Master the Art of Quilting: A Comprehensive Guide to Sewing Binding Strips Together

If you’ve ever wanted to give your quilting project a neat, finished look, sewing binding strips together is the way to go. It’s an essential skill that every quilter should have in their toolkit. But if you’re new to this, don’t worry! This guide will walk you through it step by step.

Understanding Binding Strips

Before diving into the how-tos of sewing binding strips together, it’s essential to get the basics right. What exactly are binding strips and why are they so important in quilting projects?

Binding strips are narrow, long pieces of fabric, typically cut on the bias or cross-grain of fabric. They’re the ultimate finishing touch to your quilt, serving as a frame for your project that provides it not only with a tidy finish but also structural durability. Yes, you heard it right, they help prolong the life of your exquisite quilt.

As a beginner, you might ask why they’re cut cross-grain or on the bias. It is because fabric cut on the cross-grain or bias offers more stretch and flexibility. This attribute makes it easier to go around the corners of your quilt and even allows curves when necessary.

It’s also crucial to note that the size of your binding strips can vary. The exact dimensions will depend on your design and aesthetic preferences, though a common measurement is 2 1/2 inches wide. Yes, you’ve got the creativity and control here!

Moreover, working with binding strips is an immensely satisfying part of the quilting process. Seeing your creative efforts come together in that final flourish provides a sense of achievement like no other.

Imagine wrapping your quilt’s raw edges with a beautifully coordinated or contrasting fabric that highlights your artistic vision. It’s like putting a beautiful frame around a masterpiece.

Going forward, keep this information in mind as we delve deeper into our step-by-step guide. Sewing binding strips together is a skill that, once mastered, will make your quilting projects all the more refined and professional.

Quilting binding strips is a skill that elevates the finish and durability of your quilting projects, making it an essential technique for both beginners and seasoned quilters alike. For those who prefer a detailed, visual tutorial on machine quilt binding, Bryan House Quilts offers a comprehensive guide that focuses on achieving a tidy and polished finish by sewing the binding strip to the back first. If you’re looking for a broader range of quilting techniques, including binding, Missouri Star Quilt Co.’s ultimate quilt binding tutorial on YouTube is an invaluable resource that covers all the steps in a clear and easy-to-follow manner. For an in-depth written guide that delves into the nuances of quilt binding, including cutting and joining strips, LindeHobby’s comprehensive guide is perfect for quilters looking to master this crucial aspect of quilting.

Choosing the Right Fabric and Tools

For a robust and visually appealing binding, choosing the right fabric and tools is vital. Yes, you heard it right! It’s not just about sewing, but also the quality of the materials you use.

Cotton fabric is a top choice among quilters because of its durability and ease of use. The fibers of cotton are closely knit, which gives a sturdy yet flexible characteristic – perfect for binding strips. Plus, cotton fabrics come in an array of patterns and colors that offer numerous design possibilities.

But how about the width of fabric strips? The standard width ranges from 2.5 to 3 inches, creating a finish of about ⅜ to ¼ inch. Yet, nothing stops you from using wider or narrower strips. It’s all about your personal preference and the aesthetic you aim for your quilt.

Complete your toolkit with a rotary cutter and self-healing cutting mat for precise and seamless cuts. Also, you might want to invest in a bias tape maker to help you fold and press your strips evenly.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of a good sewing machine and thread. A reliable sewing machine that can stitch straight and secure seams is crucial. As for thread, cotton or polyester thread works well.

Here’s a quick rundown of the essential items:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Rotary cutter
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Bias tape maker
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

With these materials on hand, you’re setting yourself up for success. Continue to the next section to learn the step-by-step guide on how to sew binding strips together.

Cutting and Preparing the Strips

Entering the world of quilting, you’ll often find your comfort zone in the precise yet creative process of cutting and preparing binding strips. The roadmap to a well-crafted quilt begins with a meticulous selection followed by a refined cutting of the strips.

When it comes to choosing a fabric for your strips, 100% cotton is a staple for seasoned quilters. On account of its durability and the vast variety of enticing patterns and colors, cotton becomes a versatile pick. Not to forget, it’s easy to work with and stands strong over time. If you’re headed for a more traditional look, go for fabrics that coordinate with your quilt. Those seeking a punch of surprise can opt for contrasting colors. After all, you’re the quilt-master, and it all boils down to your design preferences.

Now for the cutting part, it’s recommended straying off the standard path and cut your fabric on the bias. This technique gives your fabric more stretch and flexibility, ensuring a smoother edge and a more refined look.

The recommended width for these strips is generally between 2.5 and 3 inches. However, trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to go for narrower or wider strips if that aligns with your vision. Cutting these strips can be a breeze with a few key tools in place:

  • A rotary cutter for precise and sharp strips
  • A self-healing cutting mat to protect your work surfaces and extend the life of your rotary blade
  • A bias tape maker for consistent and even folds

Next up is sewing the strips. Sewing involves accuracy and finesse, and the use of a reliable sewing machine and thread can make your journey enjoyable and the results impeccable. Armed with your prepared strips and essential tools, you’re well on your way to creating a quilt that sparkles with your creativity and expertise, minus any rough edges.

Sewing the Strips Together

The actual sewing together of your binding strips is the next crucial step to master. Once you’ve got your cut and prepped binding strips in hand, it’s time to stitch them together.

First, align the strips at right angles to each other with their right sides together. It may be easier for beginners to draw a line from corner to corner to act as a guide. With a reliable sewing machine and thread, stitch along your marked line or simply eye the diagonal if you’re feeling adventurous and confident.

Do bear in mind, going straight across, rather than at an angle, may be a tempting time saver. However, it lessens the flexibility of your binding and tends to present a bulky finished product. Trust us, those clean diagonal lines are worth it.

The learning curve of matching up the angles can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s a skill well worth perfecting. It offers a smooth join, reduces bulk, and provides a more professional, streamlined finish.

One essential key to remember is that you want your strips to open into a straight line, not jog to one side or the other — that’s a sure sign you’ve caught the pesky sewing bug known as “twisted binding. Take the time to make sure your sewing is on point right now, to avoid any frustration later on.

Lastly, be sure to trim excess fabric from your joined binding strip, leaving about a 1/4-inch seam allowance. It’s a routine, but vital step as you progress in your quilting journey.

So there you have it, you’re all set on how to sew binding strips together for your quilting projects. Just follow your well prepared binding strips with this necessary stitching and trimming process, and your quilt will be framed with a beautiful, handmade, and durable binding in no time.

Pressing and Finishing the Binding

In the realm of quilting, pressing and finishing the binding serves an indispensable role. As if an artist applying final strokes on a masterpiece, pressing and finishing the binding requires attention to detail.

Let’s delve into how you can press and finish your binding seamlessly.

To press your binding, you’d need a standard iron and pressing board. Start by laying your binding strip on the pressing board with its wrong side towards you. The iron should be set to a temperature suitable for cotton fabric; most often, it’s the medium setting. Take precaution; protect your fingers from burns by using a heat resistant glove.

Smooth your fabric with your hand, and follow it immediately with a pass of the iron. Be careful not to stretch the fabric during this process. Keeping the iron moving constantly is a good practice to prevent any scorches or heat prints left on the fabric. Repeat the process until the entire strip is pressed flat and smooth.

Once the pressing is done, it’s time for the final finishing touches. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Align the edges perfectly; any misalignment can disrupt the uniform appearance of your binding.

After folding, press the binding once more with your iron. A handy tool for precise and efficient pressing is the seam roller. It’s a high value tool that makes removing wrinkles and creases a breeze. The seam roller can reach areas a standard iron might miss.

Subsequent to pressing, your folded binding is now ready to be sewn onto your quilt. The next steps involve attaching the binding to the quilt and hand sewing to finish.

But remember, practice makes perfect. With patience and perseverance, you’ll soon master the art of quilting. With no time you’ll be creating exquisite bindings that look as professional as any out there.

Pressing and finishing the binding is an integral part of sewing binding strips together. The process, though arduous, yields fulfilling and visually appealing results. The satisfaction of seeing your finished quilt is comparable to a painter viewing their completed canvas.


Mastering the art of sewing binding strips together is a game changer in your quilting journey. It’s not just about achieving a neat finish but also about adding durability to your quilts. Remember, the right fabric and tools, like cotton fabric and a reliable sewing machine, make a world of difference. Cutting and preparing your binding strips properly sets the stage for a smooth sewing process. Sewing the strips together at the right angles ensures flexibility and a bulk-free result. Finally, pressing and finishing your binding can’t be overlooked as it contributes significantly to the final look of your quilt. So, don’t shy away from this skill, embrace it. You’ll soon see how it elevates your quilting projects, making them look more refined and professional.

What are binding strips in quilting projects?

Binding strips in quilting are long, narrow pieces of fabric acting as a frame to provide a neat finish and structural durability to a quilt. They are usually cut on the bias or cross-grain for greater stretch and flexibility.

Why is sewing binding strips together necessary?

Sewing binding strips together is essential to creating a neat, professional finish on your quilting projects. This skill helps in covering the raw edges of the quilt with coordinated or contrasting fabric, greatly improving the final appearance.

What fabric and tools are needed for sewing binding strips?

It’s recommended to use durable, easy-to-use cotton fabric for sewing binding strips. Tools required include a rotary cutter, self-healing cutting mat, bias tape maker, and a reliable sewing machine and thread.

What is the process of sewing the binding strips?

The process involves aligning strips at right angles, with their right sides together, and stitching along a marked line or diagonal. It’s crucial to match up the angles to achieve a smooth join and reduce bulk.

What is the final process in sewing binding strips?

The final process includes pressing the binding strip with a standard iron and pressing board. After pressing, the strip should be folded in half lengthwise and pressed again. A heat-resistant glove and constant movement of the iron can prevent burns and scorches.

What does the quality of the finish depend on?

The quality of the finished quilt depends on rigorous pressing and finishing of the binding. This integral part of the sewing process ensures that the binding strip is sleek, leading to visually appealing results.