This is one of those skills that if you’re going to make a quilt, you need to know. And it’s something I do all the time. Chances are you already know how to make binding but if not, here you go!
PS: Binding is great for quilts but also adds a polished finish to pillows, accessories and bags.
I like to cut my binding strips 2.5″ w x WOF.
For explanation purposes, I am using a pillow to demonstrate how to attach binding. The process is the same for any binding project.
- Join two pieces by placing them right sides together at a right angle.
- For the top fabric, fold the top right corner down to meet the bottom left corner. Finger press to crease. Release the fabric and line up the edges along the right side.
- Sew a diagonal line of stitches from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, along the crease.
- Trim to the right of the line of stitches, leaving a 1⁄4” seam allowance. Press the seam open. Repeat until you have the length of binding needed for your project.
- Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.
- Line up raw edges of binding with raw edge of project. Sew binding onto the front side of the project with a 1/4″ seam. Start at the bottom right corner and place the binding strip right down on pillow front, right sides together. Leave a 4″ tail at the top, backstitch and sew toward the corner, stopping a 1/4″ before the end. Angle your stitch and sew off the corner.
- Make mitered corners. Fold the fabric up over the corner, then back down on itself. (See pictures above and below.)
- Starting 1/4″ down from the folded corner, sew along the side of the pillow, backstitching at the beginning. Repeat for all 4 sides and corners. Sew until you get within 4″ of the starting tail. Backstitch and leave a 4″ tail. (Note, my picture shows the stitches beginning at the top of the corner but I’ve since found it helpful to start 1/4″ down from the corner.)
Overlap the tails and trim so they only overlap by 1/2.” Twist the tails so they are RST and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Untwist and finish sewing the binding on the front, backstitching at beginning and end.
- Flip the binding over to the back of the pillow and fold it over, holding in place with clips or pins.
- Fold the corners over so that the edges meet, giving you a mitered corner (see picture above.)
- Hand-stitch the binding on to the back of the pillow using a ladder stitch, making sure you don’t catch the front side.
- All done! Enjoy your lovely new binding.
- Alternately you can machine stitch your binding on instead of hand stitching it. If you do this, I recommend sewing the binding on the back side of your project so that you will flip the binding over to the front. Sew the edge down by machine and the stitches will be on the back of the project.