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How to Make Binding for Quilts

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Method #1, Make Crosswise Grain Quilt Binding
Make Quilt Binding

Join binding strips end-to-end with a diagonal seam.

© Janet Wickell

Calculate Quilt Binding Length

Measure your quilt along its top and its bottom. Add the two lengths together and multiply that figure by two. Add 20" or so to the total to determine how much binding you'll need to surround the quilt.

Make Continuous Crosswise Grain Quilt Binding Strips

Using the strip width determined on page 2, cut strips from selvage to selvage until you've cut enough fabric to surpass the required length. Don't join strips with straight seams across their ends, because that method creates a binding with periodic seam allowances that travel from the front of the quilt to the back in a straight line, resulting in way too much bulk in one spot.

Use the following method to assemble a binding strip with diagonal seam allowances that are distributed along the length of the finished binding.

  1. Place two fabric strips right sides together, perpendicular to each other as shown, top left. Strip ends will overlap. Secure strips with a straight pin.

  2. Mark the top strip on the diagonal, beginning and ending the line at the inward corner created where the two strips intersect each other. Sew strips together on the marked line, middle illustration.

  3. Trim away the excess fabric, leaving about a 1/4" seam allowance to the right of the seam line. Press the seam allowance open.

  4. Trim off the little triangular nubs that are at the ends of the seam allowance -- they extend past the sides of the strip.

  5. Join more strips until you have assembled the binding length required for your quilt.

  6. Press the strip lengthwise. Fold it in half and press again if you are making a doublefold strip.

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