Single Fold Binding Tutorial

If you ask a quilter how they bind a quilt,  clearly double fold binding is the standard for most quiltmakers.  Double fold binding is how I bind a lot of my quilts; especially baby quilts, lap quilts and bed quilts. 

However, another quilt binding technique I like to use is single-fold binding which is perfect for small quilt projects like wall hangings, mini quilts, mug rugs, etc. 

Single Fold Binding - fb

Ok, you’ve created a quilt top, made a quilt sandwich, and quilted the three layers of the quilt together. Sewing binding to a quilt is the final step.  

Today, I will share with you the quilt binding technique - single fold binding. What is single fold binding? How to make single fold binding. How to attach single fold binding to a quilt project.

Learn the single fold binding a quilt technique by watching our video on YouTube.  Then return here and follow the step-by-step photo tutorial.

COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Single Fold Binding Tutorial to watch in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

Single Fold Binding Two finished projects

What is single fold binding?

As the name implies, it is one layer of fabric that is laid face down on the front of the quilt top, lined up with the raw edges, machine stitched; then wrapped around the raw edge to the back, and hand stitched in place. Single fold binding is also known as flat binding.

What are the advantages of single fold binding?

  • Less bulky
  • Lays flatter on both sides of the project
  • Good for a gently used quilt project
  • Uses less fabric
  • Good binding to use on quilts with scalloped and circled edges

What are the disadvantages of single fold binding?

  • Not as durable since there are fewer layers
  • Shadowing may occur if using a light color binding on a dark quilt
  • Less protection for a quilts edge
  • Requires some hand sewing

What type of projects benefits from single fold binding?

  • Small wall hangings
  • Miniature quilts
  • Mug rugs
  • Fabric coasters
  • Potholders
  • Pillow cushions
  • Table toppers and placemats
  • Ornaments
  • Tote bags, backpacks and purses
  • Clothing applications - necklines and sleeveless fashion

Single Fold Binding Front Finished

So on to the single fold binding tutorial.....


INSTRUCTIONS for attaching single fold binding to quilt

step 1: Square Up Project

The first step is to square up the quilt project

Single Fold Binding Suppliesby using a rotary cutter and quilter's square ruler to remove the excess batting and backing fabric along with cutting the corners square at a 90-degree angle.

STEP 2: cut binding strips

For this tutorial, I am using a 1 1/4" binding strip which will produce a quarter-inch binding around the quilt.  But, other widths of binding strips can be used.  

Begin by cutting 1 1/4" fabric strips.  Enough to go around the whole quilt.  You can use our handy quilt binding calculator to determine the number of binding strips needed. 

Single Fold Binding MeasureTake the measurements of the project and input them into the calculator allowing an additional 8 - 12" overage for joining the ends and mitering the corners. 

If you don't use the calculator to determine the length of the binding strip needed,  measure the width and length of the project.  Then multiply the width by 2, and multiply the length by 2.  Add these two figures together plus an additional 8 - 12".  

(Width x 2) + (Length x 2) + (8 to 12 inches)  = Length of Binding Strip

Single Fold Binding Fabric with Project

When I cut binding strips I always cut on the straight of the grain from selvage to selvage with one exception.    Projects that have curved edges…something with rounded corners, scallops, or completely round... I cut on the bias.

Cut the number of 1 ¼” wide binding strips necessary to go around the quilt project.

Join the strips together with a diagonal seam. For more information on this process, go to our blog post on joining binding strips.

STEP 3: press under one long edge of binding 

To make it easier later when it's time to hand sew binding to the back of the quilt, I like to press one of the binding raw edges NOW.

Single Fold Binding Fold Under EdgeUsing your iron, carefully press 1/4" towards the wrong side along one long edge of the binding.  

As I turn the edge under I spray with a little Mary Ellen's Best Press to help keep a neat and sharp folded edge (it won't unfold).

Mary Ellen's Best Press is a clear starch alternative.  It's a product all newbies and seasoned quilters should have.  It helps to remove fabric wrinkles and adds a little stiffness to the fabric which is really helpful when you prepare your fabric for cutting and piecing.

STEP 4: sewing binding to the quilt

To apply the binding to the quilt, lay the quilt sandwich face up and flat.  Smooth the quilt and place the unfolded raw edge of the binding to the raw edge of the quilt with the right sides together. 

Position the starting point slightly below the center of one side of the project. And leave a 6 - 10" loose tail of fabric at the start of the binding strip.

Single Fold Binding Sew along edgeBegin sewing the binding to the quilt using a straight stitch and a 1/4" seam remembering to backstitch at the beginning. 

As you approach the corner, stop stitching 1/4" from the corner with the needle in the down position. 

Now let's mitered the corner.  With the needle down, raise the presser foot, pivot the fabric and sew diagonally to the corner, backstitch to make sure it is secure. The corner should look like this:

Single Fold Binding Sew Into Corner

 Remove the quilt from the machine.

Single Fold Binding Fold along cornerFold the working end of the binding away from itself forming a 45-degree angle.

Single Fold Binding Fold Down along Next edgeNext, fold the working end of the binding strip back on itself, making sure the fold is evenly aligned with the quilt edge.  Pin the layers together to hold them in place.

Single Fold Binding Sew along second edgeTo sew the next side, reposition the quilt under the presser foot at the very edge of the quilt Single Fold Binding Continue around to last sideand continue stitching the binding in place with a 1/4" seam allowance stopping and repeating the process at each corner.

Single Fold Binding Prepare to joinStop sewing about 8 - 12" from the beginning end, leaving a gap.

STEP 5: join quilt binding ends

Remove the quilt project from the sewing machine and take it to your cutting table.

Single Fold Binding Cut off excessTo join the two tails, trim the starting end of the binding so it ends halfway in the middle of the gap between the beginning and end of your sewing. 

Single Fold Binding Pin downAfter cutting, lay it flat and pin.  Also, place a pin straight across the edge of the binding.

Single Fold Binding Showing OverlapGrab the other loose binding end and place it on top of the pinned binding.  It’s important to apply a tiny bit of tension on this end.

 Single Fold Binding measure and markUse a ruler to measure 1 1/4" from the pin on the edge of the bottom binding and mark with a fabric marker.  Cut the top binding straight across at this mark.

Single Fold Binding Mark angleUnpin the bindings. Unfold the starting binding end and use a ruler & a fabric marker to draw a 45-degree line on it as a guide to sew on. Single Fold Binding pin ends of binding togetherUnfold the other binding end and with right side together, place the starting binding end on top of the ending binding end at a 45-degree angle. 

Double-check to make sure it will be sewn in the right way.  Then,  sew on that drawn line.  Trim the seam 1/4" and press open with fingers or iron. Single Fold Binding Wrap Binding Sewn to FrontFinish sewing the binding in place.

STEP 6: Fold binding to back

The binding is now sewn completely to the front of the quilt. It's time to attach the binding to the back of the quilt.

With an iron and with the quilt facing up, press the binding on each side away from the quilt.  No need to iron the mitered corners at this point.

Single Fold Binding Iron binding openWrap the binding around the edge of the quilt, folding it to the back.  Pin or clip it in place so it covers the stitching line created when the binding was sewn to the top of the quilt.

Single Fold Binding Wrap to back and clip in placeMiter the corners as the binding is being turned to the back.

Single Fold Binding Ready to Be Sewn

STEP 6: hand stitch binding

We're almost finished.

Hand stitch the binding in place to finish the project.  Use small, closely spaced blind hem stitches.  Choose a color thread that matches the binding.  Sew with a single thread. Single Fold Binding Back of finished projectBe careful not to stitch through to the front of the quilt. 

I recommend taking three or four extra stitches on the folds of the mitered corners to hold them in place. Single Fold Binding Finished projectAll done!  Are you ready to try this method of quilt binding?

Let me know if you have any questions about single fold binding.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!

 Annette's Signature 


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.

some other binding techniques

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Single Fold Binding - pin 2

Single Fold Binding - pin

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