Binding Tutorial

I’ve tried many different ways to bind an art quilt and this is my favorite! It’s very easy to do and the result is a “hidden binding” or one that cannot be seen from the front.  I use a more traditional method to attach a binding in my utilitarian pieces… and it’s the one featured in this video.

  • Start with a quilted piece and trim square… or rectangular.  {This technique will work for curved sides, but for today, I’m showing you on this straight-edged piece.}  It’s okay if your design does not reach the edge exactly, just as long as you are within a quarter of an inch, you’re fine.
  • For a small piece, I usually cut my strips 2″ wide and fold in half… on larger pieces, my strips are wider.  I’ve seen all different widths over the years, but this range seems to work the best.  Trim two pieces the length of your piece and attach to opposite sides utilizing a 1/4″ seam.  Iron open, lay flat and measure two remaining sides.  Cut two more pieces to fit and attach.  I generally measure before I attach so I can keep my sides the lengths I desire.  On larger pieces, I would pin in place before sewing.  {Hint: a walking foot works best here}.
  • This step is optional, but I have found it makes a slight difference: After ironing all the seams open, go around the whole piece once again, sewing 1/8th of an inch on the binding.  I find this helps to lay the binding flat when it’s all flipped over.
  • To help your binding “remember” where it’s supposed to go, flip it over to the back of the quilt, tugging ever-so-slightly so as to make the binding vanish from the front.  Try to keep this edge straight and uniform.  Iron to create a crease.  Do this on all four sides.  {A thought: In the past I’ve had a couple of “iron surprises” in which a dirty iron basically “throws up” on my quilt… not a pretty picture.  For this reason, I always iron on the back and I have no qualms about replacing a dirty iron.}
  • At this point, you will have two edges that are pieced, and two that are whole.  Fold down the pieced edge first… a tiny detail, but one that can make a difference.  Using coordinating thread whip stitch this edge down.  Repeat this on the opposing edge.
  • Now, with two edges to go, fold one side over paying attention to the corner.  If you like a pointed corner, it’s best to trim  some of the bulk before folding.  In my case, I prefer an organic corner, so I fold and pinch when I see what I like.  What matters is not how pointy the corners are or how perfect they look, IMHO what matters most is that they all match and the style of the corner matches that of the piece.

To finish I attach a sleeve and sign the back.  Voila!

As for the quilt… yes, it’s for sale!  Just stop by my shop if you are curious!

Laura MFebruary 1, 2014 - 3:31 pm

I just finished trying this binding on a small wall quilt and I didn’t trim the corners, but found it a bit too bulky, so I turned it over, got out the hammer and hammered the corners, now they are great! I’ve used the hammer to flatten seams on jeans hems, so I figured it would work.

MariannaOctober 20, 2010 - 8:45 am

I have struggled with giving my small wall quilts a nice looking binding. I love this method! Thank you for sharing. I know I will be able to use it in the future.

Cheryl ArkisonOctober 19, 2010 - 3:55 pm

Well that’s interesting. And pretty useful info for a rather big project I have on my plate. Thanks!

mjbOctober 14, 2010 - 4:40 pm

Thanks so much for posting this! I’ll have to give it a try for sure.

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