How to sew binding strips together: 2 ways

How to sew binding strips together: 2 ways

If you make your own quilt binding, you probably do it the same way every time. But depending on how you cut your binding strips, it can be beneficial to sew them together in a certain way. With a simple change to your routine, you can avoid bulky seams, eliminate unsightly stretching, and strengthen your binding too. If you’re going to make your binding, you might as well make it last!

Happy EndingsThat’s why today we’re sharing a quick tutorial on how to sew binding strips together for both straight-grain binding strips and bias binding strips. The how-to comes from Mimi Dietrich’s best-selling book Happy Endings. Are you giving your binding its best shot at a long life? See if your technique matches up with Mimi’s!
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Sewing Binding Strips Together: 2 Ways

The easiest way to sew straight-grain strips together is to connect the pieces using straight seams; however, this method creates bulky areas when the binding is applied. To make a binding lie flat and smooth even where there are seams, it’s best to sew the strips together with diagonal seams. When the binding is folded over the edge of the quilt, the bulk of the seam is distributed in opposite directions. And on bias binding, using a diagonal seam means you’re stitching along the straight of grain, so it prevents the seam from stretching.

Method 1: Joining Straight-Grain Strips

The ends of straight-grain binding strips are square, not diagonal. You can take the time to trim them at a 45º angle and stitch them together as for bias-binding strips. But I find the following method is quick and accurate.

  1. Place two strips right sides together, crossing the ends at right angles. Lay them on a flat surface and pin securely.
    Joining-straight-grain-strips-1
  2. Imagine the strips as the capital letter A. Draw a line across the pieces to connect the points where they intersect, just like crossing the A, and then sew along the line.
    Joining-straight-grain-strips-2
  1. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance, and press the seam allowances open.
    Joining-straight-grain-strips-3
  2. Continue adding strips in the same manner until you have enough binding to go around your quilt, plus 10″.
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Method 2: Joining Bias Strips

Because they’re cut at an angle to the straight edges of the fabric, bias strips will have ends that are angled at 45º to the length of the strip.

Joining-bias-strips-1

  1. Place two binding strips right sides together with the diagonal edges aligned. Slide them so that the ends extend ¼".
    Joining-bias-strips-2
  1. Sew a ¼" seam across the cut edges.
    Joining-bias-strips-3
  2. Press the seam allowances open and trim off the parts that extend beyond the edge of the binding. Trimming the points will reduce bulk in the finished binding.
    Joining-bias-strips-4
  3. Continue adding strips in the same manner until you have enough binding to go around your quilt, plus 10″.

Binding options from Happy EndingsThere’s lots more to learn about binding in Happy Endings—choosing single or double-fold binding; mitering corners; sewing by hand or machine; making striped, plaid, and scrappy bindings; and much more. Did you know you can cut a single strip continuously from yardage so you don’t have to sew strips together at all? You can, and in Happy Endings, Mimi will show you how!

You can buy Happy Endings in a ⚡FLASH⚡ next week (hint, hint). Be sure to subscribe to our blog posts so you don’t miss our great offer on this best-selling resource for finishing your quilts!

How do you cut your binding strips: on the straight of grain or on the bias? Tell us in the comments!

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