Friday, August 20, 2010

A Tutorial: French Binding...Ooh,la,la!

There are many options when adding binding to your quilt....I have had a lot of success using a French Binding and here is the method I use.

To begin I measure the perimeter of my quilt top and add 10 inches to that measurement...that will be the amount of binding I will need to cover the quilt top.

I cut my strips 2.5 inches (from selvedge edge to selvedge edge)... 
Sew the strips together by placing two strips perpendicular to each other and right sides facing...draw a line from the top left corner to the lower right corner.
Stitch on the drawn line....and trim away the excess fabric....

Stitch all strips end to end in the same manner.
Once all the strips are stitched together - press lengthwise wrong sides together....

Open the strip up and...
Take the top right hand corner of your binding strip and bring the corner down to meet the bottom of the strip...
Fold the strip together again...this will become a pocket a little later.  You will begin and end stitching at this point.
I usually begin adding the binding to the quilt top about 1/3rd. of the way in on one side of the quilt.  Place the raw edge of the binding strip to the raw edge of the quilt top...
Begin sewing (1/4 inch seam allowance) with the binding open.  Mark with a pin 1 inch past where the bottom of the folded corner meets the binding strip.  Stitch from the top of the binding to the pin - which is marking the 1 inch mark.
Now fold the binding together again and begin stitching again at the point where you ended stitching at the 1 inch mark....
Now you have created the pocket where the end of the quilt will be tucked in!
Continue stitching until you are a 1/4 inch from the corner of the quilt...then stop and take the quilt out of the machine.  Fold the binding straight up....
Then fold the binding back down.  Start stitching again a scant 1/4 inch from the corner.  Now the binding will be added to the next side of the quilt.
Repeat this for all four corners of the quilt.
Once the 4th corner is complete....and you are nearing the pocket ( beginning of the binding)...line the remainder of the binding up with the point where you began stitching the binding (both layers of binding)....
Cut the excess tail of binding to this slip the tail into the pocket...
Stitch from the where you stopped to the point where the binding is stitched together with both layers....fold the binding over to the back of the quilt and stitch by hand.
I hope this is clear...and helpful....just drop me a line if you have any questions :)


  1. Great tutorial thanks, and a super-sweet quilt!

  2. Hi Mary, I just found your site. Love it and love your style! My binding is exactly the same way! Thanks! Alia in Muscat and I agree with Bellgirl; this quilt is so sweet!

  3. Hi Mary i just used this tutorial on a dolly quilt and it is fantastic! Thanks for sharing it - i am converted!!

  4. Thank you Mary. I was having trouble with my corners.

  5. I am using your tute again today for binding! Had to refresh my memory on the pocket. I just love the "no math" way of joining the ends! Tuck in and sew!!! Thanks Mary!

  6. why oh why have I only just seen this??!! I hate ending my binding and can never get it right. This method is just so perfect (and very Mary!!). I love it and will definitely use this method from now on... pocket, genius! Thank you :)

  7. I just used this method on a quilt today for the first time. Awesome awesome awesome! I love not having to stitch the two ends together. Will definitely do this again in the future! Thank you. :)

  8. I'm trying to start Quilting These Tutorials will help me Thanks

  9. This is a great tutorial! I haven't seen this method before. I always struggle trying to get those ends to look perfect and I fail everytime! This is great! Thank you!

  10. This tutorial is great! I always have a bit of a fight trying to make the ends perfect! Thank you!

  11. So glad I've seen this. Thank you for sharing <3

  12. Well, well, well...isn't that ingenious!! Thanks for sharing this method!! I will definitely give it a try!!

  13. Wow this is fantastic and wished I'd seen it earlier. Will definitely be using this for my next quilt. Thank you for sharing :-) x

  14. Mary ... That's Brilliant ... I have been quilting for 35 years. It is nice to be able to still pick up a new tip. Thanks.

  15. Hello - So I was curious how I do it if I wanted a wider Binding?