How to Bind a Quilt – video

How to Bind a Quilt - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

This is a longish video for me – but it shows you in tremendous detail how I bind a quilt.

You won’t find me being judgemental about many things – but I’m pretty dang picky about quilt bindings. It kills me when I see a quilt that’s beautifully pieced, meticulously quilted. . . and sloppily bound. All that work! All that money (fabric isn’t cheap, you know)! It’s like buying a beautiful piece of art and sticking it to the wall with masking tape. Binding a quilt the “right” way is NOT hard – but it does involve some hand work. There’s just no way around it. I’ve tried lots of all-machine binding techniques and I’ve never liked the results of a single one of them. So pop in a movie, get comfy, and give your beautiful quilt the binding it deserves. Don’t you know it’s going to be an heirloom?

If you missed them, you can find a video showing how to layer and baste your quilt here, and a video showing how to machine quilt here, and a video with specific tips for quilting a big quilt on a standard machine here.

Update: I get a lot of questions about that lion block. It’s one of the blocks in the Safari Animals quilt pattern. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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37 COMMENTS

  1. i’m beginning to feel a bit like a stalker…but i just cannot offer this enough: i appreciate how you present your skills. your instructions are so clear i’m left with no doubt that i can accomplish what you present. heartfelt thanks. gratitude is the currency i have in greatest abundance right now, so here’s buckets of it! (cue deluge of swimmy, sparkly, happy sensations from the top of your head down to your toes!)

  2. I do my bindings the same way and you are totally right… that’s what tv’s are for! 🙂 I wouldn’t say that I love to hand stitch but I do enjoy getting to the hand sewing part of projects because it gives me time to quietly admire what I just made… right before I start another project. Thanks Wendi.

  3. Patricia – I feel positively sparkly!

    Michelle – You’ve hit on it exactly! I love that time when the project is nearly finished. Finished enough to actually finction as a quilt, warming me while I stitch on the binding. It’s SO nice to pause and admire!

  4. Yup, it’s official, you’re amazing. I loved this video and seriously … you are so thorough, but I don’t feel like a child when I listen to your instructions (make sense?). You do an excellent job and I too appreciate that taking the extra care to hand stitching make a huge difference in the finished product! Too be honest, much of quilting/sewing is therapeutic to me and hand stitching is no exception.

    Thanks again for the great video!

  5. Thanks so much Kari! Your kind note made my morning!

  6. Thank you so much Wendi for that great tutorial. I am new to quilting and could not figure out how to bind properly. I have watched numerous tutorials but alas I still could not bind. You have just showed me how simple and straight forward it is. Thanks again, Siobhan :

  7. Dear Wendi,
    I found your blog some weeks ago and I’m a real fan! Thank you for all your wonderful tutorials – they’re simply great – even a child could understand it! I’m really excited to buy my sewing machine and start doing your patterns!! I really would like to make a quilt for my son’s bed and I want to ask you something: in the video did you use remains of fabric you kept? Again, thank you so much for your time and effort!
    Beatriz

  8. Thanks Beatriz! Yes – I made the video in the quilt using leftover scraps. I used to buy fabric for quilts (when I made more of them) but now I just make them when my scrap bins start to overflow. Which is. . . now. I have a quilt in the works that I’ll share with all of you next week.

  9. Wendi, still on the quilt issue and since you have on in hands, would it be too much to ask you to post a video showing how you sew the scraps together, please?! Thank you, that would also be a great help so start my quilt 🙂
    Beatriz

  10. I’ve got a quilt pattern in the works right now – along with a couple of additional quilting videos. Stay tuned!

  11. Anonymous SAYS...

    Christmas time and time to sew. Love you instructions to finish off this awesome quilt the RIGHT way 🙂

  12. This is by far the best video tutorial I have come across. I have struggled with the binding for my finished quilts. No more, thanks to this video! Thank you for putting this out there!

  13. BTW…how wide do you cut your fabric for the bindings?

    • Thanks Gina! I cut my strips 2 1/4 inches wide.

    • Thanks again Wendi…I’m new to quilting…been about a year…and I am always buying the pre-packaged quilt bindings but it’s never as nice of a finished look as quilts I see that use the fabrics from the quilt itself to finish off the binding.

  14. What a wonderful video. I have despised bias binding [because I’m not good at it :^)] but am encouraged to do more of it and pray it works out well!

    Do you have instructions on how you achieved those no-bulk bias strips? I’d love to know!

    Thank you for all the great instructionals :^)

  15. UGH – I couldn’t agree with you more. I saw a lovely quilt with a binding put on by machine zigzag because she was too lazy to handstitch. Just a disaster. :(((

    : )

    whew – loving your blog. I’ll have to tell all my followers about you.

    ~Monika

  16. Should the strip for binding be made on the bias like bias tape?

    • Only if you have curves at the corner or a scalloped edge. For a regular quilt with straight sides you can cut your strips on the straight grain.

    • Yay! Thanks so much for replying! I think I’ll bind tonight!

  17. Wendi you have shown me so much in sewing (I’m a newbie). You have managed to take the fear out of it for me. Thank you so much for taking the time to do amazing instruction and illustration in all of your tutorials. I will be a fan always!
    Nola C.

  18. Anonymous SAYS...

    Love it

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Thanks!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Thanks so much! I’m glad it was helpful. 🙂

  19. Maggie SAYS...

    Hi, Wendy! I am working on my first quilt and your tutorials on the various step have been my mainstay. One really dumb question: How do you square up and get things trimmed when you’re working on a larger (i.e., human bed-size quilt)?

    Thanks!

    • Not a dumb question at all! I have a fairly large work table and a 34″ cutting mat, so I’m able to do this pretty easily. I lay the quilt down so one corner of the top edge is on the cutting mat. Then I use my ruler to make a good guess at a straight line across the top. You’ll find that if you lay down your ruler and start adjusting you can “see” where that line should go. Some of the quilt will dip a tiny bit below that line and you might end up cutting off a tiny bit that falls above it in places – but the top of your quilt should already be pretty straight because you joined up straight blocks to make it. The main thing is to line up as large an area as possible. My ruler is 24 inches and I’ve found that if I even things out over the full 24 inches I’ll be good. Keep working your way across the top, then use your ruler to get a nice 90 degree angle on the corner and start working your way down the side and the rest of the way around the quilt.
      Mostly – don’t worry about it too much! If you’re entering your quilt in a show the judges will look really closely at things like how square your corners are when it’s hanging flat on a wall. That’s not how most quilts are used and that’s not how most people look at them! Before I had rotary cutting tools I just took a pair of scissors and trimmed off the excess batting and backing using the edge of the front of my quilt as a guide. It worked just fine – I still use those quilts and they still look great!

      • Maggie SAYS...

        I can’t thank you enough. My binding turned out beautifully, and your videos really are responsible. They’re just so clear and panic-reducing!

      • Kim SAYS...

        Much appreciated message you pointed out about squaring up the quilt, regarding show quilts vs home use quilts. I will relax now much more. Up until now that part of squaring is so perfect was stressing me out. Something so simple makes sense that we don’t see it like hanging on a wall as it’s draped over the bed or piece of seating. Thank you

    • I’m so glad that tutorial has been helpful. 🙂 Your finished quilt is BEAUTIFUL!

      • Anonymous SAYS...

        Thank you!