Bindings & Finishes

By Judith
 on June 16, 2018

Our 5 minute demo in class this month was all about the different ways to bind or finish a quilt.


I had lots of samples to show the variety of techniques and finishes, but it was by no means an exhaustive list!  Creativity abounds when it comes to ways to finish a quilt!


Here is a run down of the examples we looked at:


10 Ways to Finish a Quilt


1 Double Fold (French) Binding:


Using 2.5" wide strips, this is one of the most common binding types.  Usually stitched to the front of a quilt (using 3/8" seam allowance) with mitred corners.  Then stitched down at the back, either by hand (using the Invisible Applique Stitch) or by machine*.


A tutorial on making and attaching Double Fold Binding available here.


Fig Tree Spots n Dots Quilt (Popular Patchwork June17)


*To machine stitch down the binding, 'stitch in the ditch' from the front side. A tutorial on stitching in the the ditch is available here.


Baby Boy Quilt


2 Square Set Binding:


With square set binding, each edge of the quilt is bound separately, with the corners being 'wrapped around' and overlapped by the binding of the adjacent edge.  This results in much thicker corners, with a less professional finish than a double fold mitred corner.  For this reason, square set binding isn't often used.


Square Set Binding

Square Set Binding


3 Single Fold Binding:


This technique is similar to Double Fold binding, but this time using a 1.75" wide strip and left unironed. The binding is attached in exactly the same way as Double Fold Binding.


Single fold binding


The main difference in the 2 techniques happens at the back!  When the strip is folded over to the backside, first it is folded down to the edge of the quilt, then folded over again.


Single Fold Binding

Single Fold Binding


The binding is then either hand or machine stitched down to finish.  You can get an excellent Single Fold Binding tutorial here.


4 Flanged Binding:


A 'flange' is an inset piece of fabric (or lace, ric rac etc.) which enhances the main binding.


Flanged Binding


To achieve a 1/4" flange (as shown above), cut the main binding strips 1.5" and the flange strips 2".  Join them right sides together along the long edge using 1/4" seam allowance. Then bring both long edges wrong sides together and press.  This allows the excess flange fabric to show at the top edge.


Flange Binding


The binding is then attached using the double fold binding technique, but this time sewn first to the back of the quilt.   Bring the binding  round to the front, and stitch in the ditch between the main binding and the flange. You can get a step by step tutorial here for a narrower flange.


5 Backing to Front:


If you don't have suitable fabric to use as the binding, why not bring the backing fabric around the edges to the front!


The key to this technique is in the careful trimming of the wadding (level with the quilt top) and the backing fabric (left 1" wider).


The backing is then folded in to the edge of the quilt and then over once more.  You can then top stitch the binding down or use a decorative stitch.


Backing to Front Binding


A great tutorial on this technique is available here.


6 Quilt Front to the Back:


This is the reverse of no.5!  Trim the backing and wadding level, leaving the quilt front 1" wider. Fold round to the back in the same way and stitch it down.


7 Rounded Corners:


Sometimes a quilt or wallhanging needs the softer look of rounded corners. Make and trim your quilt in the usual way, then place a bowl or dinner plate at the corners and cut away the excess.


Ditsy Daisy Quilt (Popular Patchwork May17)


For wide corners like these, I still apply the usual double fold binding from straight cut strips (no bias cuts).  For a more curvier edge, you may need to use bias binding.


Home Sweet Home Spring Wallhanging (British Patchwork & Quilting magazine April17)


8 Rattail Binding:


Rattail, or Satin Cord Binding, is more commonly used to finish the edges of art quilts. The quilt is trimmed and the edges top stitched or zigzagged, before the satin 'rattail' cord is zigzagged to the edges.  You can see a great tutorial on this technique here.


Rattail Binding


9 Prairie Points (& other inserts!):


If you're not one for a traditional binding finish, how about inserts!  These can be prairie points, scallops, half hexies, ric rac or lace (to name a few!).


Prairie Points


I'm not a fan of 'bagging' a quilt, so try this instead.  Plan ahead - don't take your chosen quilting design right to the edges, leave half an inch unquilted around all edges.  Trim the wadding (only) back to the quilting, and then fold under the raw edges of the front and back fabrics.


Bindings & Finishes


This is where you place the inserts before stitching the edges closed.  Just make sure you have worked out your maths for prairie points, scallops or half hexies, so they are the right size to fit exactly into each edge.


10 Crochet Edging:


If you are a dab hand with a crochet hook, you can finish the edges of your quilt or cushions with a delicate crochet trim.


Crochet trim


Finish your quilt as per example 9 (for cushions, simply turn them right sides out). Then hand sew a blanket stitch around all edges.  Crochet into the blanket stitch using 4ply cotton yarn. Your first row will be chain stitches, followed by a row of double crochets and trebles.  Add as many rows as you wish!


Garden Trellis Cushions (Pretty Patches June17)


And there we have it!


10 different ways to finish your quilts and projects.


There are of course many more, just have a look in Pinterest!  The possibilities are endless!


Happy binding!


Leave a Comment

2 comments on “Bindings & Finishes”

  1. I like the square foot binding it's so easy to do with no mistake you have plenty of room to work with I got the idea from reading reading the singer book of how to quilt so many ideas of quilting thank you

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