Blog tour! Skip the Borders – quilt binding ideas

Posted by on October 2, 2012, in quilting & sewing, , ,

Skip the Borders book blog tourToday it’s a delight to welcome back Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts, a designer who’s taken the modern quilting world by storm. She and her new book are touring the blogging universe, and we’re thrilled to be a host on that tour!

We first spotlighted Julie in an August blog post about her book, Skip the Borders, when we focused on the question, “Of all the rules and regs of quiltmaking to be broken, why borders?” Now, as part of her blog tour for the book, we have a new question for Julie: “Why a whole chapter on bindings?”

Detail of Checkerboard Dots quilt

If you’re like me, you put the same kind of binding on all of your quilts. Every time. But as Julie reveals in Skip the Borders, bindings matter. Bindings impact the look of your quilt, yes. But even more importantly—at least to me, who owns quilts that are now 15 years old—the wrong kind of binding can wear out long before your quilt is ready to do the same.

In her book, Julie breaks down different kinds of bindings and offers her opinions about each. Then she shares detailed instructions for making straight-grain binding, continuous bias binding, and scrappy bias binding, plus how to add a binding flange for that “wow!” touch. This girl’s got bindings covered.

Let’s take a peek at Julie’s chapter on bindings in this book excerpt, where she explains the aesthetics of different bindings and makes it easy to choose the perfect binding for your next quilt.


Binding is the last step in completing a quilt. But when it comes to borderless quilts, binding is not just about finishing the quilt. Binding is often overlooked as an opportunity to make a final statement with fabric selection. Depending on the design, you may want the binding to stand out or fade into the quilt. In Skip the Borders, you’ll learn more about your options.

Matching and contrasting bindings
Do you want your binding to pop and stand out? Or do you want it to blend into the quilt and look like it isn’t even there? Especially when working with a borderless design, choosing an appropriate binding fabric is a key decision to make.

Striped quilt bindings
In general, my number one go-to binding-fabric choice is a stripe. I often cut it on the bias for a diagonal striped look. Stripes can also be cut on the straight of grain for a different look.

Scrappy quilt binding
Another great choice is a scrappy binding, which can be achieved in several ways. One way is to use leftover binding strips from other projects. Piece them together until you have the length you need.

Quilt binding flanges
A binding flange is a folded strip of fabric that rests between the binding and the quilt front. Flanges are great when you need a tiny pop of color before the binding. They can also be used to separate busy fabrics used in blocks from a busy binding.

Straight-of-grain or bias binding? I’m asked this question often. Through my years of working at a quilt shop, taking classes, and reading many books, I’ve learned the differences between straight-of-grain and bias binding. Straight-of-grain binding is cut along the grain of the fabric, usually across the width of the fabric. Bias binding is cut on the bias, at a 45° angle to the grain of the fabric. The main reason to use bias binding over straight-of-grain binding is strength. The woven threads in a bias binding wrap diagonally around the quilt so the wear is spread out more than with straight-of-grain binding.

Straight-of-grain vs bias binding
Pros and cons for straight-of-grain vs. bias binding

In Skip the Borders, I explain the ins and outs of each binding choice so that you can pick the one that works best for you.


Thanks for an enlightening look at bindings, Julie! You can find step-by-step instructions for making several different bindings in Skip the Borders. And you simply must see Julie’s gorgeous border-free quilts—you can view them all here.


Detail of Framed Coins quiltSo, what kind of binding do you prefer to use for your quilts—or do you always go with what you know? Share your binding story in the comments and you could win a copy of the Skip the Borders eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won. Or, purchase the book here and download the eBook for free. Good luck!

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Mary Jo, who said:

“I prefer bias binding because of how it seems to hug the quilt. I use straight grain more though just because I can use up smaller yardage fabrics I have left from the project. I like a scrappy border on some quilts. I recently made a scalloped border and the bias binding worked perfectly. Most fabrics look better on the bias for the binding I think.”

Mary Jo, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!

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