Quilting Blog

Get Sharp, Precise Corners on Your Quilt Binding Every Time!

There’s nothing like spending months on a quilt, poring over every last detail, only to rush through the final stages and mess up the binding. It’s every quilter’s nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be!

Perfect Quilt Binding

Do you want to improve your quilt binding technique, to get perfect mitered corners every time?

I recently picked up a few tricks that I’d like to share with you. Every quilter has their own tried-and-true method, but following these steps helps me to get sharp and precise corners on my machine binding. Enjoy this tutorial!

Before you get started…

Choose your binding width

Prepare your quilt sandwich and double-fold binding. I’m using a straight-grain binding that is 2½” wide, and then I pressed it in half. My finished binding will be about 3/8″ wide. For tips on calculating your binding and preparing it from fabric yardage, check out this tutorial.

Use your walking foot

A walking foot will help keep your quilt layers and binding from shifting during sewing. Pictured here is my Baby Lock Digital Dual Feed foot, which helps multiple layers of fabric to feed through the machine evenly.

How to get perfectly sharp corners

If you’re not sure how to start attaching your binding, start with this tutorial or this YouTube video. Come back here when you get to the corners!

Step 1: Stitch to the corner and pivot (pro tip!)

When you are ¼” from the corner, lift your presser foot and turn your project 45 degrees. Lower the presser foot and sew a 45-degree angle right into the corner. You can backstitch along this line for added durability before cutting the threads.

Step 2: Fold the binding back

Fold the binding strip backward along the 45-degree line you’ve just sewn. Finger press.

Step 3: Fold the binding forward

Keeping the fold from the last step in place, fold the binding strip forward. As pictured above, there should be a new 90-degree folded edge of binding that lines up with the raw edge you’ve just sewn along.

Step 4: Sew the corner in place

Place the quilt under your presser foot with the raw edge of the binding aligned with the edge of your quilt. Beginning at the top, sew right over your folded edge from the previous step, backstitch a few stitches, and then continue all the way down the edge until you get to the next corner. When you get ¼” from the edge, repeat Step 1.

Step 5: Finish sewing around all four sides

This is what your binding should look like when you’ve sewn around all four sides of the quilt front.

 

Step 6: Trim points off the corners (pro tip!)

For a really nice mitered corner, use a rotary cutter or a sharp pair of scissors to snip off the very tip of the corners. The entire snip should be about ¼” across, and should not come too close to your seams. You can do this on all four corners of the quilt. When you go to turn your binding around to the back side of the quilt, this will help the corners poke out nicely because you’ve eliminated some extra bulk.

Step 7: Clip the binding around the back of the quilt

After turning your binding around to the back side of the quilt, secure with binding clips. Using your favorite method, hand or machine sew the binding to the back of the quilt.

You may choose to secure your mitered corners by sewing them together, but using the tips in this post, you’ll find that it’s not necessary. The corners will stay together just fine on their own! For tips on hand sewing your binding, check out this post.

What’s your best tip for sewing perfect corners on quilt binding?

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17 Comments

Mary Wright

thank you I found thisrteally helpful

Reply
Anastasia Kamai

Very helpful tips. I have a question about the lever on the walking foot. Is this for the needle up/down? Thank you

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Brenda Perry

The lever on the Baby Lock digital dual feed foot engages or disengages the dual feed. See that belt behind the needle? That belt helps feed the upper layers of fabric when you have the lever lowered. You can adjust the speed of the belt electronically! I LOVE my digital dual feed foot!!

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Granny Suzy

Your tutorial is splendid and very easy to follow. Thank you!
I have this exact same foot on my Brother VQ series machine! The only difference is on mine is that it’s called MuVit and it works great!!!! On smaller quilts, I can throw in a few pins, then use the 20mm basting stitch starting in the middle of the quilt and working out sort of spirally (is that a word?) in a square or rectangular pattern to baste the whole thing quickly and evenly. With the dual feed it works every time! I’ll bet your Baby Lock is very similar to my Brother model- I’ve seen the Baby Lock Crescendo or Aria and the Brother VQ series side by side and they are virtually the same. My machine mechanic says they are anyway. (Actually, I think the same parent company makes them both). They are MARVELOUS machines. Mine has loads of very useful bells & whistles and the BIG 11.25″ “throat” space. I love the MuVit foor on my machine too! I even use it for piecing too sometimes and it does it surprisingly well.
Thanks again for a superb tutorial; your pictures are great too. Well done all around.

Reply
Alanah Crump

Hi this was a great tip. I have trouble with mitres. This will help. Thank you. 😊

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Cath

I’ve actually been using this mitering technique and it works like a charm. It’s by far the best method I have used for bindings. I don’t trim off my corners, though because I want to fill that corner to keep that point out there. But mitering the seam to the corner works wonderfully. Don’t just read this article and put it on a back burner, use it. You will be amazed at how nicely your corners will miter themselves.

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Joyce

Thank you for the great tips. I learned a few things and can’t wait to try them.

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Janice Averill

Wow, I never thought of clipping the corners of my quilt. Which makes me feel silly because I did it all the time when I was making clothing. I always assumed that it affected the quality of the binding and never tried it. Thanks for the tip!

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DeAnn Nichelson

Thank you for a great lesson on binding. Two helpful tips will make binding even better. First, using the walking foot. Great idea, as well as logical. The other were the stitches at a 45 degree angle. It makes so much sense and will definitely keep the mitered edge look that much better on the front of the quilt. What a generous gift you offered quilters today!

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Marilyn Tippett

I’ve followed all the Craftsy binding and miter samples over several years. It took me awhile, but I’ve found that it’s not all that hard. Thanks so much for sharing all your tricks!

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janice green

absolutely a great tip. Will try this on my next quilt. Thank you

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laurelei

Is it possible to get a picture of step 6?

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R

It’s there, above the step.

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Bertie

I need a picture of step seven, which is what I think the previous person wanted. Not sure what you are clipping. I understand to clip the corners in step 6. Thanks

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Lindsay

Hi Bertie! The picture for Step 7 is just under the heading for Step 7. I used clips to clip the binding to the back of the quilt. Hope this helps!

Reply
SW

Hi, I think I am missing something. How do the corners affix to the back of the quilt? I did the steps as described in the post, but just had to fiddle with the binding on the back of the quilt to get the mitering to look halfway decent. Is there something I am missing?

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Mary Lee

Thank you for the “pro” tips! Why didn’t I think to clip the points before folding!?Another tip would be to fold the binding on the back of the quilt with the fold opposite to the fold on the front so that folds nest and even out the bulk.

Reply

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