How to Bind & Finish a Quilt

By Alice Stuart ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Fabric for binding (2.5 inches wide by the measurement of the perimeter of the quilt, plus 12 inches)
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional)
The binding on a quilt is very important.

Binding a quilt is one of the most important and most overlooked parts of the quilt-making process. Even the most beautiful quilts can suffer from poor binding, and a well-bound quilt can make an average quilt look exceptional. There are many ways to bind a quilt, so you may wish to experiment with a few different techniques to see what is most comfortable to you. Binding can be difficult, especially for beginners, but if you work slowly and carefully, you can give your quilt a beautiful finish.

Making the Binding Strip

From the fabric, cut a strip 2.5 inches wide as long as the perimeter measurement of the quilt, plus 12 inches. In most cases, this means you will need to cut multiple strips in order to get the length required.

Join the strips together to make a long strip. Place the fabric pieces, right sides together, perpendicular to each other. They should overlap so the edges are even.

Sew the pieces together by stitching a 45-degree angle from the outer corner of the fabrics to the inner corner of the fabrics. Trim the excess fabric and press flat.

Continue this process until your strip is the correct length.

Fold the binding strip in half and press flat.

Fold one corner in to create a 45-degree angle. Trim the excess and press flat.

Binding the Quilt

Fold the binding strip around the edge of your quilt, with the pressed fold along the edge. There should be no gap between the edge of the quilt and the edge of the binding. Pin the binding in place for one edge.

Sew the binding on, beginning at the edge with the 45-degree angle.

Backstitch when you reach a corner. Remove the quilt from the machine (if you are using one) and turn the quilt so the next edge is across the top as you look at it.

Fold the binding down to cover the next edge of the quilt. The corner will have a triangular fold of fabric from the turn, which should be at a 45-degree angle. Stitch across the 45-degree angle, and then continue to sew the binding along the edge of the quilt.

Repeat until you have finished all sides. Overlap the binding with the beginning of your binding strip and backstitch. Trim any excess fabric.

Tip

Many quilters prefer to machine stitch the front of the binding, then fold the binding over and handstich the back to ensure the binding stays flat and free of any errors.