How to Bind a Quilt with the Backing Fabric

Candle Mat by Tara Reed

FREE TUTORIAL: How to Bind a Quilt with the Backing Fabric

Do you ever want to create a project and then groan inside when you think about having to do the binding?

For me the smaller the project the bigger the groan. Self-Binding to the rescue! 

In traditional quilting, the binding is made from a separate strip of fabric that is sewn onto the quilt. The fabric is folded in half before attaching to the quilt so when you fold it over the raw edge of the quilt, it also encapsulates the raw edge of the binding.

When you self bind, you use the backing fabric as the binding. It’s especially helpful on smaller projects – saving time and the frustration of trying to match the binding when everything is so small!

For this example I used 3 prints from my Send Me to the Woods Fabric sold by Riley Blake Designs and a Bow Tie Quilt Block.

(CLICK HERE to see the tutorial to make the Bow Tie Block)

Send Me to the Woods Fabric by Tara Reed for Riley Blake Designs

Since my unfinished block is 6½″ square I cut an 8½″ backing fabric.  Add 2 inches to the dimensions of your project you want to self bind.

  • PLACE the quilt block or other quilted project on top of the batting and backing fabric – wrong sides together. (figure 1)
  • Since my project is so small I used a fusible fleece batting the same size as the block so it wouldn’t slip. For larger projects, use batting that is slightly large and then trim it with scissors to the size of your project after quilting the 3 layers together.
  • PIN in place.
  • QUILT the project to the backing as desired. (figure 2)
How to Self Bind a Small Quilt by Tara Reed
figure 1
Send Me to the Woods Fabric by Tara Reed for Riley Blake Designs
figure 2
  • PRESS the four corners in so the point of the backing fabric touches the point of the project, but doesn’t overlap. (figure 3)
  • PRESS all 4 backing edges in so they edge meets, but doesn’t overlap the project. (figure 4)
How to Self Bind a Small Quilt by Tara Reed
figure 3
TUTORIAL: How to Self Bind a Small Quilt by Tara Reed
figure 4
  • REPEAT the process of folding in the corners and pressing, then the edges and pressing – this time enveloping the raw edges of your quilt block or project with the fabric. (figure 5)
  • CLIP or pin the self binding in place
  • TOPSTITCH near the edge to complete. (figure 6)
How to Self Bind a Small Quilt by Tara Reed
figure 5
How to Self Bind a Small Quilt by Tara Reed
figure 6

Here is a closeup of how the corners will look if you do the simple folds as shown. (figure 7)

A 6 inch quilt block is the perfect size for a Mug Rug (a fancy name for a coaster) or to use under candles and more.

Self BInding corner photo
figure 7
Candle Mat by Tara Reed
Mug Rug by Tara Reed

You can use this technique on larger projects as well but I recommend you give it a try on something small first to see if you like the technique.


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🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

— YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE —

How to sew the Bow Tie Quilt Block used in this tutorial >

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Comments

2 responses to “How to Bind a Quilt with the Backing Fabric”

  1. Please help! After I quilted my lap quilt I found I only have 3/4″ of backing on one side. I want to self bind so am thinking to add a strip of fabric to this side to make it 1″ wide. Have you ever??

    1. Oh bummer! I haven’t had that happen so I’m not sure what to tell you. You could try add the strip of fabric but you might be better off to use traditional binding on this project and try self binding another time to avoid an extra seam. I’ll cross my fingers for you!

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