Having a beautiful mitered binding on a quilt is the perfect finishing touch and the part I love the most. There are different ways to produce a binding like this – I prefer to stitch my binding down on the front, wrap it around to the back and stitch in the ditch on the front, so the stitches are hidden and the sewing line only shows on the back. It is just personal preference and you will have to decide how you like your binding to look.
I like to make my own binding, choosing a fabric that complements the quilt and sets it off nicely. A stripey binding is very popular with quilters and adds a little zing to the edges. Any small repeat is nice, too. You can also use a solid or even use scraps and make a scrappy binding.
You will be cutting strips cross-grain to make this kind of binding and then sewing them together to make one long continuous strip. The tutorial shows you how to join the strips together on a diagonal, so the seams lay a little nicer.
This binding is not difficult to do, but requires slow stitching for precision. I recommend using Wonder Clips from Clover instead of pins. They are faster, easier to use and more precise. They will hold your binding better than pins and will not shift as you clip and unclip them.
There are several ways to calculate how much yardage/strips you will need to make your binding. Different people use different formulas, some of which are way too generous and I think waste a lot of fabric. I personally love to use this app by Robert Kaufman that is super easy. I downloaded it from the iTunes store and I highly recommend it.
If you don’t want to use a phone app, here is a web site that functions very close to the Robert Kaufman app and is very easy to calculate your binding: lily street quilts. Just plug in the dimensions of your quilt and scroll down to the bottom of the page and plug in your binding width desired. Click “calculate” and it will give you the yardage and # of strips you need.
If you don’t want to use an app like this, here is a good formula to calculate the strips. You simply add up the sides of the quilt (width, width, length, length), add a few extra inches for the corners (about 10) and the tail ends and divide by 40, which is a safe usable area of fabric from a common 44/45″ width piece of fabric:
W+W+L+L+10″ ÷ 40 = how many strips you will need (always round up)
STEP-BY-STEP PHOTO TUTORIAL:
Make your binding by cutting strips from selvage to selvage:
This is the best tutorial I’ve ever seen for making AND applying the binding for a quilt. I always panic when I need to start the binding. It’s that last connection that throws me off. I’ve messed up more than a few times. I’m hoping this will help me overcome my fears of that final connection. Thanks for sharing WITH pics!
Rita! Thank you so much for your kind words! So happy when these tutorials help someone. Happy binding!
Oh my gosh, the best tutorial I have ever seen as well, so easy to follow, cant wait to try this. I subscribed to your blog!!!
Do you have a pattern for the grey havens quilt? My son wants me to make one for him.
Seriously a wonderful tutorial. The pictures are so helpful. Other tutorials assume that I know more than I do.
Wish me luck!
Thanks, Annette! Hope you’re able to making a great binding!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is very clear and easy to follow.The best tutorial I have seen!
Eileen, thank you so much for your kind words! It makes my day that you found the tutorial easy to follow.
This is exactly what I needed; a binding how-to with clear, concise steps and photos that will help me overcome each hurdle I may come across while learning to bind. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us!