Binding a quilt with the quilt back

I made a doll quilt before Christmas and realized I’d never posted a tutorial on this quick and easy binding method.  Since I know a lot of you are beginners…this is a really great way to dip your toes into binding a quilt.  I especially love it for small things like hot pads, table toppers, or a mini quilt.
1.  Baste your quilt.  Normally I would cut the batting the exact same size as the quilt top…but in these pictures using this method was an afterthought.  Believe me though…it’s much much easier to start with the batting the same size as the quilt top!
IMG_2769_thumb[1]

 

2.  Quilt like normal…except make sure none of your stitches go into the batting.  Start and stop all of your quilting stitches on the quilt top and backstitch.
3.  Carefully cut the batting away (if it was a bit larger than the quilt top).  This is tricky if you’ve quilted to the edge…which is why I recommend keeping your batting the exact same size as your quilt top before you start.  I’ve cut through many backings by accident doing this!

 

4.  Trim the backing fabric, leaving 1” around all sides of the quilt top.

 

5.  Start anywhere, and fold the binding over halfway…
IMG_2791_thumb[1]

 

…and then in half again, and pin.  You can do this on your ironing board and press it as you go…it makes it very simple.  Fold all the way down to the next edge.
IMG_2800_thumb[1]

 

6.  When you get to a corner, fold the corner up like so…
IMG_2803_thumb[1]

 

…then fold the next edge in half…

 

…and in half again to make a nice mitered corner.  Pin it in place.  You might have to play with the corner a bit, but once you actually do this it will make sense.
Continue until you’ve folded and pinned the binding around the whole quilt.

 

7.  Sew it down using a walking foot, right along the edge of the binding. Sew to the corner and leave the needle in the fabric as you lift the presser foot and turn to go down the next edge.  Easy as pie.

 

Now there are a couple of reasons I don’t love this method:
1.  It’s hard to square up the quilt and keep the edges nice and straight.  So I only use this on small things.
2.  You have to plan so your backing fabric will also look great as your binding fabric.
3.  If you quilt to the edge of your quilt top…you’re going to see it in the binding of the quilt on the back.  I normally wouldn’t quilt to the edge using this method and instead quilt 1” away from the edge or so…but it was an afterthought with this little quilt.

 

And there you go…an easy way to do bindings!  If you’re a beginner who is mastering bindings…here’s my other tutorial on a Machine Binding a quilt.

 

62 Responses to Binding a quilt with the quilt back

  1. Linda K January 6, 2014 at 5:44 am #

    That´s a perfect idea. Thank you so much for that.
    Greetings from Germany,
    Linda :)

  2. Lynda January 6, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    thanks for this tip – your instructions were very clear and helpful – will try this out on my next small quilt.

  3. margaret January 6, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    thank you for these instructions, sounds much easier than a separate binding and looks good too

  4. Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books January 6, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Thanks for the helpful tips!

    Happy New Year!

  5. Teje Karjalainen January 6, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Hi! Thank you for a great idea and tutorial! Often I have been thinking that normal binding needs too much fabric and time when making something small. This looks great and if we like, we could plan the backing so that there is a stripe with other colour. Happy NEW Year! x Teje

  6. Mokki stevenson January 6, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Great tutorial. I'm a newbie when it comes to quilts so this is really useful. Thank you.

  7. Jana January 6, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Thank you for great tutorial. I was wonderring how to do this so I am so happy I can try it. Thanks.

  8. Gene Black January 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I have tried to do this before but I didn't know how to deal with the corners! Thanks so much.

  9. Elsa January 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Such a pretty quilt and love the quilting ~ straight lines are the best!
    I've done this method a few times but usually on a smaller quilt. It really saves time and looks great too!

  10. Quiltingranny January 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    Awesome tutorial. When I first started quilting this is how I did it because I didn't know about binding at all!

  11. Sarah Marie January 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    What a wonderful tutorial! This is also a great way to bind mug rugs as well. This technique is what I used for some of my kid's quilts, and they are holding up great :)

  12. paulette January 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Excellent toot!! Crystal clear instructions and great pics!
    P

  13. Amber Colby January 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Very cool trick, and a super cute choice in fabrics too!

  14. Frambooske January 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! What a great idea, I'll definitely try this out – woop :)

  15. Vanessa D January 6, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    This is great. Thanks for the binding tip! I'll have to make a table runner just so I can try this technique out. haha Where did you get your pins btw? They are so cute!

  16. Lana January 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Great photos…and a great technique! I am going to try this!
    Thank you for sharing.

  17. QuarterMileQuilts January 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    So great Alison! I've been using this method for years (it's how I learned to quilt) and use it to teach my friends. I'll have to reference your wonderful tutorial now, especially with such fabulous photos! Best, Kate

  18. Kay January 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Thank you so much for this, I will be giving this a try soon.

  19. Pickletoes Quilts January 6, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I'm always looking for binding shortcuts!

  20. hron January 7, 2014 at 2:36 am #

    Your tutorial is so clear and your photos are so helpful! This helps me SO MUCH!!!! I create miniature quilts and all is beautiful, but I'm terrified of BINDING!!!! Tee, hee.

  21. excuseme23 January 7, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Nice of you to share your expertise with us, beautiful doll quilt.

  22. Julia January 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Thank you for teaching me this! I've learned so much from you on your blog. All the way from how to piece together batting to sewing together HST's with using tape. Your pictures are lovely. Thanks again for taking the time to share with all of us who are learning but don't have a physical person close who knows how to quilt to show us!

  23. allison January 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    I'm so glad it was helpful for you Julia!!! Have a great day! -Al

  24. Lilpuddin January 7, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    I love this method! Thanks for sharing a brilliant idea

  25. Karen F. January 8, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    I'm a handquilter and I've been binding all my quilts this way for 30 years or so. The only thing I do different is when I fold the 1" of backing over, I slide the edge under the batting about 1/8" of an inch. That way, when I make the second fold a double layer of binding covers the quilt edge.

    I was looking at one of my daughter's quilts the other day that I made in the mid-80s. The binding has worn thru so I need to replace it. This time, I'll use bias binding just like I would on any old quilt that needed a new one.

  26. Rosa January 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Great idea and sure I`ll try it and gorgeous fabrics.Thanks

  27. Angela @ Cottage Magpie January 9, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    What a cute little quilt! ~Angela~

  28. Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts January 9, 2014 at 1:43 am #

    This is awesome! Thank you :)

  29. Di~ January 9, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    It looks really good! Thanks!

  30. thepalmierifamily January 9, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    I was just about to do this on a baby quilt, and it turned out great. Thanks for the help!

  31. Alex Duenkel January 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks for sharing… especially the photos of how to do the corners! I will be sure to give this a try.

  32. Palak January 18, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    This is my favorite way to bind a quilt! I'm featuring this at my frugal sewing site Sewistry next week: http://sewistry.com/2014/01/cheaper-way-bind-quilt/. Please let me know of any concerns.

  33. Suzanne January 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    Thank you for inspiring me to try this method. For baby quilts and quick ones, it sure saves time.

  34. Victoria Guthrie January 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Great tutorial! Thanks! x http://www.craftygoodness.co.uk

  35. Cindy Mizer February 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    This method works really well with Mugrugs.

  36. Liz February 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Great tutorial! I was especially interested in how the corners were handled.
    Very clean and concise.
    Liz

  37. OPQuilt March 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    In the way old days we used to bind all our quilts this way. Now that some of those quilts are approaching their third decade, the edges are wearing out. And now it's not easy to re-bind them. I know no one plans to have quilts around for 20+ years, but it happens. One day you wake up and that quilt is still here, but now with worn edges that need a new binding (quilt is still going strong). Having older quilts around gives a perspective on solid vs. shoddy construction, too.

    Glad you mentioned your dislikes. Since I'm an older quilter, I see also what time does, too.

    I love reading your blog, but don't always comment–you have such fresh and beautiful designs (esp. love your new patterns!).

    Elizabeth
    opquilt.com

  38. Katy March 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Thanks! Used this today to bind my first quilt! :)

  39. Elizabeth March 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I love this! Thank you for posting it! I plan to make one.
    One funny thing, I kept wondering why you were adding a button to the binding! I thought maybe you were just showing the width of the binding. Finally, while showing my daughter, I realized it was part of the pin!

  40. Elizabeth March 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    I love this! Thank you for posting it! I plan to make one.
    One funny thing, I kept wondering why you were adding a button to the binding! I thought maybe you were just showing the width of the binding. Finally, while showing my daughter, I realized it was part of the pin!

  41. Emily Carnes April 9, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    Thanks for this great tutorial! I am about to do this on a baby quilt. Glad I found your photos and detail on how to fold the corners!

    Emily at backtothecraft.blogspot.ca

  42. Paqui Galán April 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Gracias por compartir tus conocimientos .. :)

    http://dreamspaki.blogspot.com.es/

  43. CarolT April 16, 2014 at 3:46 am #

    I just found this post when I asked google how to self bind a quilt. Thank you for this. I am now helping at church to make quilts that we send Lutheran Word Relief for charity. I wasn't sure if I did the mitre corner right. When I read your post, I found out that I did it right.

  44. Amy Clausen May 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    Hi – I just finished a summer pinwheel table runner, backed with a printed seersucker (yay for the clearance rack!) and found that this tutorial was perfect for a small project like that! Thank you!

  45. Life of Here and Now May 31, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    This is SUCH a time-saver!!! It only took me about 15-20 minutes to bind a 64 inch by 76 inch throw quilt. :)

  46. Lisa Clark June 8, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    I love this idea. I am a newbie quilter so I really want to try this.

  47. Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) June 24, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Allison, this is my favorite way of binding a quilt. I have done it this way since I began two years ago despite never having seen it done. I had seen only strip bindings where you have to do the bias folding. Well, once I saw in my own studio the easiness of this method, I was sold. Just like tying instead of trying to quilt on my tiny Singer.

    Love your blog, your designs, and your openness and sharing. Thanks very much.

  48. judygold July 15, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    Thanks for the tutorial. This is a great way to bind little items, like coasters or mug rugs.

  49. Lillibeth July 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Thank you for this clear tutorial! I found it on a google search. I've messed up so many corners of self-bindings over the years! I never could seem to get the folds to stay right. My latest project turned out perfectly.

  50. lizzyanne September 6, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    This was the way that I first learnt to bind quilts back in the 1980s and was glad to move on to present day methods. However, it's a very good way for quick, machined binding instead of having to sew by hand on the back. Thanks for the reminder.

  51. Roha October 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. Is it possible to use this method for large items such as a lap quilt? Thank you again for inspiration and lessons. God bless.

    Rohini

  52. Rosiebee October 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    Thanks for such clear pictures and text. I'd previously struggled with my corners. I used this method to bind a bed runner. It was my first attempt at free quilting and as I was concerned about untidy loopy stitches showing through on the back of the quilt I used a piece of sheeting to back the quilt. I then used a 'good' piece of fabric to back and bind the finished quilt. Thanks again. Brenda K

  53. Kate January 10, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    I just tried this – thank you very much for your excellent how-to. :)

  54. Sirinadesigns January 10, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    I have been struggling with this problem for a while and could never get a neat finish. Then I found your post which is the clearest that I have found and now have no problem finishing my quilts.
    Thank you for a helpful post.

  55. Cheryl Barron January 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Thank you sooooo much. I've been learning to quilt now for about a year, and binding seems to be my greatest challenge, but this is the first tutorial that I feel I can actually accomplish without the stress of trying to finish my project. Thank you again so very much for sharing

  56. Lynn Reedy January 29, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    I found your blog via Pinterest and so glad I did. This is exactly what I have been searching for. I am a very new beginner quilter. A friend of mine started a quilt for my little guy. She started the binding using the backing and she started by hand stitching. Well it was taking soooo long for her to finish this quilt (that I had every intention to do myself but she decided she was going to make it, well insisted) after months of waiting for the quilt I finally went and picked it up and insisted machine sewing would be faster then hand stitching. Considering I stay so busy with our farm the little one and our rescue kennel I didn't want to hand stitch this quilt with all the dogs and a little one always wanting right in the mix of things. I can't wait to get this quilt finished which was suppose to been done before Christmas ☺️ Now I will definitely be getting on This today !!! Thanks so much for all your tutorials they are all so helpful to us beginners and ALL of your quilts are just beautiful !!

  57. Christine Pierson February 6, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, this is a nice and quick way to complete small projects. By the way, at mitered corner, I did cut off some fabric to reduce the bulk.

    Thanks again.

    Christine

  58. Jacqui Delchau April 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    Perfect, clear instructions, this technique will be well worth trying on small items. Thankyou for sharing.

  59. Kris May 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    Would it be okay to link to your binding tutorial on our guild blog page. I love how simple you make this look.

  60. Lynne August 12, 2015 at 5:38 am #

    Thank you, I’m about to start my first ever quilt and this method looks very neat and certainly less daunting.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] When it came to binding, I didn’t feel like making a separate binding so I chose to use the bottom layer as binding like it’s described here.  […]

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    […] pieces I sometimes make the backing wrap around the front to make the binding. It is very easy. Binding a quilt with the quilt back | Cluck Cluck Sew Quilters never die, they just go batts. Reply With […]

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