Quilt Binding InstructionsNow that you've quilted the quilt, it's time to sew your continuous binding strips around its edges. This method results in an easy binding with a diagonal miter at each corner. A walking foot (also called an even feed foot) helps keep the binding pucker-free, but a regular presser foot is fine if a walking foot is not available.
Trim the quilt sandwich just a bit to remove excess batting and backing, but allow a bit of the backing and batting to extend past the edges of the quilt top. If the top itself is skewed, fold back the other two layers and a rotary ruler to square the top up just a bit.
- Be very careful when squaring up a quilt edged in blocks, because removing the outer 1/4" seam allowance will will chop off the outline of those blocks, no matter what type of binding you use.
- Try squaring up the top by simply smoothing it with your fingers, easing corners and edges into a better position.
A quilt hanging sleeve can be added at the same time binding is sewn to the quilt, or after the binding is complete.
Begin Sewing the BindingBefore you begin, read the tuck-in method for beginning and ending doublefold binding -- you might prefer that finishing technique. It's the method I typically use.
- Starting about 1/3 of the distance between two corners, align the raw edge of one end of the folded binding with the raw edge of the quilt top, right sides together. (illustration does not show excess batting and backing)
- Leave an approximate 3" unpinned tail of quilt binding at the beginning, then pin several inches of binding to the quilt, towards its corner.
- Do a quick alignment around the rest of the quilt, without pinning, to make sure no seam allowances within the quilt binding will end up at a corner of the quilt, where seams would create too much bulk. If you find a seam allowance at a corner, change the starting point and recheck.
- Sew the quilt binding to the side of the quilt, leaving the beginning tail free. Use the seam allowance you chose when you made the quilt binding.
- Stop sewing before you reach the corner of the quilt, ending the seam the same distance from the approaching quilt edge as the width of the seam allowance. That's a critical step. Many instructions you read tell you to end the seam 1/4" from the edge, which is fine if your binding seam is 1/4" wide, but isn't correct for narrower or wider seams. Following that important rule is the most important thing you can do to create easy mitered binding.
- Sew a few backstitches, cut threads and remove the quilt from the machine.