How to Join Ends of Quilt Binding

Do you get frustrated trying to get the binding ends cut to the correct length so everything works? I have a couple of different options of joining bindings. Pick whatever method works best for you! 

I used to struggle with bindings. Years ago, I used the trial and error method for joining binding ends. I'd leave long tails, trim a little and I would guess. If it didn't work, I'd rip it out and I sew another seam. I didn't know there was an easier way. I literally used the "trial and error" method. Does the trial and error method sound familiar to you? Let's replace "trial and error" with "tried and true"! I want to share with you a couple of proven methods that ended my frustration with joining the ends of quilt bindings. A lady showed me her method and then I ran across another method that's basically the same thing with a little twist on it. I'll show you both ways and that way, you can use whichever method resonates best.

Now, I don't know what these two methods are officially called but I'm going to call one the "overlap," because you overlap the ends and the second I'll call the "meet," because you butt the ends together and meet them.

This binding is 2.5 inches wide and then it's folded in half. Align raw edges to the quilt and sew your seam on each end, leaving 15 to 20 inches open in the middle. (My sample is smaller so it does not have a 15- to 20-inch gap.)

Overlap Method of Binding

No matter what width your binding is, that's the measurement you want to remember. Open an end out and measure if you're not positive.

If you're binding is two and a half inches wide, you want to create a binding overlap of two and a half inches.

 

Trim off some of the excess binding B. Lay binding A on top of binding B. Measuring from the end of binding B make a mark on binding A so that the overlap of the two ends measure the width of your binding (in this instance it's two and a half inches). 

Cut straight across the binding.

 

Now that we have our two-and-a-half-inch overlap, open up binding right sides together.

Turn only the top layer at a 90-degree angle so that the short width end of the top layer is facing toward the raw edges of your quilt.

You formed this little point and, when it's laying on the quilt, you want that point to be facing the raw edge.

Pin perpendicular to the point. That is also the direction your seam will stitch. If you sew over the pin, you're going the wrong direction. (I've done that more than I care to admit! It happens, and why they invented seam rippers.)

Draw a line from point to point. Stitch on the line and trim with a quarter-inch seam allowance. 

 

Press the seam open and fold it in half, and it’s just the right size for that edge!

Meet Method of Binding

This is basically the same concept as the overlap method, but constructed a bit differently, with no measuring.

 

Lay the binding edges over each other and fold them back until they meet. Finger press the folds or press them with an iron.

Cut one side only, right on the fold, so that it just meets and butts right up against the fold of the other binding.

 

Open up the bottom layer of binding with the right side up so that you can see the fold that you made.

Take the binding piece that you just cut and align the long edge against the bottom binding fold line and the short edge to the raw edge of the binding.

Pin it, just as we did before. That will give you the little triangle point. The point should face the raw edges of the quilt.

This time, you have some excess from the longer binding that will eventually be trimmed to the seam allowance.

Draw a line from point to point (edge to edge) or just eyeball it and sew the seam. Remember, if you get mixed up between the table where you're working and your sewing machine, sew in the direction of the pin, not over it. Trim to a quarter-inch seam allowance, then open and press the seam.

Feel free to use whichever method makes sense to you. Neither one needs a fancy binding ruler or a lot of math. See the video here.

May your day be blessed with perfect stitches and GlitterFlex!

 

Previous post Next Post

Comments

  • Bonnie Welsh - November 10, 2018

    Bonnie—I did it “wrong” for years and it still worked but took a lot longer. Don’t you love shortcuts? =)

  • Bonnie Welsh - November 10, 2018

    Brenda—What makes sense to one doesn’t always to another, that’s why I like to have a couple options to show so it “clicks”. Love you’re idea about looking at the ends like pant legs! Very clever! I’ll have to give that a try. =)

  • Bonnie Addison - November 09, 2018

    Thank you for this information. I will try it on my next quilt. I have been doing it wrong. Thank you. Bonnie

  • Brenda - November 09, 2018

    These are great tips! I will try the second one. I have done the first one. I saw a tip on sewing the right direction when you join binding strips. It helps me anyway! Look at the strips like a pair of pants. Sew waistbands and not crotches. LOL! Works for me!

Leave a comment