Mitred Binding tutorial

I sometimes like to put a wider binding than normal on my quilts to frame them. (an extra border really but all in one step).  Or sometimes I like to use this method with normal width binding- but the corner are all prestitched for me.

I always use a double binding – not sure why, its the way I was taught and have never had a problem with a binding wearing through so stick with it.

So, to calculate the width to cut your binding strips use this:

4 times the finished width plus 1/2”.

So on this quilt I wanted a 1” finished binding so I cut my strips at 4 1/2”.

Unless I have a curved or scalloped quilt edge or I want a diagonal stripe look I cut my strips on the straight grain.

cut all of your strips, join with bias joins, press seams and then press the entire strip in half wrong sides together along the length - (sorry I didn’t take photos of these steps – promise I'll do that next time)

Lay your binding strip on the right side of your quilt top sandwich having the raw edges of the binding even with the edge of the quilt top. (note that I haven't trimmed back my batting and backing fabric until after binding as I need something to fill my extra wide binding. – I also have a ric rac trim on this quilt – just ignore that in the photos)

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Start about half way along one side and leave a 10” tail of fabric before you begin stitching (back behind the needle here). Using a 1/4” foot (sometimes a walking foot is good to use also particularly if you have a thick batting) backtack to start and then stitch along the edge until you get to about 6” before a corner. backtack.

Now, next is a nifty method of presewing your mitred corners – useful particularly for wider than normal bindings but you can do it on any width. Hope I can explain it well enough in pictures.

Using a pencil mark a dot 1/4” from the edge of the quilt and 1/4” from the side (which will be on the stitching line)

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Now make a dot horizontally across from your dot on the edge of the binding strip.(the pencil lines are the edge of my quilt markings).  Now use a piece of square card or paper and lay on the two dots so you get a 90 degree angle to mark your final dot.

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Next we lift the presser foot and take the binding away from the quilt top. Fold the binding strip under at the bottom dot.

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We now stitch from the first dot, to the second to the third, backtacking at each end.

Start at first dot, make 3 stitches, backtack 3,

 image stitch to 2nd dot.

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With needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot towards the 3rd dotimage

When you reach the third dot, backtack and cut your threads.image

Lay your binding back down into position on your quilt top. Begin where you ended before and stitch until you reach the first dot exactly. backtack.

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Lift the needle and presser foot. turn the whole quilt to the next side and lay your binding along raw edges even once more.

Lower the needle into the third dot (you can see where your triangle stitching is) and begin the new side – don’t forget to backtack when you start to secure.

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Now you just repeat this 3 more times until you have gone all the way around your quilt. Stop at least 15” from where you started so you have room to fiddle and meet your two ends together.

moving on from yesterday…..

We finished our stitch about 15” from where we started along one edge of your quilt top.

Take the quilt away from the machine and lay both ends of your binding strip on top of each other.

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make a pencil mark where they meet on the edge of the binding strip. image

Open out your two ends both right sides up and mark the 45 degree line with a ceramic pencil or blue washout pen.

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Place your ruler on the marked line and cut the strip 1/2” longer than you marked line (this is where you are likely to make a mistake, make sure you cut longer than the line, not shorter)

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it can be a bit fiddly – that’s why we wanted at least 15” to play with.

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Okay now we need to bring the two ends together right sides together – yes its fiddly so use pins to hold for stitching

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Stitch along the pinned edge using a 1/4” seam allowance as normal. Finger press your seam to one side and refold your binding strip back in half nicely.

Lay the strip back along your quilt top now and it should fit perfectly! Finish stitching from where you ended until you reach your start point – remember, backtack to secure at both ends.

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Okay, now we trim, turn and stitch.

Firstly we trim off our batting and backing fabric. Remember my binding was 1” finished and I want it nice and stuffed so I am going to trip back to 3/4” from the edge of my quilt (or 1” from the stitching line)

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Trim off the triangle bits at your mitred corners

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now use the point of your scissors (or some other implement) to turn this corner through to the other side so the seams are inside. wallahhhh – look a perfect already sewn mitred corner – and yes its the same on the back!

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Now we tuck in everything at the back and pin ready for hand stitching the binding down.

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Now just a little note here for new users (or lazy ones who don't use a square corner to check) – if you don’t have those 3 dots in the right place and your angle isn't a good 90 degrees your corners will not be square – they will stick out like this!

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To stitch my binding down I use a hand needle and a thread which matches the binding fabric. This is my favourite part of a quilt (almost) as it means I am about to view my finished creation and I can sit in front of the heater at night and quietly finish it. The stitch you use is like you use for hand appliqué – the travel of the thread should be inside the fabric and the only bit you see is where it enters the binding and goes back into the quilt.. Hope you can see this below.

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well there endeth my tutorial – of course there are many other ways to skin a cat  bind a quilt – this is just one that I use quite often.

II hope you think of me one day with a smile on your face as your next binding comes together perfectly

hugs, Helen