Put your blocks or finished quilt on a design wall and place longish strips of potential binding fabrics alongside. Step away. Do you like the look? Leave the room for awhile and come back. Do you still like it? Keep previewing fabrics until you find one you like.
Choose a Binding WidthHow wide do you want the binding to be? If your quilt doesn't have borders, a 1/4" wide binding is the easiest to sew, since that width matches-up with the 1/4" seam allowance that's built-in to the edge of most quilt blocks.
If the quilt has borders, it's just as simple to sew on a binding that's wider or narrower than 1/4", since it doesn't make too much difference how far inward the seam is sewn.
Singlefold BindingSinglefold binding is made with a single layer of fabric that folds over the outer edge of a quilt. Reserve it for miniatures or wallhangings -- it is not durable enough for quilts that will be used on a bed.
Singlefold Binding Strip Width
- 2 times the finished binding width + (2 times the seam allowance) -- plus a little extra
Doublefold BindingAlso known as French binding, doublefold binding is made by folding a long strip of fabric lengthwise to create two layers. The extra layer offers protection from wear. I always use doublefold binding, even for mini quilts and wallhangings.
Doublefold Binding Strip Width
- (2 times the finished binding width + Seam allowance) X 2
I usually add a bit of extra insurance width to the formula. The extra width might make the binding extend a bit farther onto the quilt back when it's time to stitch it in place, but that's a much better scenario than not having quite enough to cover the seam used to secure it to all layers of the quilt.