How wide to cut quilt binding. Quilting tutorial covering everything you need to know about binding and attaching to your quilt project. Includes fabric amounts, cutting instructions, how to join and attach with sewing machine.
If this is your first time making a quilt binding, you’ve come to the right place. I will walk you through the entire process including attaching it to your quilt project. Standard quilt binding is 2.5″ wide by width of the fabric and double folded attached to back of your quilt first and then to front side on sewing machine. This tutorial will cover this binding style and method.
Before we actually cut and make the binding for your baby quilts, lap quilt, twin/queen or king size quilt we need to select the right fabric. How to select the perfect binding fabric. My go to method is to make my quilt top, then select the backing fabric and a contrasting binding fabric. I like my binding fabric to pop but to tie the quilt top and backing fabric (fabric for back of the quilt) all together. Also, always use 100% cotton fabric when quilting.
How Wide To Cut Quilt Binding – Fabric Needed
Selecting the right amount of fabric needed for binding. If you are following a quilt pattern, look at the fabric requirements and it will tell you, then add a little extra fabric to be on the safe side. Sometimes new quilters don’t cut correctly and it will throw off everything. Find a fabric store and grab fabric when it’s on sale using the stores coupons. Be smart with your spending, quilting adds up FAST!
If you are not following a quilt pattern and still need to know how much fabric to use then here are some general fabric measurements below.
General Quilt Sizes With Binding and Backing Yardages Needed
Throw (52″ x 70″) – 3 1/5 yards of backing and 1/2 yard binding fabric.
Twin Quilt (70″ x 88″) – 5 /12 yards or 2 1/4 yards of 108″ fabric and 2/3 yards for binding.
Queen Quilt (88″ x 106″) – 8 yards or 3 1/4 yards of 108″ fabric and 3/4 yards for binding fabric.
King Quilt (106″ x 106″) – 9 1/2 yards or 3 1/4 yards of 120″ wide fabric and 7/8 yard of binding fabric.
Again, refer to your quilt pattern for amount of fabric needed. When in doubt, buy one yard and you can always use the extra on your next project.
Just Tell Me How Wide To Cut Quilt Binding!
Most binding is cut in widths from 2 to 2.5 inches. I have tried both and prefer using 2 1/2 inches by WOF strips sewn together to form one long quilt binding strip. When I used a smaller width of the binding (2″) there was less wiggle room to making it look pretty on the both sides of the finished quilt.
You can make wider binding, which I tried one time but didn’t like the finished look. I tried a 3″ wide strip width and didn’t care for the look. There are quilts that have extra wide binding too, just google “wide quilt binding” and see what you find and check it out. Using binding with 2.5″ strip width is really the best choice for all your quilted projects so master this, it will serve you well.
Find The Width You Like Best
You can always play around on the width of your binding. If you don’t double fold, you can use less but most folks double fold. Projects where you would could use single fold and use a smaller width of binding than 2.5″: Quilted place mats, table runners, table toppers or potholders.
Machine Binding – What To Expect
Most finished bindings are approximately 1/4-inch wide on the front of the quilt and the same width or a bit wider on the back. However, I actually thinks it looks better when you start on the back of the quilt and finish on the front side.
When you machine bind, there is a stitch that will show around the quilt and I think it looks better on the backside and not the front of the quilt. Also, the binding is smaller on the side you start on and I prefer the larger binding on the front of my quilts. Try both ways and see which one you like for your quilts and let me know in the comments below.
Grain of the Fabric
Some folks talk about cutting on bias grain or bias strips, lengthwise grain, straight grain, crosswise grain and here’s where I stand on grain of the fabric. The only thing I know is that depending on the direction you cut on the fabric, the more the fabric will stretch and bend. I don’t think it’s a problem for binding to stretch or bend, it makes it easier to attach when machine binding.
I’m still learning about all this but I have cut in every possible direction on my fabric in order to make binding and have never had any problems. If you are concerned about which cutting method you are doing on the grain of fabric, consult another blog or resource. If you want to finish your quilt project and have it look amazing, keep following along!
Iron your fabric before cutting, then get out your cutting mat and rotary cutter with a fresh blade for easy cutting. Your fabric already comes folded in half (single fold), selvage edges should be facing in downward direction on your mat with raw edges facing to the left and right. If you only have one layer of fabric, you are doing something wrong.
Next step, take to your 2.5″ wide strips to the cutting mat and clean up the edge of the fabric with a clean cut before cutting strips. Now cut a strip that is 2.5″ by width of fabric. Take that strip of fabric over to your quilt top.
Use this one strip to measure around the outside of your quilt top and this is how many strips you need to connect for the continuous binding strip length. Or you can cut a few strips until you have enough strips going around your quilt top. Sew these strips together using 1/4″ seam allowance.
Two Ways To Join Binding Strips
Straight Seam (my personal preference is straight seams). Place straight edges of two ends of the strips with right sides facing each other and sew together with quarter inch (1/4″) seam line. Continue adding the smaller strips until you have all fabric strips in one continuous binding strip that is enough to go around your quilt top with extra for the corners and finishing off when quilting.
Diagonal Seam: Connecting with diagonal seam. Join with a 45-degree angle and diagonal line. Continue adding the smaller strips until you have continuous binding strip that goes around your quilt top with 15 extra inches. While straight seam is easier to join together, the diagonal seam is easier to sew over, that’s the benefit. The total binding length should be quilt size plus 20 extra inches.
Length of Binding: The total length of your quilt binding will depend on how many 2.5″ by width of the fabric strips you need for your project plus a little extra for good measure. Note: When you are adding binding at sewing machine to finish your quilt, you want extra binding for the last step of quilting. This last step is when you trim off the excess binding and do the final join on the quilt. You want extra binding in order to be able to sew it while it’s partially quilted.
Double-Fold Binding Instructions
Final step is to make a double-fold binding. Take your long quilt binding strip to the ironing board and give it a good press with iron. Really press the seams and get as flat as possible. One way to do this is to press the seam down the middle and open it. Pressing seam to left or right will make a bump and it’s harder to sew onto quilt.
Next, fold your binding in half, wrong sides facing down and press the entire strip. This gives you a double fold and crisp look for your finished binding.
Machine Binding Instructions
No matter the size of your quilt, the process will always be the same when sewing on binding. First step, change your 1/4″ presser foot for your walking foot.
Next, take your quilt sandwich (three layers of fabric including quilt top, batting and backing fabric) to machine and lay under the machine throat and walking foot.
Starting on one side of your quilt, place your binding edge fold facing right on the quilt edge. Place your quilt with backside facing upwards and find the middle of that quilt side.
How Wide To Cut Quilt Binding – Time To Attach
Lay your binding strip in the middle section with folded raw edges facing toward raw edges of the quilt. Leave 15 extra inches of binding and then beginning sewing. Needle position should be down, place presser foot to the edge of the quilt top with binding lined up underneath. The folded edge of your binding strip should be lined up to the edge of your quilt.
Set your stitch length to three (3) and begin attaching binding with straight stitching line down the quilt length. Always use a quarter inch seam. Stop sewing when you are 1/4″ before the end of the quilt. Sew off the quilt with a right angle and cut thread as pictured below.
How Wide To Cut Quilt Binding – Binding Quilt Corners
Miter the corner by pulling binding up and to the right (it will be a right angle). Use a right angle to miter the corner. Place binding on quilt top to repeat the process until get to the side you started on.
Stop attaching the binding when you are 15 inches from the beginning of the binding strip and cut thread. Make sure you leave enough room for you to attach the binding ends on your sewing machine. Remove quilt from machine and lay on a flat surface, preferably your cutting mat.
Attaching Ends of The Binding On Quilt
Fold both binding pieces in half and leaving 1/4″ between both sides of binding. Press a crease in the fabric to mark 1/4″ . Cut extra binding and remove. Take both end of binding, right sides facing each other and use sewing pins to pin together. Take to sewing machine and join with quarter inch seam. Fold your quilt in half or over itself so that you can squeeze the binding under the needles and join the strips of binding together. Finger press the seam in middle and gently fold the finding back into a double-fold binding and do a fit check. Binding should lay perfectly on quilt. Use sewing pins if needed to pin binding in place the sew in place. Please your needle down, sew forward, then backstitch and continue forward sewing. Sew over the starting stitches, back stitch and cut thread.
Take quilt to ironing board, backing fabric facing upwards and iron out the binding so it’s nice and crisp. Turn quilt over and press the binding on the front side.
Take quilt back to sewing machine, quilt top facing upwards and find the middle of the quilt side. Fold the binding into place, pulling it to the left but not stretching it out of shape.
Don’t start on any binding joins. Place you needle down and sew with straight stitching or a decorative stich to secure binding to front of quilt. This time line your pressure foot to the left side of the binding strip to attach. Keep your needle as far to the left as possible without going off the left edge. Double stitch when you get to your starting place and cut your threads. You just completed your quilt, congrats!
How Wide To Cut Quilt Binding – Supplies For Beginners
Here are some quilting supplies that are great for quilters that I use and highly recommend. See items below.
45 mm Rotary Cutter with Sharp Blade (start with this one)
45 mm Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades (start with this one)
4.5″ Quilting Square Ruler for half square triangles
12.5″ Quilting Square Ruler for quilt blocks
Sew Nikki Resources – How To’s and Free Patterns
About Sew Nikki
If this is your first time stopping by, welcome! My name is Nikki. I’m a weekend quilter, have a super small sewing space and taught myself how to sew and quilt by watching YouTube videos! My blog has How-To’s, Free Patterns and Pattern Reviews. Read more about me here.
Try this simple big block free quilt pattern here.
If you enjoy crocheting, check out the top 40 free crochet pattern website here.
Looking for an sewing project? Then try these cute recycled denim potholders with pockets project here.
Want to get a head start on your Christmas gifts or home Christmas décor, try this charming Candy Candy Pillow here.
Sew, quilt, crochet, repeat!