Traditional Straight Edge Quilt Binding

Binding is the final step that gives your project a professional finish.

binding infographic

We use binding on many projects here at Shadywood Quilts, and we always get lots of compliments about how nice it looks.

We also get a lot of questions about how we create our bindings. Actually, the infographic is our bindings in a nutshell. However, we have some additional suggestions on how to cut the binding fabrics, pressing, joining the ends and applying the binding to your project. Let me be the first to say that there is no 'one way' to do binding. I've been quilting since the late 1970's and have tried many different methods. What I'm going to talk about is what works for me.

First, a little bit of history. When I first started quilting, while I machine pieced the quilt tops, I hand-quilted everything, including adding the binding by hand. Fast forward to 2001, and I am working with several charity groups that make donation quilts for such great causes as Linus Project, Nursing Home (or Comfort) quilts, Quilts of Valor and so on. What we found is that applying the binding totally by machine produces better long-term results than hand finishing. Folks laundering quilts, takes a toll on the binding, and binding by machine seems to last a lot longer.

Straight Grain Binding

Cut width of bindingFabric needed to make binding lengths of:
  0 to 150" 150 to 200" 200 - 350" 350 - 450" 450-500"
1" 1/4 1/4 1/3 3/8 1/2
1 1/2" 1/4 1/3 1/2 5/8 5/8
2" 1/3 1/3 5/8 3/4 7/8
2 1/2" 1/3 1/2 3/4 1 1
3" 3/8 1/2 7/8 1 1/8 1 1/4
3 1/2" 1/2 5/8 1 1 1/4 1 1/3
4" 1/2 5/8 1 1/8 1 1/2 1 1/2
4 1/2" 5/8 2/3 1 1/4 1 5/8 1 3/4
5" 5/8 3/4 1 1/3 1 3/4 1 7/8

Cut width: How wide you are cutting the binding strips. If you cut strips wider than 2.5", you may need a little more fabric.

How to calculate the amount of binding needed: The circumference or perimeter of quilt is the measurement of all four sides of the quilt. That means Length +length + width +width plus 10 (or more) inches to accomodate the mitered joining of the strips. For example, a quilt measuring 60" x 70" would be 60 +60 + 70 +70 + 10 = 270 inches.

Caveat: A 60" x 70" quilt would need 60+60+70+70 inches PLUS seam allowances. If you are using the suggested method of joining binding peices on the bias, you would need and extra strip or two. What???

See that fourth image at the top of the page? Whatever width of fabric you use for you binding, is going to be multiplied by two every time you make a 'join'. So, if making a 2" wide binding, you are going to use an extra 2" of fabric every time you make the join.

Many times you can make the 'straight' binding from the backing fabric.

Bias binding will take a bit more fabric.