Friday, June 10, 2011

Binding Curves Tutorial

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

1. The first step is to create something with curves.  For this tutorial I wanted to show you inner & outer curves so I cut this shape from pre-quilted fabric.  It is about 38" long and 10" wide.  I drew the curves by using a dinner plate.

2. Prepare bias binding for your project.  I have tutorials for basic bias binding or scrappy bias binding that you can follow for this step.  Your binding needs to be BIAS when working with curves.  The slight stretch will help you ease in and out of the curves.

3. When I sew binding onto straight sides of quilts I use my 1/4" foot.  When working with curves I use my walking foot because it helps make it easier around the curves.  Before I start sewing I use blue painters tape and a small ruler to set up a 1/4" guide.  Place a ruler under the foot and slowly lower the needle onto the 1/4" line.  Don't use your machine's foot petal as you are not trying to sew through the ruler.  Place the blue tape as shown & remove the ruler.

4. Use clips to hold the binding in place on the front of your project.  I clip about 12" at a time.

5. Start sewing the binding in place on an outer curve as shown below.  Leave a tail about 8" long loose from the quilt.

6. Slowly sew around the project.  Add and remove clips as you go.  The key to binding curves is to sew slowly and ease the binding in and out of the curves.  The bias will stretch and do what you tell it to!  If your project has any corners, follow the directions found here on how to sew them.

Keep sewing until you get 12" to 14" away from where you started.  Backstitch and remove the project from your machine.

7. Open the remaining binding and clip the one side around the curve.

8. Open the tail from the beginning in step #5 and clip it in place as well.  Draw a line where the bindings meet. Measure 1/2" past that line and trim off the excess binding.  {By past I mean 1/2" longer & not 1/2" shorter.} The 1/2" will provide you with the 1/4" seam allowance needed on each end of the binding.

This diagram shows the two drawn lines.  The lower one is the exact match and the upper one is 1/2" away.

9. This is what it should look like.  Chances are it'll be hard to match up the colors exactly if you have a scrappy binding but as you can see I got lucky with this project.

This diagram shows the binding end once it has been trimmed.

10. Match the cut ends together and pin with the right sides together.  It helps to fold the project in half or  bunch the area together when doing this part.  Sew a 1/4" seam to attach the two ends together & press the seam open.

This diagram shows the binding ends pinned together. 

11. Once you sew the ends together it should look like this.

12. Use clips to ease the binding in place around the curve.  If you have too much binding you can un-clip and remove more.  If you don't have enough you can usually use the stretch of the bias to help.  If your measuring was way off and you need more binding you may have to add a piece back in.  Take the project to your machine and finish sewing the last 12" to 14" in place.

13. Use the clips to wrap the binding around to the back & hand stitch in place.  When working with a scrappy binding I suggest using a thread that matches most of the binding fabrics or choosing a thread that matches the project.

Here is the front and the back finished.  Sometimes the binding around curves does not want to lay flat initially.  A good press with your iron will fix that.

Here is the finished runner.  It matches the placemats I made for Perfect for Precuts.


The clips I used in this tutorial are the new Wonder Clips by Clover.  I was lucky enough to get a sample of them at Quilt Market. & they are my new favorite clips.  I use them to hold binding in place, when sewing with laminates as well as many other things.


Want to link to this tutorial?
Here is a button you can use.

In addition to this tutorial I have many other binding tutorials.
You can find the links to them at the top of this post.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
I have more binding tutorials that will be posted as time allows.

© 2009-2022 Julie R. Herman. All rights reserved.
No part of this tutorial may be reproduced without written consent of Jaybird Quilts. 

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Maria said...

thank you so much ;)
ciao Maria

ewenique said...

Many thanks for this tutorial! (I think I love you!) I've been searching high and low for tips and tricks. thank you, thank you, thank you!

Foolish Feathers said...

Now I am trying to find something round to try this out! I love the clips, they look like they would be stronger than the hair-clip binding clips I am using now. Keep up the great work!

Lazy Girl said...

Nice! Your wonderful tute makes me feel like I can do this. The clips look great! Good job!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Those clips look fabulous! I have taken to pinning just as much of my project as fits between the sewing machine needle and the front of my sewing table at one time, then stitching that part, then pinning some more. I was so tired of trying to manhandle my project with pins all around it and poking myself! these clips look like a great blood drops on the quilt!

Great tips for curvy binding too!


Manda said...

Thank you! This looks like a great tutorial!

Quiltjane said...

Thanks for another great tutorial. I must get some of those clips.

CitricSugar said...

Fabulous - great tutorial! Thanks for this as I like curves but get nervous incorporating them into quilts.

Terry@ a quilting blog said...

Thanks so much for this great tutorial (actually, for all your tutorials!!). I'm new to quilting and really appreciate all the tips you so generously share!!!

Lee said...

Such good directions! thank you very much!

rachel griffith said...


VickiT said...

AWESOME Tute Julie! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you gave the info about the clips. As I was reading the tutorial I kept wondering where you hadn gotten those. LOL I was happy at the end to see you shared that info with us. They look like the perfect thing for this and even other projects.

Memaw and Papa said...

Thanks for the great tut. I am binding a double wedding ring and all help is welcome and needed. I used your making bias binding tutorial also. It worked great! Now to finish this project. Seriously has taken me forever to complete. Thanks again!!! Cindy

Leena Salleh said...

Thanks for the tute...what a cute shape of runner...looks like a peanut :)

Sandy said...

You are a born teacher! Thanks for a great tutorial.

Kristy said...

Love the Appleville and the Sew Inspired...and the price on that one woah! Might not be worth waiting to see if I win! :)

Thanks for the fun!

Kristy said...

I'm a Pink Chalk facebook fan!

Kristy said...

I also get the Pink Chalk newsletter! :)

Thanks again!

Barb said...

This was absolutely wonderful! Your tutorial was the best! Thanks so much!

Liz said...

Great tutorial, thank youou.. I just a couple of questions. Why do you need to clip if your supposed to let the binding doits own thing and at what point did you do 45 degree ends?