Binding Tutorial – Sewing to the Front of Your Quilt

Binding Tutorial— Sewing Your Binding to the Front of Your Quilt

I always sew my binding to the front of my quilt regardless of how I plan to finish it (hand or machine). You will find others with different methods but this is how I do it. In the next tutorial I will show several options for finishing.

Start sewing in the position determined in Binding Tutorial – Determining Your Starting Point leaving a 6-8-inch tail:

Starting point

Sew down to the first corner 2-3 stitches from the edge. Don’t worry about exactness; you will pull out stitches as needed before turning and it’s better to sew too far than not far enough:

Binding Top sewing to corner

Fold up your binding, creating a 45° angle as shown:

Binding Top corner

Another way to be sure you get the angle you need is to create a straight line across your quilt and binding edge, shown using a ruler.

Fold binding back across the edge of the quilt at a 90° angle, keep binding even with both edges and don’t let your fold go over the edge of the quilt,  as it will create bulk when you turn your binding to the back:

90 Degree fold at corner for binding

Your fold will create a triangle of fabric underneath if done correctly:

Triangle at Binding Fold

Start stitching from the top edge:

Second Seam on Binding

Check your binding turn on your corner at each turn as you want to be sure you get a nice miter before continuing:

Testing Binding Turn

You don’t need to remove your quilt from under needle if you leave your needle in the down position.

Continue around your quilt until you are about 12-15 inches from your starting point with 2 tails at each end:

Getting Ready to seam join

You will create an overlap the width of your binding, I’ve made guides using a heavy stabilizer:

Binding width guide

Lay your starting tail straight across your binding edge and pin it in place with your guide on top as shown below:

Layer Binding guide

Overlap your other tail to the other end of your guide and cut:

Binding Join, Cut at overlap

It will look like this:

Binding overlap

Open your left tail right side up, and your right tail, wrong side up, be sure not to twist them when you do:

Binding Join Ends

Lay right tail over the left one as shown, mark and pin, pin well to keep the fabrics from shifting while sewing:

Binding Join pinned

Test your seam to be sure it is going in the correct direction and not twisted:

Testing Join

When you place the remaining binding across the edge of your quilt it should fit with no puckers.

Sew on your marked line, trim your seam to ¼ inch and press open:

Trimmed join

Sew the remaining length of your binding:

Finish Seam

You are now ready to sew the binding to the back. Different methods will be shown in the next tutorial.

To download a copy of this in PDF, click here: Binding Tutorial-Sewing to the Front of Your Quilt

Final tutorial will be options for sewing the binding to the back.

Hope this is helpful, Jackie

  • Gretchen Firestone

    Yep, this is how I usually do my binding. I was trying a new tool that is supposed to make it easier and more exact. That being said, I frequently get puckers with this method too.

    • Jackie

      Gretchen, Did you cut your binding on the WOF? If so, that could cause puckering as it will stretch. If I cut my binding on the crosswise grain ( WOF) then I cut the piece just a tad small and that seems to pick up the extra stretch you will have.

      Sew Excited Quilts