You probably already know how to bind a quilt, but quilting from start to finish is a personal process and means that binding a quilt varies from quilter to quilter. Even the experts differ on how they choose to finish a quilt. Adding quilt binding to your quilt can be tricky business for some quilters, but it doesn’t have to be! Below are some expert tips on how to bind a quilt and finish with a smile.
Let’s start with some quilt binding tips from Fons & Porter:
Fons & Porter has some great pointers! If you’d like to learn more about making a fabric tube for continuous bias binding, follow this Sew Easy link.
Now, how about other expert quilters that know their way around quilt binding? Our friend, Patrick Lose, has several tips on how to bind a quilt and has been kind enough to share them with the rest of us. He’s even made an impression on Mary Kate Karr-Petras – Quilters Newsletter Associate Editor – as she mentions in her tip below. Patrick offers his guidance on Quilt Binding Basics, as well as how to cut continuous bias binding strips.
We love Patrick Lose! We also love our quilting colleagues at our sister publications! Here they are with their own preferred methods of binding a quilt:
- “I’m pretty traditional about my bindings and still prefer to hand finish most of them, even toddler quilts, although I make a point of keeping my stitches small and close together because I know from experience how easy it is for little fingers to work their way between bigger stitches and rip them out! I’ve also started incorporating a trick I learned from Patrick Lose about trimming the corners for a neater, flatter finish and I like the difference even such a small amount can make.”
~Mary Kate Karr-Petras, Associate Editor, Quilters Newsletter
- “One thing that I think I do differently than other quilters is I trim the backing and batting even with the quilt top before I start sewing my binding on. That way I can make sure all edges are perfectly straight and the corners are all 90-degrees. I also stitch my binding on with a regular 1/4″ foot instead of a walking foot. For continuous binding I trim one end of my strip to 45-degrees, and press the 1/4″ seam allowance under, before stitching. Then I stitch the binding all around the quilt, and when it’s time to attach the two ends of the binding, I can just use the folded edge to mark the sewing line where the strips will be sewn together.”
~Gigi Khalsa, Associate Editor, McCall’s Quilting, Quick Quilts
- “When I overlap the ends of binding strips to sew a diagonal seam, I extend the edges just a little past each other instead of aligning them. That makes it easier to see exactly where to sew. Then I press the seam open before trimming which makes pressing easier.” ~Debra Finan, Editor, Quilting Quickly
- “To bind a quilt, I use the double fold technique, as most quilters use. If I have something with curves, however, and need the bias so that the binding can bend over hills and ease into valleys, that would be the time to use continuous bias binding. I haven’t had to use it in any of my quilts, as of yet. Some people do it for better wear – my grandma always did!”
~Diane Tomlinson, Associate Editor, Fons & Porter
- “I do my bindings all by machine. I measure and fold in the typical way and attach the binding to the front of the quilt. I press and fold so the folded edge of the binding just covers the stitching line on the back of the quilt and fuse it in place with Elmer’s school glue. I finish by stitching from the front so my stitches are nice and straight on the front of the quilt.”
~Lori Baker, Acquisitions Editor, Golden Quilting Community, F+W Media
Binding by machine is quite common, but hand quilting techniques – binding by hand – is a technique that many quilters prefer. If you’d like to learn more about hand-sewn binding, we recommend Hand Quilt Binding with Laura Roberts, an on demand web seminar.
Another quilt binding obstacle that might have you scratching your head is binding with challenging textiles, like plush fabrics. If you’re wondering how to tackle this one, the Sew Easy lesson, Binding with Plush Fabric, can walk you through the process.
It’s time to go out into the world and conquer all things binding! Do you feel like you know how to bind a quilt with the best of them? Leave a comment below with your binding tips, questions, or thoughts about this post. I’d love to hear from you!