How to Bind a Quilt

A quilt’s binding is a key component of its design, being the piece that gives it a finished appearance. Quilts are made from two layers of fabric stitched together with batting stuffed in between. The binding fabric covers up the edges so this interior stuffing is not visible from the outside. The most common type of quilt binding is to simply use plain fabric strips that match the color scheme of the quilt, but there are also several other types of quilt binding to choose from. Here are three of the best methods of binding a homemade quilt.

  • #1: Pillowcase method

The easiest way to finish a quilt is to not use any actual binding fabric at all. This can be called the “birthing” or “pillowcase” method of completing a handmade quilt. Rather than adding on a binding trim, stitch the quilt’s edge so that it resembles a large pillowcase, leaving one end open wide enough so you can turn the entire thing inside out while you are stitching it together. Flip the quilt back right side out and use either a topstitch or blind stitch to close this opening.

  • #2: Self-binding

The self-binding method uses the bottom layer of fabric as the binding for the quilt. This is much quicker than using fabric strip quilt binding, but will leave your quilt vulnerable to damage because the binding is only one layer thick. Self-binding can also be a good way to display the backing fabric of the quilt if you have used a color you particularly like. For a self-bound quilt, simply leave a few extra inches of backing fabric around the top layer and batting. This overlap will become your binding when you fold it up over the top of the quilt. Stitch the folded edge down to secure it in place and trim off any extra fabric to finish off your quilt’s binding.

  • Continuous fabric strip

Continuous fabric strip binding is another variation on the traditional strip binding method. Instead of using individual fabric strips to bind each edge of the quilt, sew all of the strips into one large strip. This gives you a slightly different pattern depending on which direction you wrap the continuous fabric strip binding around the quilt. You can also add a personal touch or make the quilt look more frilly by using patterned or ruffled binding fabric. To add accents to your quilt’s corners, add some triangular binding fabric, sometimes called “prairie points.”