A Tutorial - How to Bind Your Quilt - with Mitred Corners

Whilst binding a new MissM quilt yesterday, I remembered a couple of years ago when we did the Great Summer Holiday Mystery that I lost all of my photos to show you the Binding steps… I’m obviously not good at remembering promises and have never made it up to you all. So yesterday out came my old camera (because my good one is in Africa) and below is a step-by-step tutorial on bindings…I hope it is of use to you one day.

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).

I always use a double binding – not sure why, it's 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)



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)


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.




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


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,

IMG_7247 stitch to 2nd dot.


With needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot towards the 3rd dot  IMG_7249

When you reach the third dot, backtack and cut your threads.  IMG_7250

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.


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.


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.

Tomorrow  I will show you how to finish with that neat mitred join and then turn your binding to the back and stitch.

Hope this has made sense, please ask if you have any questions.

I will put this onto a permanent tutorial page on the right for future reference if you forget how it works when you finally get to bind your next quilt.

Hugs for today


Mitred binding part 2
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Written by Helen Stubbings, designer,  teacher, quilter, author, mum and mad stitcher.
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