Tip Tuesday – 7 Quilt Binding Tips

A lot of times, quilters have a strictly love or hate relationship with quilt binding. For the large majority, it’s the latter. Unless your natural gift is folding small bits of fabric in half and managing large quilt sandwiches, you might not enjoy that last step of finishing a quilt. However, for those of you who are pro- quilt binding, it has probably taken you years to get where you are, and you’re dying to dispense some of your knowledge to other quilters. Well, now’s your time! But before you comment, read some of quilt binding techniques and tips below and find out if some of them might be useful to you.

Wonder Clips - Binding for Quilts

Binding Tip #1: Binding Clips
If you don’t like using pins when hand stitching binding for quilts, try using plastic coated paper clips. They are easy to slip on, and the thread will not get caught on them. Wonder Clips also hold on tight making the quilt binding process much easier to work with.

Binding Tip #2: Wrangling Binding
I like to wrap the finished binding around a tube that I have saved from kitchen plastic wrap (it’s heavier than a toilet tissue or paper towel tube). Then I put the tube inside an empty tissue box so I can roll it out through the box’s top opening. That way the binding stays wrapped around the tube and it dispenses easily through the slit as I sew it onto the quilt.

Binding Tip #3: No Tangle Binding
To keep binding neat and clean while applying, I use a clean plastic jar such as a recycled peanut butter jar, mayonnaise jar, etc. Cut a 1″ hole in the top of the lid and sand any rough spots around the cut hole. Loosely place the binding in the jar, replace the lid and pull the binding through. Make sure that you have your starting end of the quilt binding coming through the hole.

Binding Tip #4: Ironing Board
If I am binding a quilt that is heavy or too warm to keep on my lap, I drop my ironing board down and put it over my lap. I then put the quilt on the ironing board toUnique quilt labeling on the binding support it while I stitch the binding.

Binding Tip #5: Quilt Label
I use a unique method to make labels. I program all the label information into my sewing machine, and before adding binding to a quilt, I stitch the writing on the back half of the binding strip with a strip of tear-away stabilizer underneath. After the binding is sewn on, the writing appears on the back edge.

Binding Tip #6: Easy Folded Binding
When making folded binding, I always have a hard time keeping it from slipping off the ironing board as I press it. To solve this problem, I pin a small strip of cloth to the pointed end of the board, leaving enough space for the flat, unpressed width of the binding to pass Fons & Porter's Binding Tool - Binding for Quiltsthrough. On the other end of the board, I pin another small strip of cloth, leaving enough space for the folded part of the binding to pass through. I can press the binding while the fabric strips hold it all in place until I reach the end.

Binding Tip #7: Save Your Binding
Cut your binding at the same time you are making a quilt top. Store the binding with the quilt or in a special “binding bin” so the fabric doesn’t get used for some other quilt project before you are ready to bind the quilt.

Random Binding Fun:
Just for fun, when you choose your next scrap quilt pattern, bind the scrap quilt with a binding made from random lengths of several fabrics used in the top. Use Fons & Porter’s Binding Tool to make binding a breeze.

There you have it, tips for quilt binding for every quilter, beginner or advanced. To learn more about finishing a quilt, watch the free quilting video tutorial, Sew Easy: Learn how to Bind a Quilt. If you have some wisdom of your own, you may dispense it now. Leave a comment!

Happy Quilting!

Other topics you may enjoy:


Fons & Porter Blog, How to Finish a Quilt

9 thoughts on “Tip Tuesday – 7 Quilt Binding Tips

  1. Love the tip with the Kleenex box! So easy and handy.

    Try skipping the ironing in half altogether. You don’t need to iron the binding in half to sew it on and the fold won’t be in the right place. As the fabric wraps around the edge of the quilt, the two “halves” are no longer equal. If you’ve iron it in half, sewing it down on the crease will cause the inner part of the lining to buckle.

    As you bring the doubled binding over the edge of the quilt, it will naturally fold so you can stitch it down and have a flat binding. (Nothing’s easier than being able to skip a step…and getting a better result!)

  2. When I iron my binding,I put a large eleastic band or a headband around the. Small end of ironing board and run the unfolded binding up under it and iron to the right.It hold it stationary.

  3. Why quilters hate binding has always been a puzzle to me. From the time I begin planning my quilt, I include the binding as one of the essential elements. When my quilt is finally at the binding stage, it is so satisfying to sit with my quilt draped around me, hand stitching its last, pretty part. If I’ve machine quilted it, it is an opportunity for some lap time. If I’ve hand quilted it, it’s a chance to intimate one last time; bittersweet if it is leaving my home when it is finished. I’ve enjoyed sewing on binding from the first quilt I made. It was years before I met someone who didn’t like to bind, and I thought SHE was strange!

    1. I enjoy binding also. I don;t hand quilt but I do hand bind, in the evenings, keeping my hands busy, having conversation with my guy or watching TV and seeing my work to completion. Sew satisfying 🙂

    2. enjoyed the ideas of bindings. I don’t have any problems with binding my quilts.
      the ideas are good I will try one of the ideas just to see if it is any easier as I do iron my bindings as that is the way I was taught in class. I finally master the midered corners I had trouble with. These ideas of putting the binding on sounds good.

  4. I have a love hate relationship with the binding tool. I love the way the binding turns out so flat and prefect, but I hate the numerous times I have to try to get it right when using the tool. I look at, and read the directions over and over and still get it wrong a few times. Is there a video that would help?

    1. I learned to finish the final end without a tool. When you get almost all the way around when attaching the binding to the quilt, lay the first loose end flat. Measure the width of the binding opened. Fold the longer end that length back on itself from the starter end and cut the rest off. Do a diagonal seam as you would when attaching binding sections together. Cut off the extra fabric leaving a quarter inch seam and you are ready to sew the rest of the binding on.

  5. When I am pressing my binding, I pin a plastic bag to the end of the ironing board and as I press the binding, it is stored in the plastic bag. When attaching the binding on the quilt, I hang the plastic bag containing the binding on the knob of my sewing cabinet and the binding feeds out without any wrinkles and without tangling. I have used this method for years and it works just fine.