Saturday, April 18, 2015

Piped Binding Tutorial

Machine stitched piped binding is my newest favorite binding, but only when a) it works with the quilt design, and b) I need the quilt finished in a hurry. I've applied it on several quilts, so it's time for a tutorial on stitching this beautiful binding.
There are a lot of pictures to explain the process, and I hope it's easy to follow along.

Binding Preparation:
Start by choosing the main color for the binding, and the accent color. Cut enough main color strips at 1 1/2" wide, and the same amount of the accent color at 1 3/4" wide.
Join all of the main color strips together as usual, and do the same for the accent color.
Stitch the two strips together, using a 1/4" seam.
Press the seam toward the main color.
Fold the edges together, revealing 1/8" of accent color, and press.

Applying the Binding:
Starting midway down the edge, apply the binding to the back of the quilt, with the main color face down. This allows the binding to be folded to the front to show the accent color.
I personally use a bit bigger than a 1/4" seam, but not quite 3/8".
Stitch to the corner, stopping within a seams width of the edge.
Turn the quilt, backstitch to the edge, and remove the quilt from under the foot.
Fold the binding back, forming an angle from the corner.
Bring the binding forward, lining up the the fold and the binding edge with the edge of the quilt.
Start stitching at the top edge.
Continue until within at least 15" of the starting point.

Joining the binding:
Snugly lay each strip along the edge of the quilt, folding each at an angle at the join.
Mark this fold on each piece. Here I used a chalk marker.
Slipping fingers into each binding piece, pinch both pieces together at the marking/folds.
This helps eliminate the confusion of orientation for the next step.

Open up each binding piece, still holding the two together.
The piece that came from the top of the quilt lays on the bottom, right side up, and the piece coming up from bottom of the quilt lays on top, perpendicular to the other. Match the markings.
The line in the picture denotes where the marking is underneath.

Carefully lift an edge to line up the seams of the binding. The arrow shows the match.
Holding everything in place, carefully replace the piece, and put a pin at the joint.
At the sewing machine, take a few stitches at this point to check for alignment.
This looks pretty good--maybe off a smidge, but it's okay for this quilt. If it was for show, I'd redo it.
Sew the whole joining seam.
Check for correct orientation, and length against the quilt.
Trim off the excess, and continue applying the binding.

Finishing the binding:
Before the turning of the quilt, remove some of the bulk in the corners, by trimming out the little triangles there.
Clip the fold.
Then trim out the triangle.
Press the binding on the backside, creating a nice crease.
Fold the binding to the front. For this quilt, I've used school glue to hold the binding down on the front. Press to help set the glue. I'm not worried about it's use, as it's a starch product and washes out.

At the sewing machine, choose a thread that matches the binding accent color, and stitch in the ditch between the accent and the main color.
And ta-da! A beautiful piped binding, adding that extra special something to a quilt!
Happy Quilting!


  1. I'll have to try your method of joining the binding. That's been a troublesome part of attaching binding for me. That piping looks great.

  2. Thank you! A wonderful tutorial and something that I want to try. It really adds that "special touch" of added detail.

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial - I will definitely try this. And your photos are wonderful - they catch every detail perfectly!

  4. Great tutorial, great photos!! I think I could do this.

  5. Such a well written tutorial and with great pictures, Susan. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. I love the look of piped bindings. I'll have to try it some time.

  7. Nice tutorial. I like the suggestion to tack the binding down with glue and ironing. I struggle with machine binding but think that would help. Like the piping too.

  8. Thank you for this lovely tutorial. I can hardly wait to try it! I found your blog on Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River. So glad to know you!

  9. Looking really good! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Thank you for a great tutorial! I do have a question-why do you clip the fold and trim that triangle? I've never seen this before. Thanks!

  11. Great tutorila! Thanks so much, I will be trying this out soon!


Any comments you want to share? I'd love to hear from you!