Patch Fabrics Blog

Binding a Quilt

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Kicking off the new blog space for Patch is my tutorial for binding a quilt. 

There is more than one way to bind a quilt. This is the way I was shown several years ago and uses a combination of machine and hand sewing. This is the way anyone taking a beginners class at Patch will be shown. Personally I like the neatness of the hand stitching to the back of the quilt. And after spending time and love on piecing and quilting an extra hour or so sat in front of the TV hand stitching really is no great hardship!

Binding a Quilt

We will be making binding for the quilt by cutting 2.5” WOF strips and joining them together to make one long strip. You can make the strips wider if you prefer a wider binding.

Measure all the way around your finished top adding on 12”.

For example: a quilt top measuring 40” x 60” will need 40+40+60+60+10 =230” of binding.

To work out how much fabric to cut we divide the total -230” by 44” (WOF) = 5.23 WOF strips. Round that up to 6.

So we need to cut 6 x 2.5” strips of fabric = 15” of fabric (in the UK or anywhere that sells metric this rounds up to 35cm)

** I will turn this into a simpler formula when I get a second to make it easier for any size!

Once the strips have been cut you need to join these (remember to cut off the selvedge – you don’t want this to show on your binding) by stitching short edge to short edge. Right sides together.

binding 1

Press the long strip in half along the middle of the long side. It now measures 1.25”

binding 2

Working on the front of the quilt, start in the middle of one and place the binding raw edge to raw edge. Leaving a 'tail' of 3", place under the machine foot and stitch using a ¼” seam allowance.

binding 4

.binding 5

Stop ¼” before the edge.

binding 6

Lift up the machine presser foot and remove the quilt from the machine.

binding 7

Fold back the binding strip to the top edge so it forms a right angle at the corner.

binding 8

Now fold over, covering the angle you made so that the strip runs along the edge of the quilt.binding 10

binding 9

Start stitching right at the top of the strip and carry on all the way down the side down to the next corner.

Repeat steps 4-9 at remaining corners.

Stop stitching 6 inches away from where your stitching began.

binding 11

We are now going to join the strip by folding in the 2 sides (tails) to meet in the middle. Finger press really well so you can see the crease in the fabric.

binding 12

This line is where you will sew to join the fabric.

binding 13

Stitch and trim.binding 14


Finally, close the gap by stitching to the side of the quilt.

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Thats the binding fixed to the front, now to hand stitch at the back. Bring the binding over to the front of the quilt. No need to press. 

Starting at one corner fold the binding over to back of quilt.

binding 18

Make the mitred corner by folding one side over the other smoothly.

binding 19


I use a wonder clip or similar to hold a few inches of binding while I hand stitch, moving the clips along as I sew.

I don’t pin all the way round, as I find they stick in you as you are holding and folding the quilt on your lap, but if you feel happier pinning and are more careful than I am – go for it!

Securely stitch in that first corner – there is no need to stitch up the mitre, it holds well just at the corner.

binding 20

 Stitch right around the back of the quilt using an invisible hemming stitch.

I work right to left – from the corner I insert the needle just into the fabric of the binding pulling through the thread.

binding 21

Then make a tiny stitch just under where the binding will sit, pulling through the thread.

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And sew on!

Keep your stitches small and the result will be as close to invisible as possible.

 binding 23

Use this method to finish your quilts, cushions, table runners or pot holders.

binding 24

If you have any questions, ask in the shop or leave a comment so we can get back to you.


Claire x


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