19 November 2014

A Little Happy Patchy Heart Quilt Along ~ Week 4 Quilt Binding

***EDITED TO ADD*** This tutorial was originally written as part of our Patchy Heart Quilt Along back in 2014!  However, the process for adding a binding to one of our kits is exactly the same, all be it it may have slightly less binding strips required for a smaller mini quilt!  Follow the instruction in the kit as to the number of binding strips required, then follow the directions below.

Welcome back for the final instalment of the Patchy Heart Quilt Along.  Today I'm going to show you my favourite method for binding a quilt.  I've tried various ways, but for me personally I always get the best results with this method.  So if you're ready, lets go!


Firstly we need to join the four 2 1/2" by full width of fabric strips that you cut from your binding fabric. (Just to clarify, the fabric used for my quilt bindings is printed with a diagonal stripe and my binding strips were cut horizontal across the full width of fabric and not cut on the bias)

To do this take two strips and place them right sides together at a right angle, make sure that the selvedges are positioned above and to the side as shown. (You can if you prefer cut them off before you start)  If you have a quilting mat, I find it helpful to use the vertical and horizontal printed lines on it to help give a perfect 90% angle.  Pop a pin in. (step A) 

Now draw a diagonal line at 45%.  Again if you have a quilting ruler, use the lines printed on it to help with the angle  (steps B and C)  

Stitch along along the line (step D) and then cut away the excess leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Repeat this process and  join the remaining two strips and press the seams flat.  

Finally fold the strip in half lengthways, wrong sides together, raw edges meeting and press.

You should now have one long strip ready to bind your quilt.

We're now ready to get stitch the binding to your quilt top.  Take one end of your binding, open out and fold over the end as shown below

Place the opened binding on to the top side of your quilt, right sides together, matching the raw right hand side edge of the binding with the trimmed edge of your quilt.  Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance (or as close to this as possible if you do not have a 1/4" foot) for aprox 4".

'A little happy' tip ~ I generally start my quilt bindings on either the right hand edge or the bottom edge of my quilt top, aprox 2/3rds of the way down/across, I find this way my eye isn't drawn to its position once the quilt is completed.
Sorry I forgot to photograph the next picture, so this is a different project, but the process is the same.  Refold the binding (you should now have both raw edges of the binding matching the cut edge of your quilt)  and start sewing the binding to the quilt top aprox 3" lower than the starting position of stitching in the previous step, this creates a little opening.  Again use a 1/4" seam allowance or a close to this as possible.
Continue sewing until you reach the first corner of your quilt......STOP stitching 1/4" from the corner (as indicated by the arrow).  Cut your threads, but NOT the quilt binding.
 Fold the binding upwards, making sure the raw edges of the binding are in line with the edge of the quilt top.  Can you see that nice 45% angle on the fold line of the binding.......
 Now bring the binding back down so the the raw edges now meet the side of the quilt again and the fold across the top of the binding is running in line with the top edge of the quilt that you previously attached the binding to (as indicated by the dashed line).  You're now ready to sew the next side.  Start 1/4" lower than the previous stitched edge (as indicated by the arrow)
Repeat this process until you have stitched all four sides and you are back where you started.  As you approach your start position, gently unfold the little pocket opening that created at the beginning and slip the tail end of your unstitched binding in to it,  trim away any excess binding that goes beyond/exceeds your 3" opening.  Refold the pocket binding and make sure that all the layers are laying flat......
 Continue sewing until you reach your first stitches (as shown in the circle).  That's it your binding is now sewn to the front side of your quilt.  By the way, can you see that little pucker in the binding, where I finished stitching..... oh how cross was I........
.....luckily this was just on this side and when I checked underneath, the seam line between the binding and quilt was lovely and smooth, so no action was necessary as this eventually was hidden when I folded the binding round to the back.

This is what the join line should look like on the front of your quilt.....
Grab yourself a cuppa and find a nice comfortable place for a spot of hand stitching.  I love to stitch bindings on an evening with something good on tv!

The final step is so hand sew the binding to the back of your quilt.  Starting from the point where you began machine stitching the binding, fold the binding over to the back of the quilt this overlaps and hides all the raw edges.  Bring the edge of the binding past your seam line from where you stitched the binding to the front, so that this is hidden and whip stitch in place.

To whip stitch, inbed your knot in the underside of the binding, then take your needle through the quilt backing and into the wadding for about 1cm (as shown in the main picture below), make sure you do not pierce the quilt front, then bring the needle back out and into the binding, as indicated by the cross, then repeat.  You can see from the inset photo how this stitch looks in progress.
This is a lovely stitch to use as it is almost invisible apart from tiny stitches going from the binding into the backing every cm or so. 
When you reach a corner, you will find that the binding naturally creates a 45 degree angle on the fold as indicated by the arrow (step A), to create the mitred corner, fold the binding on the next side of the quilt over to the back (step B),  catch the corner in place with a couple of neat little stitches (step C) and then continue whip stitching (step D) until all your binding is  neatly sewn in place.
'A little happy' tip ~ when you need to change your thread, secure your stitching and then take your needle in to the wadding bringing it out aprox 1" away.  Pull on the thread so that it is taught and snip close the backing fabric, the thread end will then slip back inside the quilt and out of sight.
Hooray.......that's it you're done, you should now have your very own Patchy Heart Quilt to snuggle under.

As always, if you have any questions, please do pop me an email or leave a comment below and I'll do all that I can to help.

I would LOVE to see pictures of your finished quilts, so if you share any on Instagram or Facebook, tag me or use the hashtag:


or send them to me by email.

Thank you once again for joining me on the Patchy Heart Quilt Along and I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did!!


  1. I love the way you do your binding - it makes the start/finish join so neat.

  2. Fantastic!!!!!!!! I will definitely come back to this when I am ready to bind my quilt - that is once I have actually quilted it!! Thank you so so so much for this Sarah. I really do appreciate it. xx

  3. I've just nominated your blog for a Liebster award. Hope you can take part.

  4. Thank you so much for this Tutorial. I am just about to bind a Christmas Table Runner. I have already stitched it once (following the instructions, very carefully, given to me by my sewing teacher) and have had to unpick it. She was trying to help too many of us at once methinks.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Thank you so much for really helpful step by step guide to making own binding. Just finished my first ever set and now to finish advent calendar and put it on. Will follow remaining instructions to do so.


  7. Well, have to say this is the best binding joining I ever did do!! Thank you!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo

Update July 2020: Unfortunately, due to a large increase in spam and inappropriate comments, I have turned on 'Comment Moderation', so your comment will not appear immediately. My apologies for this!

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