Your quilt top is finished and now you need to add a quilt binding. Learn how easy it is to self bind a quilt with the backing fabric with this video and photo tutorial. This method for binding a quilt is also called a fold-over binding.
This quilt binding tutorial can be used as a binding a large quilt but is best suited for smaller projects like table runners and wall hangings.
In this quilt binding tutorial, I demonstrate how to bind a mug rug with the backing fabric. This same method can be used to bind any size quilted project.
Larger quilts may be a bit harder to bind with this self-binding and for these quilts, I recommend using one of our other easy quilt bindings. Look at the end of this tutorial for links to other methods for binding your quilt.
Keep reading for a full written and photo tutorial on binding a quilt, or click the link below to watch a video tutorial on self-binding a quilt.
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WHAT YOU NEED to self-bind a quilt
- Completed top for a table runner, wall hanging, mug rug or quilt. It should not be quilted.
- Backing fabric
- Coordinating threads
- Sewing machine
- Rotary Cutter, Ruler, and mat
How to self bind a quilt tutorial
Pre-Preparation for self binding a quilt
For this binding method, you will need a finished quilt top for a quilt, table runner, or wall hanging. For this tutorial, I am using a mug rug as a sample.
Square up your quilt top before beginning this tutorial. Squaring up your quilt top is simply evening out the edges so that you have a straight edge on each side and 90-degree corners.
STEP 1: Cut Batting & Binding to Size
Cut a piece of batting to be the same size as the quilt top. The batting should be layered underneath the quilt top with the right side facing up as shown below.
Lay your backing fabric with the wrong side facing up on your cutting mat. Next, place the batting and quilt top on top of the backing leaving at least one inch around each side.
Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut your backing to be one inch larger than your quilt top all the way around. Clip your corners as shown in the photo above, leaving at least 1/4" of fabric beyond the corners.
Pin baste the top, batting and backing together. To pin baste, start in the center of your project and place a safety pin every 2 - 3 inches. Smooth out your project layers as you go.
For larger projects, start from the center and pin baste one quadrant of the quilt to the corner. Then move on to the next quadrant. Click the link above for more information on pin basting a quilt.
Quilt your layers together as desired. For the mug rug project used for the sample, I showed several different ideas on how to quilt the layers. Visit that tutorial to see the suggestions. Or, visit our learn to quilt series video on Quilting the Top for some ideas.
STEP 2: Fold Sides over top
At the ironing board, starting on one of the long sides, fold the quilt backing up towards the quilt top 1/2 inch as shown below. The edge of the fabric should come up to the edge of the quilt project. Iron the fold flat.
Next, fold the self-binding up again 1/2 inch so the binding now covers the edge of the quilt top and iron it flat. To hold the quilt binding down, place some quilt binding clips along the edge.
I love to use quilt binding clips for projects like this as they are easy to clip onto the project and they won't poke!
Fold and iron all four sides in the same method. Do not worry about the corners right now. We will do the corners next.
STEP 3: Create Mitered Corner
Move to your corners now that the sides are nicely folded. Open the corner out completely and then fold the corner up to the point and then fold the corner over the point as shown below. The raw edges are underneath.
Fold the right side of the self binding back in place. It will cover the corner as shown below. The top edge of the right side quilt binding should be even with the raw edge of the work.
Fold the quilt binding along the top edge of the work back into place creating the mitered corner. Since the corner was folded in first, the 45-degree angle on the mitered corner should appear naturally.
You may need to refold the corner or tuck it in to get the look you want. Keep working at it and you will get it! If you are having trouble, click the link above to the full YouTube video tutorial.
Put a quilt binding clip on the corner to hold it in place. Continue and fold all four corners.
The quilt top should look like the photo below.
STEP 4: How to Sew the Self-binding
Sew the quilt binding down removing the clips as you go around. The binding can be sewn down with a straight stitch near the folded edge or using a decorative stitch. I like using the straight stitch or a serpentine stitch.
When sewing the corners, be sure not to flip up the folded fabric at the corners. When you get to a corner, have your needle in the down position, lift your presser foot and rotate your work 90 degrees. Then continue sewing the next side.
Below is the finished mug rug front with straight stitching by the folded edge.
The back of the project will look similar to below.
The photo below shows a quilt binding sewn with a serpentine stitch. To learn more about the serpentine stitch and binding, visit our Quick Quilt Binding tutorial.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Other Ways to Bind a Quilt
Below are some other quilt binding tutorials showing different methods for binding a quilt, table runner, or wall hanging.
Quick Quilt Binding - This is a no hand sewing method of binding a quilt
Traditional Quilt Binding - In this method, the quilt binding is sewn to the front of the quilt project with a sewing machine and then hand-stitched on the back.
Flange Quilt Binding is a sew-on quilt binding. It has small piping or flange which shows on the front of the quilt. This can add extra interest to your quilt.
Pillowcase Finish - This is an easy way to finish a smaller quilt.
Some other no-hand sewing binding methods are the faux flange binding method. Click for a tutorial of this method by Scrapdash. Another tutorial on this binding method is available on Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals site.
The project featured in this video is a Jelly Roll Mug Rug. Click the link to find a full tutorial to make the mug rug.