Binding comes in all shapes and sizes! But it is universally needed for every quilt to complete it! Everyone has a preference of how they like to make it and attached it. I, obviously, think that my way of doing it is the best way! Haha! Okay, I don’t think it is the best way! But I do know that I have tried lots of different ways and this one works best for me! So, I want to share my process with you!
How Much Binding Do I Need?
First, I need to know exactly how many strips of binding I need. So measure each side of your quilt and add up each measurement. Then divide by the width of fabric. Round this number up. This will give you how many strips you need. If you want to know how much fabric you need, multiply that number by the width of your strips (I like to make mine 2.5″ wide), and that is how much fabric you need!
If your quilt is 60″ on all sizes, that is a total of 240″ around. Divide 240″ by 42″(WOF) to get 5.714. Then round up to 6. I need 6 strips of binding. To determine how much fabric that is, multiply 6 by 2.5″ (the width of my binding strips). This equals 15″. I need 15″ x WOF for my binding. You’ll probably need to round up to the next 1/2 or 1/4 yard when ordering your fabric. So in this case, I need 1/2 yard of fabric cut into 6 strips of 2.5″.
Perimeter (in inches) / WOF = Z (round up) = How many strips you need
Z x Width of Binding Strips = How much fabric you need
*PRO TIP: I use a Creative Grids Stripology Ruler to cut out my binding!
Assembling Your Binding Strips
Now that I have enough strips of fabric, I need to sew them together end to end. There are two ways to do this: a straight seam or an angled seam. I like to make an angled seam to reduce bulk along the edge of the quilt. To do this, I first place two ends (RST) at a 90 degree angle. Make sure the selvage is hanging over the overlapped strip.
Sew on the diagonal from one corner to the other (see image below). Do this to each strip until you have one long strip. Make sure that the right sides are all facing the same direction. Then trim off the excess, leaving about 1/4″.
Press each seam OPEN. Once again, I do this to reduce bulk. Now I fold the entire length of the strip in half, pressing as I go. I do not use steam or mist for this. Just dry iron heat, keeping the fabric as straight as possible.
Attach to the Back
For this particular process, it is key that you start by attaching the binding to the back of your quilt first. Since we are attaching this entirely by machine, there will be a line of thread that shows up on one side when you’re all done. I don’t like that line of thread to be on the front! So I start on the back.
Give yourself a long “tail” of binding, about a foot, before you start sewing it down. Align the raw edges of the folded binding with the raw edges of the quilt (ON THE BACK). Sew 1/4″ from the raw edge.
When you come to a corner, stop 1/4″ away from the next edge. Lift your presser foot, leaving the needle down, and rotate your quilt. Lift the needle and pull your quilt toward you just far enough to be out from under the foot. Make a fold in the binding that lines up with the edge you were just sewing along. Aligning the raw edge of the binding and the raw of the quilt. Place it back under the needle and continue sewing.
Joining The Ends
This is the trickiest part of the whole process. When you are about a foot away from where you started, stop. Aligning the binding tails along the edge, finger press where they meet. Open up the two ends and pull them together, aligning the press marks, with right sides together. Sew along the pressed line.
Make sure that the fit is good and not too loose or too tight. Then trim the excess off, leaving 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam open and fold back in half. Continue sewing that last section down along the edges.
Attach to the Front
Now that your binding is fully attached to the back, flip the quilt over to the front and bring the folded edge of the binding around to the front and pull snuggly. Top stitch down along the folded edge of the binding. Keep the stitch as close to the edge as possible. The key to making this look nice is to keep the line as straight as possible and to use a matching thread!
Go all around the quilt. When you get to corners, fold in the next edge just as you did on the first side. Then pivot the quilt with the needle down at the corner and keep going!
That’s it! You’re all done! The front will have a nice line of stitching along the edge and the back will have a line of stitch right next to the binding. I love doing binding this way. It’s quick, it looks nice, and it’s easy. I hope it helps you too!