How to Bind a Quilt…


˜A Sassy Guide to Binding your Quilt˜


Before you start… have to create your binding strips!

Check here for how to make your own binding,

or buy some pre-made(you may still have to join some packages together to have it long enough). I like to use 2 1/2″ or 2 1/4″ strips.

Get your binding strips cut, joined together, and then pressed in half.

Now you are ready to get this Binding Par-tay started!

Where do I start?

1. Trim and square up the edges of your quilt. You should have excess backing and batting that needs to be removed.


2. Start the binding process at a mid-point on one of the sides of your quilt. It is hard(if not impossible) to join your ends together at a corner, and its less noticeable if it doesn’t look fantastic….like that could ever happen, your a quilty superstar and you can do this in a snap!


3. Leave a 6″ tail of binding before you start attaching it to your quilt. This gives you room work in when joining the final two ends together.


4. Pin your binding to the front of your quilt. Pins are optional, but a definite help to the beginner! You want the raw edges to line up with the outer edge(raw edges) of your quilt, this means the folded edge is toward the center area of the quilt. Pin the binding just until you get to the first corner you come to. Place a pin or mark a small line 1/4″ away from the very end of your top. Don’t worry this mark will be on the inside so you won’t see it.


5. Now start sewing  a 1/4″ seam along the binding, removing pins as you go. Continue sewing along the binding and stop 1/4″ away from the corner(at your pin or mark). Take a couple back stitches and then take your quilt out of the machine. We need to fold the binding a little before we continue.


6. Fold the binding strip upward, this should make a triangular fold with the point going directly into the corner of your quilt(left pic); Now, fold the binding strip back down onto the next side of the quilt you will be working on. Pin this in place at the fold and continue to pin along this side of your quilt, marking/pinning the 1/4″ mark at the next corner.

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7. Start sewing your 1/4″ seam again, beginning at the very edge of the quilt. Stop again at your next 1/4″ mark or pin before the corner, and repeat the corner folds from step #5.


8. After you round your last corner, stop approximately 12″ apart from where you started. Take a couple of back stitches, and remove your quilt from the machine.



How do I join the Ends!?!

(This technique is for joining them on the bias and leave no bump in your binding.)

1. First, determine the unfolded width of your binding strip. In my case it is 2 1/2″ .

2. Overlap the ends of your binding strips and trim the ends so that they overlap by the same amount as the width of your strip. Here they are overlapped 2 1/2″. Do your overlapping in the middle of your unfinished area. This gives you the most room to work and easier to handle under the machine.


3. Now, lay the ends of your binding strips face to face at a right angle, and pin securely. Draw a line from corner to corner (using the corners that connect to the binding, not the outer and inner corners). If you sew the wrong corners, don’t worry, it will not look right and you can just pick out and try again. If the quilt is toward you, this should look like a little mountain top.


4. Sew along this line, remove your pins and open it up to make sure its right. If it looks good, go ahead and trim your excess off, leaving a 1/4″ seam. Finger press the seam open and re-fold your binding in half.

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5. Pin the binding in place and start sewing a few stitches on top of where you left off and over top of where you started. Yay! Perfect, seamless binding!



Are we done yet? Finishing your Binding by Machine

Now that all your binding is attached to the front of your quilt, you now have to secure it to the other side.

1. Once again, start at a mid-point of one of the sides of your quilt. Fold the binding over to the backside of the quilt. Secure it to the back with a pin, making sure to cover the previously stitched line. You can go ahead and pin the binding along the entire quilt edge or just work in sections.(Pinning optional, but recommended for beginners).

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2. When you get to the corner, make sure you turn it completely, pushing the corner out to a nice point. Fold one side of the binding over and pin. Then turn the other over and pin. They should overlap forming a mitered fold that goes out to the point of the corner.

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3. Turn the quilt over so that your looking at the top of the quilt. Insert your needle into the seam where you attached the binding. The goal here is to sew in the seam line. When you pinned the binding over to the back of the quilt and covered the line of stitching, you made sure that you will catch the fabric when stitching on the front of the quilt as long as you stay close to that seam line. Sewing in the seam line hides your stitching on the front of your quilt and keeps it on the binding on the back too!

If you use a matching thread it won’t be so noticeable if you wander out every now and then, like that could ever happen…


4. When you get to the corner, leave your needle down directly in the corner. Lift your presser foot and turn the quilt so you can head down the next side. Keep going till you get to where you started, then sew a few stitches over your beginning stitches and you are done!!!  Here’s the back…

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Fantabulous!!! Your SASSY binding is D-O-N-E!

(Look at that quilt, whipping in the breeze…so securely bound it could last for ages!)


Happy Binding

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  1. Thanks for a great tutorial Paula. Step 7 is the one I get wrong ALL the time. I always start stitching from a 1/4 in down…..always makes an awful mitred corner. Thanks to you, I now know to start stitching from the very edge .

    • sassyquilter says:

      Glad to help Vicki! It took me awhile before I figured that out myself. I tried different ways before I found this one, definitely the easiest for me:)

      • Thanks for the great tips on binding! What do I do when using a binding from the store, it keeps puckering when I am hand stitching to the back side? Getting frustrated! Karen

        • sassyquilter says:

          Putting the binding on with a walking foot can help with puckering. Also can try pinning or clipping things in place before you do the hand stitching.

  2. Melody Kreseski says:

    Could you post a Close up pic of the binding after you have finished. I couldn’t tell what the back side binding looked like after you sewed from the front. Ty Melody

  3. GayLynn says:

    I found your blog! Love it and love this tutorial. I wish I had had this a few days ago when I put a back on my first quilt. Needless to say, I need lots of practice. But this is for my grand-daughter and she’s only 6 yrs. old so she won’t know the difference. But at least I know what I need to work on. GayLynn

    • sassyquilter says:

      We are definitely harder on ourselves than others! I bet you did just fine:) Glad you came to visit!

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ve always done my binding with overlapping the ends (tucking them into one another) which created a bump that seemed a bit bulky along my binding. Now I know how to trim the ends up and sew them together for a seamless binding!! Thanks again!

  5. Jansie Martin says:

    Best machine binding tutorial I’ve seen. Very clear instructions. Can’t wait to try it, thanks so much!

  6. Your instructions are the best. Just finished sewing the binding on and it actually looks good! Thanks!

  7. I usually don’t comment on blog posts, but, I have been using your binding tutorial for the past two projects, and I had to thank you for making it so much easier for me as a semi-beginner. Your pictures and written steps make it so clear to follow! It makes it as though you are right there encouraging me through the challenging parts! Thank you! Much appreciated!!

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