Monday, June 23, 2014

Self-Binding Tutorial

Here is a technique I use mostly for charity quilts that have been tied, for a quick finish.  That is, if I haven't used the "Envelope" or "Knife-Edge" finish first!

Step 1)  TRIM the BATTING even with the quilt top; TRIM the BACKING so it's at least 1-1/4" wider than the edge of the batting. 

Step 2)  FOLD the outside edge of the backing toward the trimmed edge of the batting, then FOLD the folded backing edge over the front of the quilt.  PIN to secure, or work just a few inches at a time and hold with your finger.  STITCH through all three layers.  I like to use a serpentine stitch (mending stitch).

Step 3)  FOLD backing to miter the corner.  PIVOT the needle and continue stitching around the quilt edge until you get to the beginning stitches.  Overlap the stitches about 1/2" inch; backstitch to secure.

I don't use this technique very often - I prefer to apply a double-fold cross-grain or bias binding for better durability - but there are times when a self-binding fits the bill!  And really, as long as it is done neatly, that's what counts (coming from the self-proclaimed "Binding Police" herself  *Ü*).

We'll touch on this technique along with other "Alternate Endings" in my binding class ("In a Bind?") this week at the Small Town Quilt Show  happening right here in my sweet little valley!

(click to see more details↓↓)

And if you happen to be in town... come learn my favorite trick to finish that last mitered seam to get a continuous, non-lumpy binding!
What's your favorite way to finish a quilt?? Double fold? Single-Fold? Straight grain or bias?  Hand- or Machine-stitched? Self-Binding or Knife-edge?  Prairie points, scallops, rick-rack, lace?  Enquiring minds want to know...


  1. I guess I double binding, a 2 1/2" strip folded in half, I machine sew to the front with a hopping foot, then hand sew to the back, I've tried different machine stitches and flipped it to the front, but I never like how the back looks. I don't mind hand sewing the binding, it's kind of therapeutic :)

    1. I'm with you, Bea! I also really enjoy that last and final step of hand-stitching!

  2. oh my just make everything look so easy...i am still a hand sewer when it comes to binding and the only reason...I actually like doing it...however if ever I was in a hurry, I would do it this WAY ...yours

  3. I must try this, have problems when I do binding with the mitred corners so far not mastered them but they say practise makes perfect so will continue to have a go

  4. I do double fold bias binding most of the time. I do generally machine stitch it on though.


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