Monday, February 10, 2020

Small Quilt Binding Tutorial

I made a bunch of small quilts for my friends this Christmas. Not only are they fast but they are fun.!  The only thing I don't like about small quilts is the stopping and starting the binding edges once you sew it all down. It's hard and clunky.

So find yourself a small cute block. This one is about 9 1/2" x 7".

I like to do straight line quilting. It is more modern but it makes any block look good. I set my stitch length to 3 or 4 on my Bernina. I never try and make the lines totally parallel because A- they never will be and B - it looks more interesting! Don't make it harder on yourself. Wavy lines would look good here too! I used Aurifil 50 weight thread in Dove or #2600. It's one of my favorite colors and works well with all colors, in my opinion.

We all know there are a million ways to do anything. I will tell you what I do and you can do it however it works for you.

Once your block is quilted, square it up so it looks so incredibly perfect! This is measuring about 7" x 9".

Small quilts are hard to hang. Let's make it easy! Cut 2 squares 3" x 3". Mine are mismatched which does not bother me at all. You can match your fabrics.......

Iron the fabric as shown, wrong sides together.

Next place them on the upper corners of the quilt on the back.

Baste in place using a small seam allowance. I use about a 1/8" just make sure it is smaller than 1/4"

Cut out your binding at 1 1/2" wide. This is important for my instructions. If your quilt is small enough you will not have to piece any binding together. The loop will go all they way around. We will be doing a single fold binding.

Cut the decorative piece of ribbon you are using about 2" long. this might be something you play with depending on what is on your ribbon. I am using a piece of "measuring tape" that will make my job easier. You want to make sure that you cut it a tad bit larger than a quarter of an inch in front of your design where it will go into the seam allowance. For example I want the "2" to be on the front so I cut a bit more in front of the 2. Keep reading if it does not make sense.....

Next you will baste the ribbon onto the front of your quilt using that 1/8" seam allowance again. Press it down 1/4" with your fingers to make sure once the sewing happens that your "2" will show. See above.

Once you are happy with the placement of the ribbon, start with the binding. Place it half way down the ribbon, see above. Start sewing along the edge of the binding and continue on the way you always sew a binding. A single fold is done exactly as the same way as a  double fold binding.

Once you come back to the beginning, cut the binding with a slight overlap. Not much....

Not too much or it will be bulky.

Here's another picture of the over lap.

Very carefully sew those 2 edges together as shown above. You can skip this step but I feel like it keeps things neater and is easier to sew.

Next flip up your ribbon and press well so it lays flat. I will now press the entire binding from the front of the quilt to give the edges a nice sharp crease.

Fold the binding once along the raw edge of the quilt and fold again, sew the binding down as usual.

Fold in the ribbon, trimming off any excess, and sew as usual. I love to use my clips which makes the sewing very easy.

It should look like this.

My "2" looks good!

The back looks great too!

My quilt is complete!

Give this a try. It is so much easier than trying to wrestle with the mitered edge of a binding on a small quilt. I also think it adds a fun touch.
I would only do this on a quilt that is not going into the wash. It might hold up but I don't know.....



  1. Kelly, you are a binding wizard to come up with this! I make a lot of mini quilts/pot holders/mug rugs and this technique will save me many headaches and lots of grunting! Your instructions are perfectly written and photographed. Thank you!

  2. Great tutorial! You are a great teacher.
    I love that stripe binding :)
    I have your flower quilt up in my sewing room, love it!

  3. This is adorable! I love the little accent ribbon in the binding, totally going to borrow that idea!! And increasing stitch length on the matchstick quilting is such a great idea, I honestly never even thought about that but I bet it really helps keep the quilt from getting so stiff. Thanks for taking the time to share these awesome ideas!

  4. Thank you so much for the tutorial! It will make it a lot easier for mini quilts. I will definitely give this a try.

  5. Brilliant! Now to invest in some of that twill tape...

  6. Very interesting! What a unique way to handle the meet-up point. My practice is to sewn binding on as four separate strips, so I can't apply this to myself, but I will sure keep it in mind if I find myself coaching a quilter who sews continuous binding. It's a good idea!

  7. Love your striped binding. It really sets off the tulip quilt. And I have never seen this method of ending the binding - it sure looks easy! Thanks for linking up with Design Wall Monday, Judy

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