Quilt school: How to make binding for your quilt

How to bind a quilt square

The binding you make for your quilt can change the whole look of your finished creation. Consider the colours and patterns in the quilt and then select a fabric that will enhance or contrast with these. Think of it as your quilt’s frame.

Your binding needs to be strong and hard-wearing, so when you’re shopping for binding fabric, opt for a 100% cotton fabric that will survive handling.

Before making your binding, first you’ll need to work out how much you need.

Measure the quilt all round and then add 20in (50cm) extra – you’ll need the excess! Divide this number by 36 to get the yardage required for your quilt. Most quilts require 1⁄2yd to 5⁄8yd for binding, but check your measurements to be sure.

Before you begin: binding basics

  • Before binding your quilt, make a quilt sandwich (we show you how here), compete your desired quilting and then remove any tacking or pins and deal with thread ends by burying them in the batting.
  • Press the quilt sandwich and trim the edges so they are even with the quilt top all round. Check the quilt is right-angled.

How to make binding strips for your quilt

Step one: Begin by cutting fabric strips across the width of the fabric to form the basis of your binding. To work out much binding you will need, measure the quilt all round and add about 20in extra. Divide this number by the width of your fabric (normally 42in). This tells you how many strips to cut; round this number up. Cut binding strips 21⁄2in wide then cut your binding strips to measure 21⁄2in (6.5cm) wide.

How to make binding step 3

Step two: Using 1⁄4 inch (6mm) seam allowances, join the strips together to the length required. Sew them together at right angles to create a diagonal join.

How to make binding

Step three: Press the seams open, then press the binding in half, with wrong sides together. Lay your quilt out on the floor or a large flat surface in front of you and arrange the binding strip around the edges to work out a starting position where the seams won’t fall on any of the 4 corners.

How to make quilt binding step 2

How bind a quilt with mitred corners

Now you’re ready to bind your quilt! We show you how in our guide to binding a quilt with double-fold binding.