Binding is the crucial last step in making a quilt. It not only ensures that the edges of your quilt are protected, it also refines your quilt with a neat and tidy finish. Double Fold Binding is a traditional technique for finishing quilts and is one of our favorites. Its two layers of fabric make this binding wonderfully durable, and its mitered corners make it refined and simple.
In this tutorial we show you all the steps for sewing your double fold binding onto your quilt. (If you’d like to learn how to make the binding itself, please check out our Making Double Fold Binding tutorial!)
Sew to the Front
Trim each end of the binding strip at a 90-degree angle.
Lay the quilt right side up. Starting along one side of the quilt (not a corner), line up the long raw edges of the binding strip with the raw edge of the quilt and pin in place. Start pinning 3 inches from the beginning of the binding strip.
When you get to a corner, fold the binding strip away from the quilt at a 90-degree angle.
Then double the strip back and start pinning along the next side. As you do, a peaked triangle will form in the corner, as shown above. (Later, when you fold the binding around the quilt’s raw edge, this triangle will naturally fall into place as a mitered corner.)
Pin the binding around all four sides of the quilt in this manner, stopping 3 inches before the first pin. Cut the end of the binding strip so that the beginning and end tails overlap across the 3-inch un-pinned gap.
Starting at the first pin, sew the binding to the quilt with a ¼-inch seam allowance. Stop sewing ¼ inch before each corner.
Start the next seam ¼ inch after the corner.
Continue to sew around all four sides in this manner until you reach the 3-inch gap at the end of the binding.
Now lay the 3-inch tails along the gap’s edge. Fold back the extra length of both ends where they meet in the middle of the gap and press flat.
Pull the binding strips away from the quilt and open up the tails’ folds. Match up the pressed creases on the two tails, right sides together, and pin them together.
Sew the tails together along the crease and then trim the seam allowance to ¼ inch. Press the seam allowance to one side.
Refold the binding and line up its raw edges to the raw edges of the quilt. Sew along the gap with a ¼-inch seam allowance.
Flip the quilt over so the wrong side is now facing up.
Sew to the Back
Fold the binding tape around the raw edge of the quilt to the wrong side. Use pins or binding clips (we used Clover’s Wonder Clips) to hold the binding in place. The fold of the binding should just cover the seam on the quilt’s wrong side.
When you reach the corners, finger press the binding so that it turns the corner at a 45-degree angle.
Fold the next side of the binding down to form a neat mitered corner.
Continue around all four sides of the quilt.
Use hand quilting thread to sew the binding to the wrong side of the quilt with a slip stitch. For detailed instructions on how to sew a slip stitch, please check out our Slip Stitch tutorial!