are just 1/4″ away from the quilt corner. Backstitch and remove the quilt from the sewing machine.
Tutorial – Binding the quilt corners
Fold the quilt binding up away from the quilt at right angles to the quilt. Use your finger to hold the quilt binding in place and fold the binding back down so that the quilt binding is now running along the next edge to be bound. Begin sewing again from the quilt corner and continue down the edge of the quilt. Repeat the process each time you come to a corner. These folds will result in neat mitred corners to your quilt binding.
Finishing the quilt binding
When you return to the beginning of the quilt binding, stop sewing a few inches from where you began. You should now have two trailing ends of quilt binding. Trim the ends so that the overlap is about 1″.
Turn under a 1/4″ hem on the left hand end of quilt binding so that the raw edge will be hidden. While the left hand end is opened up, lay the right hand end of quilt binding on the lower layer and then fold the top layer down over it so that the right end is inside the fold of the left hand end.
Pin along the join, smoothing gently to make sure that the quilt binding lies flat and then sew across the gap in stitching. Leave the pin in place until you have sewn along the line of the join.
Tutorial – Sewing the binding to the back of the quilt
Flip the quilt binding to the back of the quilt and slipstitch in place. When you reach the quilt corner smooth the quilt binding along the line that you ave been sewing.
Hold the first line of quilt binding in place with your finger and fold down the second edge of binding so that the corners meet and you have a mitre running to the quilt corner. If you look on the other side (the quilt top) you’ll see that there is a mitre on that side as well.
Keep going until you get back to the beginning of the quilt binding and sew along the line where the quilt binding begn and ended. Your quilt binding is now completely secured to the quilt and your quilt could be put to use right now.
Here’s the quilt binding video: