How to finish quilt binding (diagonal-seam method)

How to finish quilt binding

Who better to call on for a quilt-binding tutorial than Mimi Dietrich? Mimi’s book on how to finish quilts, Happy Endings, has been a favorite of quilters since it was published in 1987 and revised in 2003. In it you’ll find creative ideas for binding your quilts in most any way you can imagine.

(There’s even a section on how to bind your quilts without binding. How do you even do that?)

Quilt-binding examples from Happy Endings
A few binding examples from
Happy Endings

One of Mimi’s smartest tips comes at the end of the binding process—connecting the beginning and end of the binding. And although she’ll show you three different ways to connect your binding ends in her book, the diagonal-seam method is her favorite, as it makes for the smoothest finish.

Take a look at how easy the technique is—it may just change the way you bind your quilts!


How to finish quilt binding: diagonal seam

From Happy Endings by Mimi Dietrich

What a neat way to join the ends of the binding! When the quilt is finished, this diagonal seam will look exactly like any other binding seam. It’s fun to do, too.

1. Stop sewing the binding approximately 6″ away from the starting point. Cut the end of your binding with a perpendicular cut so that it overlaps the beginning end of your binding. The length of the overlap must equal the width of your binding strip. (For example, use a 2″ overlap for 2″-wide binding and a 2½" overlap for 2½"-wide binding.)

How to finish quilt binding 1

2. Open the folds of the two strips and overlap them at right angles with right sides together as shown. Pin them together. Draw a diagonal line between the two points where the binding strips intersect as shown.

How to finish quilt binding 2

3. Sew the ends together on the marked line and then trim the seam allowance to ¼". Press the seam allowance open.

How to finish quilt binding 3

4. Refold the seamed section of the strip, return it to the edge of the quilt, and finish sewing the binding in place. A perfect fit every time!

How to finish quilt binding 4


Happy EndingsFind oodles of inventive ways to bind your quilts in Happy Endings, including:

• Finishing rounded corners
• Making imitation binding
• Working with sculpted edges
• Finishing edges with backing
• Finishing with overlapped corners
• Finishing with mitered corners
• Continuous bias binding
• Striped and plaid binding
• Scrappy, scalloped, and sculpted bindings
• Grandmother’s Flower Garden edges
• Adding trims, cording, piping, prairie points, lace, and ruffles

Pick up Happy Endings for $24.99 and instantly get the pdf eBook for free; you can start reading right away. Or, skip the shipping costs and buy the eBook only—you’ll save $8.00!

Need quilt-border ideas, too?

The Border WorkbookFind the perfect border for any quilt in The Border Workbook—the quintessential guide to framing your quilt blocks! Choose from 27 border designs to strip piece or paper piece, such as Flying Geese, Log Cabin, Sawtooth, and braided borders, plus fun pictorial motifs like hearts and paw prints. Includes yardage charts so you can estimate the fabric needed for the quilt you’re working on, no matter what size.

See more from The Border Workbook >


How many different methods do you use to bind your quilts: more than four, two or three, or just one so far? Tell us in the comments!


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