For quilters, binding is the last step in creating a masterpiece of their labor. Quilts need binding strips. Binding strips add color and personality to a quilt. Th
ey finish the edges and ensure that the quilt has a fine finish. Therefore, every quilter needs to know how to make quilt binding strips.
How Can A Quilter Make Binding Strips?
Quilt binding strips are easy to make. As a quilter, you don’t even have to buy additional fabric to make binding strips. You can cut binding strips from the fabric you used to make the quilt.
You can cut binding strips in single or double-fold strips.
Steps To Make Quilt Binding Strips
To successfully make a quilt binding, you will require;
- Fabric strips. These can be made from part of the leftover fabrics you used to make the quilt.
- Tape measure
- A sturdy surface
Use the following method to build a quilt binding that will give your quilt a smooth finished look and smooth edges.
Method 1. Lengthwise Quilt Binding Strips
Lengthwise quilt binding strips are cut along the length of the fabric parallel to the selvages.
Step 1. Measure the perimeter of your quilt. Take the all-around measurements of your quilt. You will then need an additional 10 to 20 cm for the final calculation. This will give you the required length that your strips need to be.
Step 2. It will be unlikely that you have a fabric that will be equal to the perimeter of your quilt. Combine several short strips until they get to the required length. Your strips don’t have to be the same size or even the same color.
Step 3. On your working surface, lay the first of your strips.
Step 4. Place the second strip at the bottom of the first so that they are perpendicular to each other rather than forming a straight strip. Right sides up for both strips.
Step 5. Pin the strips together. At the point where the two strips meet, mark a diagonal line that you will stitch on to join the strips together.
Step 6. Fold the strips at this diagonal line point, then straighten them to make a continuous strip. Do this for all the strips you require fitting the length of your quilt.
Step 7. Trim off the excess fabric at the point at which you join two strips together. This ensures that your strips are neat and will fit properly on the quilt.
Step 8. Before you stitch up the binding strips on your quilt, confirm that your now single strip is enough to go all around the quilt. You can do this by laying the quilt strips around the quilt. If it requires more to go all around, then you may need more fabric strips.
Step 9. Your combined strips should go all around the quilt and have some leftover because of the additional length. You are now ready to attach your strips to your quilt.
Step 10. Prepare your strips for attachment by ironing them firmly. If you want to, you can make the strips a double fold by folding the insides and pressing firmly with an iron to make sure it stays. Iron the full length of the strips.
Step 11. Choose one side of your quilt to be the starting point to attach the strips. Start at the middle of the side you choose.
Step 12. Place a pin a few inches from your starting point and to the end of the quilt on that side.
Step 13. When your strips are in place on one half of the side you started, you can use your sewing machine or hand to attach them. Attach the binding strips all around your quilt until you get to your starting point where you have a few inches of unattached binding.
Step 14. Touch the end and the beginning a few inches of strips that are left unstitched. Make sure that the points at which they touch also touch the quilt with no wrinkling and sew these two pieces together.
Step 15. Cut off the excess strips and you will have attached your quilt binding strips perfectly.
Step 16. Iron your quilt binding strips to ensure that they are neat and presentable.
Method 2. Cross Grain Quilt Building Strips
Cross-grain strips are binding strips that are cut across the width of the fabric. To make the binding in this method, you will need lots of calculations to ensure that you have the right amount of strips you need for your quilt binding.
Step 1. Depending on how you have made your quilt, you need to decide how wide your binding strips should be before you cut. Normally, if your quilt doesn’t have borders, your binding will be a quarter of an inch.
Step 2. When making cross-cut strips, you need to calculate how long each of your binding strips will be. The formula used for this method involves the calculation of the perimeter of the quilt and an additional 12 inches.
Step 3. Next, you need to calculate the number of strips you need. This is a major difference between methods 1 and 2. In method 1, you don’t need to calculate the number of strips you need.
Step 4. To get the number of strips that you need, you will divide the number at step 2 with 42. When you cross-cut fabric for strips and remove the selvages, you have only 42 inches left to work with.
Step 5. Start cutting the required number of binding strips from your fabric. You can cut single or double fold, depending on how you want your end product to look.
Step 6. Align and sew the pieces of binding strips together to get a long strip of binding.
Step 7. Lay it around the quilt to confirm that it will fit the binding before cutting off excess seams.
Step 8. Fold it into two so that the insides are touching and iron it firmly to make it look like a single strip rather than a joining of strips.
Method 3. Bias Quilt Binding Strips
Bias quilt binding strips are strips that are cut diagonally across the fabric. We use them for binding quilts with curved edges.
Follow these instructions to make bias quilt binding strips.
Step 1. Lay your fabric on your working surface. Trim its edges until it is a square.
Step 2. Cut two equal parts of your square fabric diagonally.
Step 3. Take one part, flip it over and place it on top of the opposite of the other piece.
Step 4. Pin the pieces together to keep them aligned and sew them together. Leave a quarter-inch seam allowance when sewing.
Step 5. When you finish sewing, your end product will look like a kite. Press open the seam allowance.
Step 6. On this kite, measure and mark with straight lines the width of the binding strips you require. Use a visible marker or pencil and ruler to draw the marking lines.
Step 7. Fold your kite-shaped fabric with the outside touching along the diagonal lines. However, make sure that the lines you drew to mark the width of the strips intersect.
Step 8. Put a pin on the lines and sew them together. Then iron the seam open.
Step 9. Your fabric now looks cylindrical. Start cutting along the marked lines and you will end up with a long bias quilt binding strip.
Step 10. Now cut up as many binding strips as you need to bind your quilt.
How Do You Do An Invisible Join In Quilt Binding
Invisible quilt binding refers to binding a quilt so that the binding blends easily. Thus, you don’t have visible joints on your quilt. To make the invisible bind, stitch the binding on each side individually. Leave a quarter seam allowance as you stitch and press.
Fold the binding and the quilt, then press again. Then hand-stitch the binding to the back of the quilt with a matching thread. Trim the binding strips if need be, and you have your invisible quilt binding.
How To Finish Quilting At The Ends
When you get to the starting point of your quilting strips, you have a few inches of strips on both sides not stitched together. Your strips may overlap at this point. Cut off the excess length. Unfold the edges and lay the strips together with the outside parts touching.
Mark a diagonal line where the two pieces meet and sew along the line, then cut off the excess strips. Lay the stitched stripes on the quilt and you find they are straight on the quilt.
Stitch the strip on the quilt and finish quilting the ends.
Binding strips are the finishing touches of a quilt. They embellish the quilt and protect it from unraveling and tearing. Depending on the type of quilt you make, there are different binding strips you can make and use.
Bias strips are best for quilts with curved edges. We can use cross-grain strips and lengthwise strips with any other quilt. With the instructions above, you can make any of these strips to bind and finish your quilt.