Fat Quarter Quilt Binding: Perfect Every Time!
A Step-by-Step Quilt Binding Guide
Quilt binding is simply a method of finishing off the edges of your quilt. It helps protect the edges from fraying and gives your quilts a neat and polished look. But it can be so much more! Uncover the secrets of fat quarter quilt binding and finish your quilt perfectly every time.
This step-by-step guide provides the tips and techniques that are ideal for quilters of all skill levels. So get ready to turn your next quilt into a masterpiece!
Get This Free Quilt Pattern
The download above is a link to the printable Free PDF Pattern. Find more free quilt patterns at Fat Quarter Shop.
You may also read more about this quilt in the original Low Volume Quilt with Bright Colors post. If you’re looking for more Low Volume Tips & Ideas you may enjoy reading more about What are Low Volume Fabrics.
Quilt Binding Tips & Techniques
Quilting Binding Basics: Watch Video Tutorial for Complete Instructions
Does your binding add interest and interact with your quilt top AND back?
Choose a binding fabric that will make a statement! Fat quarters are a wonderful choice for quilt binding as you can mix and match multiple fabrics for a great look. For example, try bold graphic prints, a couple contrasting colors, or a scrappy strip filled with color and prints.
Choose your binding size.
What size binding will you use? The most common size is 2.5-inches but 2.25-inches is also a good choice for a slightly narrower binding. What’s the difference? Most quilts can be bound with a 2.25-inch strip which is ideal to encase the edges very well. The wider 2.5-inch strip is best suited to a thicker quilt sandwich with a thick batting. The additional width will ensure the binding completely wraps around the edges and conceals the stitching along the quilt edge
Will you need just one Fat Quarter? Or more?
A small baby quilt will often only need a single fat quarter for the binding. Measure around the entire quilt to determine how long you’ll need to cut your binding strip. Now divide that by 20″ for an approximate number of fat quarter strips you’ll need. The final number depends on the actual size of your quilt and the fat quarters, and also your seam allowances.
You’ve decided on your fat quarter quilt binding width and know how long the binding strip needs to be. Keep in mind how many strips you can cut from each fat quarter. A fat quarter will yield seven 2.5-inch strips for a total of about 140″. Or eight 2.25-inch strips for a total of about 160″.
Also keep in mind there will be multiple seams allowances where the strips are joined. Always cut a few extra strips…just in case. Besides any leftover strips are prefect for scrappy quilts!
Quilt Binding Prep
Remove selvage completely for best appearance.
Before cutting fat quarters into strips, remove the selvage. The fabric often has a slightly difference appearance along the selvage that you don’t want to be visible.
Use a matching or neutral thread with a needle appropriate for your quilt fabric.
Attach the binding with a neutral thread as it will not be visible on your finished quilt.
Join strips with a 45-degree diagonal seam for smooth transitions.
Attaching your strips with 45-degree diagonal seam produces a smooth finish. The seam allowance is spread over two inches so there is no bulk along the binding. It’s also an appealing transition between the joined fabrics.
Trim binding seams to 1/4-inch saving the corner triangle pieces
Here’s a great opportunity for some scrappy quilting! Once the binding seams are sewn, trim to 1/4-inch. The remaining triangles may be small, but are perfect for mini half square triangle projects. Think about how you can use them in a border, backing or label for your new quilt.
Attaching Quilt Binding
Trim quilt top to size and sew a narrow basting stitch around the edges to hold all layers together.
A narrow basting stitch will secure all layers right where they need to be. That way you don’t have to worry that any edges may turn or flip as you’re sewing on your quilt binding.
Fold binding wrong sides together and place along one edge of quilt back.
To attach your quilt binding, first fold with wrong sides together. Place the folded binding in the center of one side along the quilt back and align edges (or quilt front if your prefer). Begin sewing a 1/4-inch seam from that point towards the first corner, leaving an 8″ tail of binding.
Try offsetting the inner binding layer for a bit wider finish.
If you choose to cut your binding narrow and find it may not completely wrap around to cover the stitching on the other side, try offsetting your binding edges. With the binding & quilt edges aligned, bring the top folded layer of binding slightly in from the edge. This layer will have a narrower seam allowance but will still remain secured as it will be within the finished binding. Sew the binding on in this manner around the entire quilt and proceed as normal. It’s a good way to give you a bit more binding in a pinch!
Sewing A Mitered Corner
Sew the binding to the first side of your quilt to within 1/4-inch of quilt edge and cut threads.
Turn quilt to sew binding to the next side. Fold binding into a mitered corner and begin sewing a 1/4″ seam from the quilt edge to the next corner. Repeat until all corners are sewn and continue sewing binding to within 10″ – 12″ of where the binding was initially sewn.
Joining the Binding Strips to Finish
Trim the 8″ tail of the binding strip so the edge falls in the center between the two binding strips. Pin in place. Lay the other strip on top. Measure and mark the binding to 2.25-inches (or 2.5-inches to match binding width). Cut the top layer of binding so it extends 2.25-inches over the bottom piece.
With the right side up, lay the top layer of binding 90-degrees to the pressure foot so it faces sideways from the needle. Lay the bottom layer of binding right side down on top so the two strips are at 90-degrees. The should create a square corner, allowing you to sew from corner to corner, in the same manner are joining the strips initially.
Before trimming seams, be sure check the fit. Once trimmed, finish sewing the binding onto the quilt.
Fold and Sew Binding to Quilt Front
Turn the quilt to the front and fold the binding to the front side of the quilt. The folded edge of the binding should easily extend over the seam where it’s attached to the quilt. Beginning at one corner, sew along one side. As you approach the next corner, secure the folded miter with a pin and continue sewing to secure. In the corner, stop stitching with the needle in the down position and turn quilt. Begin sewing the next side. Continue until the binding is sewn in place around the entire quilt.
Consider attaching your binding using a decorative stitch and a bright thread for a fantastic finish! Be creative and make your binding a design element of your quilt, not just a finished edge. Happy Quilting!