How to Bind a Quilt in 5 Simple Steps (By Hand or Machine)

It’s finally time for all of your hard work to shine through. You’ve constructed the quilt top, you’ve sandwiched the batting between the top and the bottom of your quilt, and now it’s time for every quilter’s favorite part: the binding. If you don’t know already, the quilt binding is the name of the ribbon or piece of fabric that goes around the unfinished edge of your quilt to bring everything together. While one of the easiest ways to finish your quilt is to use a binding foot, not everyone has that option available on their machine, or they are looking for a more personal touch. Here is how to bind a quilt by hand or machine in five simple steps.

How To Bind A Quilt By Hand or Machine

Step 1: Square the Quilt Edges

Your binding will end up puckered and oddly shaped if you don’t take the time to trim the edge of your quilt before securing the binding. Using your quilter’s square, square all four edges and make sure to trim carefully to reduce the amount of bulk you’re dealing with in the next step.

Step 2: Attach the Binding and Miter the Corners

Leaving a tail of 6 to 8 inches, place the binding on the quilt top along the edge, making sure you won’t end up with any seams at the corners. Pin and stitch slowly, making sure to keep a ¼ inch seam allowance along the edge. Once you almost reach the bottom edge of the quilt with a ¼ inch allowance, it’s time to make the mitered corners. This refers to the pointed corners on quilts that give them a professional look. Stitch off the corner, then bring the binding up towards the top edge and bring back down to form a pocket. Stitch along the edge and repeat on each following corner until you reach the end. This allows you to turn the corners without issue and will end up creating a perfectly pointed edge to your quilt.

Step 3: Join the Ends

Leave about 6 to 8 inches of binding from where you started on either end. Leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance, cut and join the two binding endings to create one continuous seam for the binding. This is one of the toughest steps, so double check to make sure your binding lays flat before making your stitches and cuts. Remember, you can always sew closer on the binding, but it’s hard to uncut fabric.

Step 4: Press Over

The best quality of any quilt is its clean lines. Fold the binding over onto the bottom of the quilt and press the edges using an iron, including the under seam of the biding that will lay flat on top. Be sure that any threads are clipped to avoid chasing them down later. Pin in place before continuing.

Step 5: Finish the Binding

Using a hand needle or sewing machine, stitch the binding. If stitching by hand, attach the binding to the bottom of the quilt without going through all three layers. If stitching on a machine, make sure your stitches line up on both sides, as they will appear on the top of the quilt as well as the bottom. Trim your threats and viola! You have a quilt complete with binding.