There are two types of binding I use often in quilt making. Most commonly used is a continuous binding with mitered corner. This method can be done as a single or double binding. The second method is one I use for most wall hangings. It is a straight binding and commonly used for single thickness. This particular method is just as easy as the first and is very similar to adding borders.

Which ever method you choose, you should cut strips for binding on the straight of grain. You only need to cut strips on the bias for curved bindings such as a circular quilt or a quilt with rounded corners.

Cut binding strips twice the width of your finished binding plus 3/4" for seam allowance and fold. Cut as many as required to equal the perimeter of the quilt, plus a little extra for joining. That is, measure around the outer edge of the quilt - 2 x width plus 2 x length. Add an extra 8-10" for joining. Example for a 30" x 40" quilt: The derimeter will equal 140" [(2 x 30) + (2 x 40)]. Since our fabric is generally 40" wide, we will cut 4 strips. 4 x 40 = 160". This will be sufficient to make the binding with some to spare.

When strips need to be joined, always join them on the bias. To do this, place the two strips right sides together perpendicular to each other to form a 90 degree angle. Stitch across the diagonal. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and press seam open.

Joining strips

Single Straight Binding

First look at your quilt and check which borders were put on first, sides OR top and bottom. Keep the binding consistant with your borders. If you put the sides of your border on first, then you should put the bindings on the sides first.

Measure through center of quilt (horizontally for top and bottom binding OR vertically for side bindings) to find the exact measurement length for binding. Cut TWO strips this length from binding strips. Note: If the binding strips are not long enough, then join them with bias seams as mentioned above. Do not make joins unless necessary.

Attach binding matching raw edges and ends. Note: For long bindings, find center of binding and quilt so they can also be matched.

Press binding strip over seam allowance just as you would for a border.

Measure through center of quilt again, this time in the other direction, measuring through to raw edges of binding. Cut TWO strips this length and attach in the same way to the remaining edges. Press binding over seam allowance.

Turn binding to wrong side of quilt, fold under raw edge and slip stitch in place.

Mitered Binding

For this method, all binding strips need to be joined in one continuous line. Joins should be made on the bias as instructed above.

Cut one end of your binding strip at a 45 degree angle and press under 1/4" seam allowance along this edge.

Lay your binding down on one long side of your quilt with raw edges even and right sides together. Do not start too close to any corner, but rather midway along the side.

Stitch the binding to the quilt with a quarter inch seam stopping 1/4" before the corner.

Pivot your quilt ready to stitch the second side, but reverse off the end instead. The quilt maybe removed from the machine at this point.

Trim end to a 45 degree angle and press under 1/4"
Reverse off end after pivoting

Fold the binding at 45 degrees so it is in line with the side of the quilt that will be sewn next.

Fold binding back at 45 desgree angle

Make a second fold in binding at the edge of the quilt leaving a small 1/4" pleat in binding, laying the binding down with raw edges even with the next side to be sewn. Place the quilt back under the machine foot and proceed to stitch down the second side of the quilt.

Leave small pleat and align with next side

Repeat this for all corners.

When all corners have been stitched, continue to stitch the last side of the quilt up until about 8" before the starting stitches.

Ensure the binding is even with raw edge of quilt and overlaps folded edge at beginning. Trim top binding at same angle as folded edge leaving approximately 1/2" overlap. Finish stitching binding in place.

Stitching finished

Press binding over seam allowance. Turn binding to wrong side of quilt folding miters in place. Turn under raw edge and slip stitch in place.

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