Making your own binding is super easy and can add so much character to your quilt. On the plus side you can choose whatever fabric you want instead of being stuck with the pre-made boring bindings.
I love making my binding out of either a nice stripe, like the ADORNit grey stripe, or a small simple pattern and a color that will contrast from your quilt. The other two ADORNit fabric picture are here and here.
Here is how I make my binding.
Step 1: Decide how wide you’d like your finished binding to be. I like mine to be right around the same size as my seams. Now we work backwards to get our cut size.
My method of sewing on binding involves sewing both raw edges to the quilt and then folding the piece over the quilt edge to finish. This requires us to have a strip of fabric, when laid flat, is eight times bigger than our finished size.
1/4 x 8 = 2 [inches]
We then need to add on our seam allowance which is 1/4 for BOTH sides of the fabric since we are sewing each raw edge down at the same time. So…..
2 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 2 1/2 [inches]
I then add and extra 1/4 just because I like to give myself a little wiggle room juuuust in case I don’t have a perfect binding seam.
2 1/2 + 1/4 = 2 3/4 [inches] for our cut size for our binding.
Step 2: Figure out how long your binding needs to be. You find this by adding the length and width together and multiplying it by 2. The quilt I just made was 32″ x 40″
(32+40) x 2 = 144 [inches] or 32 + 32 + 40 + 40 = 144 [inches]
Step 3: Now you need to figure out how much fabric to ask the wonderful fabric store employee to cut. This is pretty simple too.
First you need to find the amount of strips you need. Just divide the length of your binding by width of the fabric you choose. Most cotton fabrics are 45″ wide so,
144 / 45 = 3.2 or 4 [fabric strips]
I like to give myself as much wiggle room while quilting so I always round up when making bindings. I might even add an extra strip juuuuust to make sure I have extra in case I mess up while binding or something else happens with the fabric.
Now multiply the number of strips with the width of the strip, this will give you total length you need to get from the fabric store.
4 x 2.75 = 11 inches
Since this is super close to half a yard I would recommend just getting a half yard. Like I previously said, I will always round up to the nearest half or full yard to make sure I am well covered for my binding. Easier for me and the fabric store employee’s!
Step 4: Cut your fabric strips. If you are working with a striped material make sure your stripes are running perpendicular to you acrylic ruler. This will make is so you have a bunch of small stripes for your binding. See picture below for reference.
Also remember to cut a straight edge before you start cutting the strips, you don’t want a crooked strip!
Step 3: Sew your strips together to create one long strip to go around your whole quilt. Take an end from one strip and place in at a 90 degree angle from the strip you want to sew it together with, right side together. Then sew a 45 degree angle to create a strong seam when the binding is sewn down. See diagram for reference.
Step 5: Trim the excess off each seam and press the seam closed. Also while your iron is hot, fold the strip in half and press it flat create your finished binding. Raw edges should match each other and right side of fabric should be showing.
Step 6: I usually roll my binding up for convenient storage until I am ready to attach it to my quilt.
You now have custom binding that will be adding amazing character to your quilt!
Head to this post for an explanation of how I attach my bindings to my quilt to create a clean and professional look.