QUILT#99 – Self-Binding Your Quilt

By Meryl Ann Butler for the Dance with the Fairies quilt featured in QUILT, Issue #99.

Click “Download PDF” to obtain a printable copy, including diagrams.

Have you tried self binding a quilt? It’s a great time-saving technique, particularly for smaller quilts with a single (not pieced) cut of backing fabric. Self binding involves folding the edges of the backing fabric to the front of the quilt and stitching it place. This eliminates cutting and piecing binding strips, as well as sewing them to the quilt front and blindstitching them to the quilt back. Instead, binding becomes an all-in-one step that makes finishing your quilt a snap! Remember, though, the backing fabric you choose will show on the front of the quilt, so be sure it’s a color that complements the quilt front.

Self-Binding Your Quilt

1. Carefully trim the backing 3-1/2″ away from the quilt top on on all four sides. Fold the backing back and away from the batting after trimming. In the same manner, trim the batting 1-1/4″ away from the quilt top.

2. Fold the (2) sides of the backing in 3/8″, wrong sides together, toward the front of the quilt top, and press. Fold the sides in again over the batting, covering 1/4” of the quilt top edges and pin in place. Top stitch the self binding close to the edge of the fabric with a 1/8” seam allowance.

3. In the same manner, fold in the top and bottom backing. Stitch as in step #2.

4. Optional: Slip stitch the openings closed or use as a self rod pocket to hang the quilt. 

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