How to Finish a Quilt Without Using Binding

By Timothy Mucciante ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Thread
Quilt edges may be finished in different ways

A quilt may be finished by using traditional binding, which may vary according to your taste, or a quilt may also be finished without a binding. Different types of edge trimming may be used, and one or more sides may be edged with fringe or piping. Additionally, decorative ribbon, yarn or cord may added around the edges. Stitches of all types can be used to finish the edge of a quilt, or edges may also be left raw, if that is your preference.

After cutting two strips of fabric 1 1/2 inches wide by the length of two opposite sides of the quilt, sew a strip to the front at each side of the quilt, with the right sides together. Then squeeze the seem allowance toward the binding strip.

Turn the long raw edges of the strips under 1/4 inch and press. Then stay stitch about 1/8 inch along the binding strip sides, with matching thread. Usually on the edge of a piece of fabric, stay stitching is stitching which goes through one layer of fabric in order to prevent it from being stretched. Generally, the stitching is only a single line.

Turn the strips under the quilt so they are not visible from the the back of the quilt. Next, cut two strips 1 1/2 inch by the length of the remaining two sides, plus one inch. Then sew these strips to the quilt, leaving about 1/2 inch of extra fabric extending past each end. Press the seam allowances and stay stitch along the edges.

Turn the strips under the quilt, tucking in the extra 1/2 inch of fabric to create a finished edge at each end, and hand sew the binding in place on the back of the quilt.


Consider all the possible choices for finishing a quilt without binding before starting. Once you start a particular no-bind finish, it may be difficult or impossible to change to another method.

About the Author

Timothy Mucciante has worked as a lawyer and business consultant, and has been writing professionally since 1981. His writing has appeared in the "Michigan Bar Journal" and many corporate publications. Mucciante holds both a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University/Detroit College of Law.