Quilting Blog

In a Bind? Try This Simple Way to Join Quilt Binding

It seems that there are almost as many binding techniques as there are quilting patterns available. No matter which method for binding you choose, the same questions always seem to come up.

Today, we will discuss attaching the beginning and the ending of the binding together and offer a technique for joining quilting binding that will be helpful to new and experienced quilters alike.

Follow along to learn this simple way to join quilt binding!

quilt binding

Joining the binding tails is the most confusing part of binding a quilt. The ideal way to join the tails together is to make it invisible. Having the ends join just like all of the other strips will create a flat seam that is not noticeable at all!

Note: For the sake of this discussion, we will show a 2" double-fold binding, but this technique would work with any width binding, single fold or double fold! So don't worry if you use a different width, this method will work for you.

finished binding seam

Step 1.

Leave at least 6" of binding loose when you begin sewing your binding down to your quilt. This binding is cut 2" wide and folded and pressed wrong sides together down the entire length of the binding. Fold the binding into a roll while pressing to keep it neat.

binding rolled up and ready to sew

Step 2.

The binding is sewn 1/4" away from the edge of the quilt top. Once the entire binding has been sewn down, stop sewing about 8" to 10" from the beginning. Leave a tail at least 6" long. These two tails will now be joined at a 45-degree angle.

2" overlap

The key to making the strips the exact length to fit your quilt it to make sure they overlap each other by the same length that they are wide. For example, these two strips will be cut overlapping by 2" because they are cut 2" wide. If your binding is cut 2 1/2" wide, you will overlap 2 1/2". Likewise, if your binding is 1 1/2" wide, cut the ends so that they overlap 1 1/2".

placement for sewing binding tails together

Step 3.

Once the ends are trimmed, fold the quilt as shown and lay the ends right sides together at a 45-degree angle, as shown. Sew from one corner to the next, and then trim the excess triangles away. Finger press this seam open, then unfold the quilt. The binding will now lay flat along the edge of the quilt, sewn perfectly and without any lumps!

sew along the red lineSewing line shown in red.

Step 4.

Now sew the unsewn binding section to the quilt top, beginning one inch before you stopped and continue one inch past the beginning stitches. The overlapping stitches will secure the binding seams.

binding tails sewn together

This joining of the tails will be virtually impossible to find once the binding is sewn down!

finished binding

If you haven't tried this binding technique before, you will be amazed at how well it works. Have fun and be amazed at what a wonderful result you will get!

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40 Comments

Betty Thomas

love to sew

Reply
Gail Simburger

Thank you so much! This works beautifully and the step by step photos and directions were pretty easy to understand. Just wish I could print the instructions for future reference.

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Diane Knott

Hi Gail,
Glad it was helpful! Have you tried to copy and paste the information onto a blank page in Word (or whatever document writing program you have?) If you can’t print it from there, you can save it at least for future reference. Good luck!

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Sandy

Copy & paste the instructions,then safe them or print the page

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Cindy

I love this explanation. I have been doing my binding this way forever, but always just left the extra and sewed it straight. This makes perfect sense to me, thank you for posting it!!! I too agree though that I wish there was a way to print the instructions in a more condensed fashion without all the comments and advertising!

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Diane Zdrodowski

This is brilliant. I make my bindings the same till the very last step, then I struggle to get the ends not too tight or not too loose. This last step makes it so much easier…thank you!

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Judy Searles

I have been using this method about 6 months. It is so easy and simple, just like the rest of the seams in your binding. One of those
“Why didn’t I think of that!”

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Barb

I just showed a quilting friend how to do this yesterday. I have been doing this process for years now and it always looks so nice when finished.

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Jean Dugas

Thank you so much. I too have been doing it this way, but I still have trouble deciding which way to lay it together between step 2 and 3. Is there a trick? When I sew together many times I have one piece sewn the wrong way and it doesn’t work.

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Gloria Hart

Right ( on top) over left (on bottom) right sides together. Works every time .

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Julie

Gloria, your instruction doesn’t make sense to me. I can see from the picture shown in the tutorial that the bottom side of the ending tail opens back to lay the binding face up. The problem comes in when laying the starting tail. Do you rotate clockwise to lay face down, or counter-clockwise? Seems I always do it wrong the first time and it ends up twisted, and I have to rip it out and do it again. You’d think I’d remember after doing it wrong once and write it down!! Guess I need to quilt more to get more practice!! 🙂 *sigh*

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Norma

I too get the ends twisted. I love this method of joining the ends of the binding except for the twisting. Would it be possible to provide a picture of the entire area without the instructor’s hand covering where the ends leave the quilt & are crossed at 90° angle for joining? That would be most helpful.

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Tara

I pin it first and check that it lays flat without a twist 😀

Rudy

WOW – how am I just now learning this. I have googled it but never seen this method. Can’t wait to try it!!!

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Ann

“Fold the quilt as shown” ? As shown? I have gotten this to work a few times, but now I don’t know how I did it. Can’t seem to get it again. Must be in that “shown” fold, which I don’t see! 🙁

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Shawna

I also cannot see the picture that illustrates how to fold the quilt in step 3. Would love to know how to fold it. Thanks.

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Patty

“fold the quilt” simply means to fold the quilt between the two binding tails to keep it out of the way while sewing the ends together, In other words, when you’re ready to join the ends together just make a big pleat in the quilt between the binding tails and pin it temporarily while you sew the binding ends together.

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Betty McCullough

Forget the measure with a ruler, simply cut off a small piece of the binding, open it up and use it to measure the overlap. never need to even try to remember what size binding you used that day because the small piece will be from the binding that needs to be measured. everything else the same. thank you for your great lesson.

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MelanieV

Does anyone else manage to get a twist with this method? It always surprised me and I have to rip and re-sew. How do I do that? *chuckling* Maybe it’s just me.

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Cindy

I do this type of binding all the time. So easy!!! I too use a piece of the binding to measure how much to cut. Also I cut my binding just a little more than the measurement and it fits perfectly because sometimes it is too long and I have to make it fit. Cutting just 1/8 more off makes the binding fit just perfect. Great pics!

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Gerrie Miller

I have used this method on all my quilts. Beautiful finish.

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Barb P

This is such a lovely method of finishing binding. The instructions are excellent, simple and well illustrated, thank you!

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Donna

Do you have a tuturial on this? Thanks your videos are always so helpful and taught me alot

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Kate M

Very informative. I will try this. Thanks.

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Shirley

just copied all the above instructions and shrunk the photos so it all fit on one page. Even added Gloria Harts info so it works perfect. Hope you can use this. it would not let me copy it to this comment…

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Jodie

I love this method, but a photo to show exactly what you mean by “overlapping” would be great. That’s the part I struggle with. 🙂

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Jodie

LOL! Now I see my page has fully loaded and I see the photo. 🙂

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Jenniffer E

An almost description but the biggest problem for me is getting the tails layed out the correct way to avoid a twist after they are sewn together and unfortunately the one important picture had the sewers hand in the way otherwise great instructions

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Jean in Jersey

Remembered following this tutorial the last time with great success. Just finished using this technique again today – wonderful! No “tools” needed. <3

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Carla

I guess I got lucky, because it worked the first time, and this finish is truly amazing! I just used the same technique for matching the ends on an angle that I use when making the binding: the fabric on the bottom is right side up and “horizontal” and the fabric on top is right side down and “vertical”. Maybe that will help to prevent “twists”. I’ve been quilting for almost 10 years and always struggled to match up the binding ends. Thanks for sharing!

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Carolyn

This is the easiest method for joining binding tails. I bought an expensive binding ruler that is difficult to use, before I learned to bind this way. What a waste of money.

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Heather Molloy

Even with all the tools and gadgets out there, I could NEVER figure this one out. It would be a stumbling block. Sometime the binding would be all stitched down because of those “tales of horror” that needed to be matched up and joined. I used your method yesterday. Brilliant! So simple to understand!

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Delia Bottoms

Thank you so much for a great method for joining binding tails! It was wonderfully easy, and it fits perfectly. :0) I saved your instructions under ‘favorites’. :0)

What I have always thought of as the most difficult part of binding is now the easiest!!

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Rhonda Manthey

I hate joining my binding and always struggle with it. This is the easiest way I have ever seen . I am so excited , to be able to join my binding and not be so stressed about it . Thank you 😊

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Kris

Your method of joining binding tails worked perfectly. Thank you for the clear explanation and photos.

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Inge van Dordrecht

Wonderful joining binding ends tip. Going to use it today!

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Jacqui

Thankyou so much for this tutorial…So easy, I followed your very clear instructions and I’ve just finished the best binding ever on my quilt! I shall now look forward to doing my bindings instead of being stressed :o) Much appreciated! Jacqui in Australia..

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Rachel

All I get is How to draw animals.
Rachel

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Helen

Thank you this was so easy to follow, and my binding looks great

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Beth 245

Thank you for explaining this – I always have trouble joining the binding on the finish but this shows how easy it is to do.

Reply

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