One alternative to making traditional binding is to make a quilt-back big enough to fold over to the front of the quilt and sew in place. That’s right, you can use the backing for the binding! I’ve had a tutorial for this process up on the blog – it was one of my very first posts back in 2010! But that tutorial needed some updates – here we go!
After basting your backing fabric (with a safe 2″ excess around the perimeter of the quilt-top), batting, and the quilt top, go ahead and do the quilting. IMPORTANT NOTE #1: DO NOT QUILT PAST THE BORDER OF YOUR QUILT TOP. If you go over your quilt-top, onto overhanging batting and backing, you will have to pull out your seam ripper and pull out those stitches before being able to square-up your quilt and fold over your binding. Major annoyance – don’t do it!
Okay so once you’ve quilted your blanket, square-up your quilt-top and overhanging batting. I do this by marking my 90 degree corners directly onto my quilt-top with a water-soluble marking pen. Then you’ll cut out the rectangle shape with scissors cutting ONLY the batting and the quilt top. IMPORTANT NOTE #2: DO NOT CUT YOUR BACKING FABRIC WHILE SQUARING UP YOUR QUILT-TOP AND BATTING. You are only cutting the batting and a small portion of your quilt-top during this squaring-up process. You may find it best to fold your quilt-backing safely out of the way, under your quilt, and pin it in place.
Once your quilt-top and binding are squared, use that border as a guide for squaring up your backing fabric.
- Perimeter necessary = 2 x desired width of binding
- Want 1/2″ binding? Trim the backing fabric to a 1″ perimeter.
- Want 1/4 ” binding? Trim the backing fabric to a 1/2″ perimeter.
Fold one side down along the crease, so the edge touches the edge of the quilt-top:
And then fold it over again so it covers the quilt-top and a perfect mitered corner is created. Use lots of pins to keep everything in place. Once you’ve done this to all the corners and pin, pin, pinned – sew along the edge of the binding at a scant 1/8″ using a straight stitch. Use a thread that matches the binding/backing fabric.