Continuous binding with no bulk is easy to do. Learn how and you'll never have lumpy binding again!

Next page: Sewing On Binding

Preparing Single-Fold Binding

Single-fold binding requires little preparation before being sewn to the quilt. (See more about cutting binding here.)

1. With the wrong side inside, fold under 1" at one end of the binding strip; press.

2. You may wish to turn under and press a 1⁄4" seam allowance on one long edge of the strip before joining the other long edge to the quilt. This pressed edge will be hand-stitched to the back of the quilt after the binding strip is sewn to the quilt top.

Preparing Double-Fold (French-Fold) Binding

1. With the wrong side inside, fold under 1" at one end of the binding strip; press.

2. With wrong side inside, fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.

Next page: Joining Binding Ends with No Overlap

Sewing on Continuous Binding with Mitered Corners

The instructions that follow can be used to attach single-fold or double-fold binding.

Binding is generally attached to a quilt with a generous 1⁄4" or 3⁄8" seam allowance. This leaves between 1⁄4" and 3⁄8" of binding showing on the quilt front, and the balance of the binding is turned to the quilt back. If you prefer a narrower or wider binding to show on the quilt front, adjust the width of your seam allowance to equal the binding width that you want to show on the quilt front. (See more about cutting binding here.)

The photographs that follow show double-fold binding. If you use single-fold binding, the raw binding edge (the edge not turned under) is the one to align with the edge of the quilt.

1. Beginning in the center of the bottom edge, place the binding strip against the right side of the quilt top, starting with the folded end and aligning the binding strip's raw edges with the quilt top's raw edge.

2. Starting 2" from the folded end, sew through all the layers. End your stitching line before you reach the corner at a distance equal to the width of the seam allowance. For example, if you are sewing with a 1⁄4" seam allowance, you would stop sewing 1⁄4" from the corner. Backstitch, then clip the threads. Remove the quilt from beneath the sewing machine presser foot.

3. Fold the binding strip upward, creating a diagonal fold, and finger-press.

4. Holding the diagonal fold in place with your index finger, bring the binding strip down in line with the next edge, making a horizontal fold that aligns with the first raw edge of the quilt.

5. Begin sewing again at the top of the horizontal fold, stitching through all layers.

6. Sew around the quilt, turning each corner in the same manner. When you return to the starting point, lap the raw end of the binding strip inside the folded end.

7. Finish sewing to the starting point. Backstitch to secure. (See a video of how to bind here.)

8. Turn the binding over the edge of the quilt to the back. Hand-stitch the binding to the backing fabric, making sure to cover the binding stitching line. Hand-stitch the folded edge of the binding down where the binding strips meet. (See a video of hand-stitching the binding here.)

9. Fold a miter in each corner as you reach it. Take a stitch or two in each fold to secure it.

Joining Binding Ends with No Overlap

Some quilters prefer to seam the ends of a binding strip together, rather than overlapping them. Seaming the ends means less bulk.

1. Prepare the binding strips as for double-fold (French-fold) binding, but do not fold under an end.

2. Beginning in the center of the bottom edge, place the binding strip against the right side of the quilt top; align the binding strip's raw edges with the quilt top's raw edge and leave a 6" to 10" tail (the larger the project, the longer the tail).

3. Starting 6" to 10" from the end (depending on the length of your binding strip tail), sew the binding to the quilt. Stop sewing when you are within 10" to 20" from where you began stitching.

4. Remove the quilt from under the presser foot and place it on a flat surface.

5. Lay the first binding tail in place on the quilt top, aligning the raw edges. Repeat with the second binding tail. Crease the second binding tail where it meets the first tail's straight-cut end. From the crease, measure and mark the distance of the binding strip's cut width; cut second tail at mark. For example, these binding strips were cut 2" wide, so we measured 2" from the crease and cut the second tail straight across at that mark.

6. Open the tails; with right sides together, place one on top of the other at a right angle.

7. Join the strips with a diagonal seam. Before stitching, check to be sure the strips are not twisted. Trim the seam allowance to 1⁄4" and finger-press open.

8. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise as it was previously. It should lie perfectly flat.

9. Continue sewing the binding strip to the starting point. Backstitch to secure.

10. Turn the binding over the edge of the quilt to the back. Hand-stitch the binding to the backing fabric, making sure to cover the binding stitching line.

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