Hi everyone! In this post, I am going to cover my favorite binding tips and share my binding tutorial video. I also have some tips for figuring how much binding you need. Binding is not my favorite thing to do, but I know it has to be done if I want to use the quilt! So let’s go….
Tip#1 – What Kind of Binding?
The first thing I do when I am ready to bind the quilt top is to decide which type of binding I want: single-fold or double-fold.
Single-fold binding is a binding that is one layer of fabric that is laid face down on the front of the quilt top, lined up with the raw edges, machine stitched and then turned to the back to hand stitch in place. Double-fold binding is a wider strip that is folded over before attaching it to the front of the quilt. when it is turned to the back to be stitched, there are two layers of fabric on the edge of the quilt. Obviously, double-fold binding is more durable. Here are the different bindings:
I like to use single-fold binding on quilts that will not get a lot of use like wall hangings and decorative table runners. If a quilt will be handled a lot, I like to use double-fold binding for more durability.
Tip#2 – Choose the Color
The color is important. Do you want the binding to “disappear” or do you want it to act as a frame for the quilt? If I have a busy border, especially one with appliqué, I like to match the binding color to the fabric in the border so the viewer’s eye is drawn to my appliqué. Here’s an example:
The background fabric of the border on the above quilt is black so I made the binding black to make it appear invisible. If I have a quilt that has no appliqué and just has a pieced or plain border, I will choose a color that compliments the blocks in the quilt and acts as a frame. For this quilt, I chose a dark blue binding as a final “frame”.
Tip#3 – How to Figure Amount of Binding Needed
Instead of guessing how much fabric you need for binding, here is the formula I use to figure out how many strips I need to cut to make the right length. You can use this formula for both single-fold and double-fold binding. I assume 40″ width of fabric for my formula to account for the varying widths of fabric you find on the market. So if your fabric width is wider, you can adjust the formula or you will have some binding left over.
- Figure the perimeter of the quilt by adding up the length of all the sides. For example for a quilt that is 60 x 72″ here is the calculation: 60 + 60 + 72 + 72 = 264
- Add 2″ to that measurement to account for the length of the binding used when turning the corners (I figure in 1/2″ per corner): 264 + 2 = 266
- Then divide that measurement by the width of fabric to determine how many strips I need. I use 40″ for my usable width: 266/40 = 6.65. I always round up, so I need 7 strips for this quilt’s binding.
- Multiply the strip amount by the size of the strips needed. If I am making double-fold binding, I use 2 1/4″ strips so: 7 x 2 1/4″ = 15 3/4″. I round up to the nearest common cut of fabric, so I will need 1/2 yard to make the binding for this quilt. If I was only doing single-fold binding, I use 1 1/2″ strips so: 7 x 1 1/2″ = 10 1/2, rounding up, I would use 1/3 yard of fabric here.
Not too hard!
Finally – How to Make and Attach Double-fold Binding
Since it’s not so easy to describe how to make this type of binding with just words and photos, I decided to make a tutorial video showing the steps. Hopefully viewing this video will help you learn to make double-fold binding or give you a refresher!
So, that is all for now. Next week, I will be on vacation but I will be posting a blog post running some of my favorite mini tutorial videos so you won’t miss me!
Donna S says
The formula for figuring binding works great. Use it all the time.
lois Paton says
Are the binding strips cut on bias or on the cross grain? Does it make any difference to quantity of fabric needed?
Thanks for the tips.
I cut binding strips from width of fabric, not on the bias. I do use bias strips if the quilt has curved or scalloped edges because it’s easier to to work with on that type of quilt. If it’s just a square or rectangular quilt, I just use straight strips.