Monday, January 4, 2010

Perfect Binding Tutorial - {quilting basics tutorial series}

Binding Tutorial Posts
Basics Post #2 - Bias Binding
Basics Post #3 - Scrappy Bias Binding
Single Fold Binding (for mini quilts & small projects)   

once i found out from friends...
fellow quilters in classes i taught & took...
that many people did not know how to finish the binding off without wrapping one around the other.. or a hot mess... i knew i had to do this tutorial!

i hope it helps you out a bit!

start with cutting your strips...
many people {and patterns} say 2.5"
but i usually do 2.25"

they can be bias or straight of grain.
i do bias most of the time... but i also do straight when the fabric design calls for it.
{bias will make the binding last longer over time}

either way.. piece your strips together on a 45 degree angle

take one end and cut it at a 45 degree angle.
do this before you iron.
& before you sew it onto your quilt.
do it now.

iron your seams open.
{to avoid bulk}

iron binding in half... wrong sides together.

you should have a nice pile like this.

start sewing onto your quilt... using the end you cut at 45 degrees
leave a 8" or so tail
sew the binding to your quilt sandwich a 1/4" seam
on the right side of quilt
raw edges of binding to raw edges of quilt.

stop 1/4" from the corner. backstitching helps.
{be precise here.. mark it if you have to... it'll make things perfect.}

fold binding over itself 90 degrees...
basically opposite of where you want to sew it to next.

then fold it back to look like this.
continue sewing the binding on...
being careful at all corners.
till you get 12" away from where you started.

you should have something looking like this.

take the piece you just ended with {left} and line it up where you would have continued to sew.
open it up towards the quilt like this...

then take the piece you cut at 45 degrees earlier {right} and lay it inside the open part like this.

open the 2nd piece {right} like this.

now use a pencil or thin pen to draw a line where the 45 degree angle piece {right} lands on the first piece {left}

take the excess binding off the quilt top from the left...
and lay it on a cutting mat... like this.

cut the excess binding off 1/2" past the line you drew.
that will provide you with the 1/4" seam allowance needed on each piece.

it should look like this.

put the two ends together & pin

sew with 1/4" seam allowance removing pins as you go.

iron the seam open.
& then iron the binding back in half onto the quilt

the binding should lay perfectly flat on the quilt.
sew the remaining part onto the quilt & nobody will ever know where you started putting your binding on.. it'll be perfectly smooth!

fold the binding around to the back & hand stitch in place!

be happy that you have a quilt that is almost finished!!

Edit 1/31/11
Want to know how to hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt and finish your corners perfectly? I've added a new post that goes over just that! It also includes a video where I show the hand stitching steps of binding.


want to link to this tutorial?
grab a button!

{144 x 144}




In addition to this tutorial I have two other binding tutorials.
Binding Basics goes over tips and tricks for binding and includes a video.
Binding Flange shows how to add a flange to basic binding. 


© 2009-2019 Julie R. Herman. All rights reserved.
No part of this tutorial may be reproduced without written consent of Jaybird Quilts.


  1. Great tutorial, and thank you for making the button for it! Just linked up to you from my blog!

  2. Thanks for the Tutorial i still not as yet full mastered it but am getting better with each one i do now to the cutting the binding & making it still have to do that lol
    Happy New Year
    Hugs Janice

  3. Great tutorial! I am with you, I make mine 2.25 as well.

  4. Great tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. This looks easier than what I've been doing. I'll definitely try it on my next project! Thanks!

  6. Thank you for the great tutorial! I do have one more question though...what type of stitch do you use to hand sew? I use a running stitch, but am wondering it this is right. Thank you for your help and for your wonderful blog!

  7. A friend sent me a link to your blog today, saying I had to look at your method because “it’s almost the way you do it” It is, and I like yours and am going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing it!
    Delaware Quilts

  8. Great tutorial! I also use 2.25" bindings and I think they work out better! :)

  9. Thank you so much-love how you do the corners!

  10. Great tutorial...I also cut my bindings at 2 1/4"!

  11. Great tutorial! I finally figured out how to make a perfect join with a straight edge. Never have been able to make the bias join work out nice and flat for me. I'll have to give this one a try! I also use 2.5" bindings...perhaps I'll see how I like 2.25 on the next quilt. I've seen that number pop up a few times lately. Thanks

  12. Thanks for the tut....and I will grab the button!!!!

  13. hurray! another 2.25 inch binder!
    2.5 was always too wide.
    i loved the tutorial.
    i used this exact method three times over the weekend.
    now, i have what seems like miles of handstitching to do.

  14. I love this method and always use it! However, I have TWICE cut the tail 1/2" shorter instead of a 1/2" longer. And I have to admit that last night was one of the two times I have done this. So, I added another strip and got to practice the technique again. To self: measure twice, cut once! Thanks for the tutorial to pass along.

  15. Thanks for the tutorial, this will really help. I saw someone elses tutorial for matching up the ends but it wasn't as clear as your's. :)

  16. Thank you so much for this! I have been NOT doing it this way-but will from now on. You have made my (sewing) life soo much easier :) Thanks again!

  17. Good tutorial. I kne I was doing something wrong but couldn't quite figure it out . Now I know to mark the line on the nmarked part of the binding, then cutting!

  18. Perfect timing! I'm getting ready to start binding a quilt. Your pictures are so helpful.

  19. I use the same method as you do for binding...I've read hundreds of different tutorials on the same method as this one and for some reason I just can't seem to get it problem is, I can never seem to get the tail ends together, so I changed it for myself, which I think is part of my I'll keep trying...practice makes perfect.

  20. Thanks for a wonderful tutorial. I got some really good tips from it.

  21. This is a great tutorial! They only thing that I am still confused about is the corners :-)I have one small quilt that I have pieced and I am curious to know more since I will have to be bound sooner or later. Once you stop at 1/4 from the edge and do the foldy thing, do you start sewing again on the new side?

  22. Thank you so much for this tute! Love it and soooooo needed for my lacking quilting skills! Happy New Years!

  23. Amazing as usual! I wonder how you seem to "do it all" Julie. I'm constantly jelious, keep it up!

  24. Love the tutorial. I found this method in a magazine skill builder 5 years ago and made copies for all my friends and handed them out in plastic sleeves at my friendship group. Now I can send folks to your blog for a refresher.

  25. this is amazing! I already do everything that you do, right up to sewing the beginning to end at a 45 degree angle. I definitely will be doing this on my next looks so seemless

  26. I do my binding almost the same but I leave the ends of my strips squared off. To join up the ends, I lay the strips flat along the edge of the quilt, then fold one strip back onto itself from where it meets the other strip. I cut a scant 2.5" beyond this fold (or the width you cut your strips; I trim a 1/4" beyond the raw edge therefore the 2.5" strips). Now I join these ends just like I did when making the binding strips. You get the same end result but you don't have to worry about handling bias edges.
    Amy R (

  27. binding is my least fav thing about quilting. whenever i sew it on, it moves even if i pin it. when i do the mitered corner, i sew too far and then it doesnt' fold over right. i have been shown numerous times how to join the ends and that doesnt' work either. so all my quilts sit unfinished and raveling. :( i will log onto my laptop and link your site and try to follow your tutorial. thank u for clear pictures.

  28. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!! I just made my first perfect binding EVER!!!

  29. I {heart} this tutorial! It is so easy and straight forward. Something that I know I appreciate because I used to DREAD binding. I don't anymore :) Thanks!

  30. Thanks Julie! Some of this I knew already, but your tutorial really cleared up a few issues for me. Also, my corners weren't coming out good, and I figured out I was folding the miter on the back the wrong direction and it was making 2 points. Strange, but fixed now. Thanks again!

  31. Thanks for the great tutorial. I have been quilting for many years and thanks to you no longer have lumpy bindings. I also am a new fan of the 21/4inch strip binding! I posted a link to your tut from my blog. Thanks! Jeri

  32. Fantastic info. I have so much trouble with bindings this will help thanks....

  33. Yikes! The first two times I tried to sew the two pieces together I forgot to make the little points overlap, then the third time I had twisted one side, and finally the fourth time I got it right...but then my bobbin ran out just as I started to sew the last part to my sandwich!

    Eventually it turned out OK though, and next time will be even better! :)

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  34. Thank you so much for your binding tutorials! :)

  35. I basically use this technique for binding. I have never tried cutting one end at a 45 degree angle first. Can't wait to try.

  36. Hi Julie - I linked to your binding tutorial today on a mug rug tutorial today as it's such a good one there seems little point in doing one myself! Just wanted to let you know :) If it's not ok, I'll take it down, no worries.

  37. What a fabulous technique! I just tried it today, and it worked perfectly, love it. Thank you!

  38. Oh Thank you so much. Thank you.

  39. Thank you for this tutorial. Following your instructions, today was the first time I've been able to do this method successfully.

  40. I used this tutorial to finish the binding on a quilt yesterday. I've never really known how to connect the beginning and the end, and with the help of your tutorial, it came out perfect! Thank you so much!

  41. Thank you for this tutorial. I use to do my quilt a different way. I used your way today I had not trouble at all so easy to follow.

  42. Like many of the others here, I have done nearly everything the same apart from having that 45 angle cut at the start point - that should make marking to make the join easier at the end. Great tutorial and so specific and easy to follow with all the pictures. I've tried to grab your button, but not sure if I've done it right.

  43. I've bound dozens of quilts, but used these instructions for the first time today. I always dread joining the ends, but these instructions make it a breeze. Thanks so much, Julie!

  44. Love the tutorial! Just bound my first quilt EVER with this method. It looks so pretty and seamless. The perfectionist in me was having a hard time thinking the ends of the binding needed to be overlapped and extra bulky at the join. Thank you so much!

  45. I wish there was a clearer picture where you say "put the ends together and pin" because I can't tell if the right piece is upside down or not, and that's the trickiest part for me.

  46. Just popping over from Adventures of the Singing Quilter . She linked up to this post about biding and I just wanted to say thankyou! Ive never been able to master this method and have had lumpy joins in every quilt I've ever made. That problem is now solved. Thanks for making your tutorial so easy to follow.

  47. I just used your tutorial to finish up this baby quilt. I cannot believe how wonderful it looks without all the bulk from the way I used to do it. Thank you so much!

    Here's the finished quilt...

  48. I am linking up to your blog tomorrow at my blog.

    I am doing 15 days of questions for a demo I am doing in September on bindings.

  49. Thank you so much in showing how to do the binding. I have tried so many times and could not get it right. I can read but it was not making any sense to me. Your pictures are what helped me in seeing what to do. It was so easy to make the binding and they all look perfect on table runners for my girls for Christmas.thank you again.

  50. I'm glad I found this tutorial. Very good instructions. I was successfully able to attach a binding for the first time ever.
    Thank you!

  51. This tutorial is great. I was successful in attaching a binding for the first time ever!
    Thank you for the excellent instructions & pictures.

  52. Only 4-1/2 years since I first saw this tutorial (and commented on it), I finally tried it. Loved it so much! Buh-bye, specialty "binding tool" - I no longer need you! I even linked to your tutorial on my blog! Thanks, Julie!


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