Tips & Tricks

QuiltBlocks Tips for Finishing: Binding Part 2

Quilt Tips (3)

Your binding is made, your quilting completed, so let’s trim the edges and sew the binding on! We’re going to following the directions in the Setting Kit. There are many ways to bind a quilt, but today I’m going to stick with the instructions.

First, press the edges of the quilt to get ready for trimming. Pressing holds the layers together and you can be sure there are no hidden wrinkles in the backing.  Use the longest acrylic ruler you have, 24″ or 36″, and a large square, 15″ if you have one. Start in the corners, then move to the length, trimming the excess batting and backing 1/8″ beyond the quilted top. Because there are no patchwork points near the border, you may trim it even with the quilt top.

Next, let’s set up the machine with an even-feed/walking foot. Pick a thread the color of your binding and wind a bobbin. Sew with a long stitch to baste 1/8″ around the edges of the quilt top.

Move to a table,so you can pin the binding in place on the front, matching the quilt top’s raw edges. Start at the bottom edge, leave a tail, and pin just that one side. Tip: Pinning will keep the quilt and the binding from being pulled or stretched.


Sew with a 3/8″ seam for just a few inches then stop – we’re going to check now, before we sew any further.  Look to see that the binding and three quilt layers are caught in the stitches and sewn together. Also, fold the binding over to the back to be sure it reaches the bobbin line of stitches. If it encases the raw edges tightly and covers the stitches, you’ll have a fully stuffed binding.   Now you can continue sewing the pinned side. Stop 3/8″ before the corner.

Many of the calls and questions to the Quilt Blocks Studio are about mitering the corners, so here are a few pictures of the steps:

Fold the binding up, then down, matching the corner.


Pin the corner and side. Start sewing towards the next corner.


Sew slowly and in a straight line, especially if you’ve picked a bright contrasting binding.

To finish, stop sewing 8″ or so before then end.  Tuck the ending inside the beginning, using the fold as an overlap. Trim the excess, pin and sew through the added layers.


Now you’ll finish the binding by hand. There are two needles and threads I’d recommend, either a between 8 (it has a large eye) paired with hand quilting thread, it resists knots and can take a good tug. The other option is a sharp applique needle and a fine, matching polyester thread.   Fold the binding to the back, clip in place and use a small blind stitch to sew securely. take a few stitches in the mitered corners, too.


Good lighting will make the sewing easier.  Try a comfy chair and take your time, or set the quilt on your dining table for speed.Here’s a closeup of the finished overlap.  There will be a barely noticeable bump on the bottom of the quilt.


There are many ways to bind your quilt, I hope you’ll research and try them all. The QuiltBlocks designers of over 40 quilts all recommend this method. It works!

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