Binding Your Quilted Project Step-By-Step

Now for finishing those placemats that were quilted in the last blog…

You need to choose a fabric for your border. This will be the final frame on your piece and should complement the fabrics used in the item well. Measure around your piece and make sure you have cut enough strips to go around your item and a few inches for the diagonal seam. Cut strips 2 inches wide. This is the most common size for your average quilted item, unless you have very thick batting, then you might want to make your binding wider to enable it to cover the outer edge.

You will then need to sew the strips together to make a continuous binding. The best way to do this is with a diagonal seam (see below). This makes the seam almost invisible and also makes it less bulky. After cutting and sewing then you will iron the binding in half lengthwise.

Binding ironed in half lengthwise



Lay binding on edge of piece







Now lay your binding along the back of your piece in preparation to begin sewing it on. Leave about 6 inches and begin sewing with 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Sew to 1/4-inch before the end





For the corners…sew to within a 1/4-inch from the edge of the piece.   I measure it and put a pin in to mark my 1/4 inch.

Take the piece out at 1/4-inch from the edge





Raise the presser foot and take the piece out when you have reached the 1/4-inch edge pin marking. No need to cut the threads.

Fold over to even with raw edge of piece





Now fold the binding over with a 90-degree angle and raw edges of the binding and your piece even with each other. You may pin it in place if desired.

Fold back over on itself





Fold the binding back over onto itself and make the right side even to the end of the piece. Pin in place if desired.

Turn and sew





Carefully turn piece to sew down the next side, keeping binding in place (pinning is a good idea until you are accustomed with the technique). Continue with 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Do this for each corner of your quilted item.

At the end



Once you have reached the end you will connect the ends using the diagonal seam.

Carefully measure a 2-inch overlap







Lay the pieces of binding carefully along the edge of your piece. Make sure they are taut, but not stretched so you do not have the binding bunching up. Measure a 2-inch overlap (or same size as the width of your binding).


Cut the top binding



You will cut the top binding only at the 2-inch overlap.

A 2-inch overlap







You now have a 2-inch overlap and the binding is ready to connect using a diagonal seam.

Lay pieces right sides together




You will make sure your piece is in your lap and the raw edge is up. Then take the left side of the binding and open it up with right side out. Take the right side of the binding, open it up and lay it right side together on top of the left side binding with outside corners matching. It should look like the picture.

Match corners and mark down center


Pin and mark down the center for the seam you will sew making sure to pay attention to the corners of both ends of binding. Add pin to other side of marked line.

Sew along marked line






Carefully maneuver the binding to sew on the marked line between pins. Sew the seam.

Trip to 1/4 inch






Carefully trip to about 1/4 inch.

Finger press seam open






Finger press the 1/4-inch seam allowance open.

Fold back into place









Now fold the binding back in place and sew the final bit down.



Your binding is sewn on the back




Your binding is completely sewn into the back of your project.

Turn binding and sew down to front





The final step to complete your binding is sewing it down to the front. Flip your piece over and turn the binding to the front side of your piece. You will sew right along the inner edge of the binding making sure that you completely cover the first binding seam sewn. Use thread that matches the binding on the top and bobbin thread that matches the back of the piece.

Fold corner down



When you reach the corner, fold it down and make a nice tuck and fold back up over the next side.

Fold back up and pin





Pin in place, making sure to cover the first seam completely.

Turn piece and sew next side








Sew to the corner, catching the edge of binding. Raise presser foot and turn the piece. Sew down next side with the seam on the inside edge of the binding. When you reach the end match up seams to finish.

Blind stitch the corners





The final thing is to blind stitch the corners, back and front with matching thread.

Finished placemat






The finished placemat!


12 x 18 inches

Complete Placemat Set


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