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Quilt Binding Instructions: Make Your Own Binding

I’m ready to bind this quilt, so I thought I’d write up a little tutorial about how to make your own quilt binding. It’s easy to make. The only tricky part, in my opinion, is that it’s a little cumbersome because you’re dealing with such long pieces of material.

***I always say this, but there are definitely several ways to make quilt binding, this is just how I do it. I’m not saying this is the “right” way, it’s just my way.***

First, measure the length and width of your quilt. Don’t worry about being exact, it’s good to be generous with your measurements. (I used my quilt ruler to measure because it was close by, use whatever you have.)

use quilt ruler to measure quilt

After you’ve measured, add the width and length, multiply by 2 and add 20. Here’s my example:

My quilt measured 57 inches long and 48 inches wide.

(Add  length + width) 57 + 48 = 105
(Multiply that total by 2) 105 x 2 = 210
(Add 20 inches) 210 + 20 = 230

***(The 20 inches is just extra fabric. I add 20 inches because 1) you’re going to need a little extra when you attach your binding to your quilt, which I’ll talk about in another post and 2) it’s always better to have too much fabric than too little. It’s simple to trim a few inches off, more complicated to add a few.)***

So I need to make my binding 230 inches long.

You will find that some people recommend that you make binding by cutting along the bias. That means you cut your fabric at an angle. This may be the way you want to do it and is probably the way the super-professionals do it. I, however, simply cut across the crosswise or lengthwise grains. (If you want to know a little more about the terms “bias, crosswise and lengthwise grains,” I talk about it here, in one of my first posts. Scroll down a little to find it.) I have never cut along the bias to make bindings and have never had any trouble. But, do it whatever way you feel is best for you.

So…. however you decide to make your cuts, make your binding strips 2.5 inches wide.

2.5 inch wide binding strip

I cut 6 strips, all 2.5 inches wide. I cut them the WOF (width of fabric) so that means I have six 42-inch-long strips.
(6 x 42 = 252)
I have 252 inches of binding fabric. (Longer than I need, but like I said before, it’s no problem it it’s too long, but it’s problematic if it’s too short.)

6 strips for quilt binding

Now you need to connect all these strips. You’re making one super-long piece of material for the binding, so you’ll sew the ends together. (When I say “ends” I’m referring to the short sides of the fabric.)

Take 2 strips. Place them right sides together and sew them together. Backstitch when you start and stop sewing.

how to attach your binding strips together

(After sewing 2 strips together, I have an 84-inch-long strip.)
Now take another strip. Take one end of the long strip you just sewed and sew it to the end of one of your shorter strips (right sides together) and remember to backstitch.
(Now I have a 126 inch strip.)
Continue adding shorter strips to your long strip until it’s the right length.

When your binding strip is long enough, it’s time to get out your iron.

Press your seams. I always press my bindings’ seams open to make them as flat as possible. (Pressing your seams open means you press one side to the left and one side to the right. It makes the seam a little flatter than pressing it to one side.)

seams ironed open

After you’ve pressed your seams, start at one end of your strip and fold your fabric over (in half) and press flat. Now your binding will be 3/4 of an inch wide, which is what it needs to be for attaching it to your quilt. You should be able to see the right side of your fabric.

iron binding strip in half and iron

ta da! After ironing, you’re finished making your binding and should have something that looks like this

I’ll be back soon to show you how I attach binding to my quilts. Done!

And if you want to go ahead, here are the next 2 parts in this series:

Quilt Binding Instructions: How to Sew on Binding

Quilt Binding Instructions: How to Join Quilt Binding Ends

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  1. […] when you made your binding? How you folded it in half and ironed? Ok, place that binding strip on the edge of your quilt with […]

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