How to Make Wide Quilt Binding
I don’t know exactly when I started using wide quilt binding on my quilts, but I’m pretty sure it happened by accident and that I thought it was normal when I first started making bindings this size. Wider quilt binding has now become my standard, and I love the way it looks! If you like it, too, you can give it a try with my FREE Quilt Pattern, the Portmanteau Quilt–the style and size of binding I’ll be showing you below looks great on this quilt, and your copy of the pattern will include additional written instructions plus a link to a video tutorial so you can get your wide binding just right!
There were a couple things that were tricky at first for me with making a wide quilt binding:
- losing too much design around the edges of the quilt top, and
- turning those corners!
So today, I’m sharing the method I’ve landed on that solves both those problems!
Prepping Wide Binding
The instructions I’m sharing today will end with an approximately ¾” finished binding and will start with 3 ½” strips. (Read through to the end for how to convert these instructions to any size!). To start, cut your strips at 3 ½” wide–you’ll need to cut enough strips to go all the way around the outside of your quilt, plus a little extra, just like you would with standard size binding strips.
Join your strips end-to-end, then press in half lengthwise–these first steps are just like any standard binding size, just wider!
Prepping Quilt For Wide Binding
Once you’ve got your binding prepped, it’s time to move over to your quilt sandwich. New to quilting? “Quilt sandwich” is a term that refers to your layers of backing, batting and quilt top, all quilted together. Trim your quilt sandwich ⅜” OUTSIDE of the edge of your quilt top. You’ll be cutting through the batting and backing only, with ⅜” of the batting showing around the edges of your quilt top.
After all four sides of your quilt sandwich are trimmed, mark a line ¼” in from the edge of your quilt top (which will also be ⅝” in from the trimmed edge of your batting and backing). You’ll use this line later on at your machine to help you know where to finish stitching each side!
Attaching Wide Binding to Quilt Front
Now it’s time to head over to your machine! Leaving about a 12” tail on your binding, lay your binding about halfway down one side of your trimmed quilt. Line up the trimmed edges of your folded binding along the edge of your quilt top. The ⅜” batting and backing from your trimming step above will still show to the right of your binding strip as you stitch. Position your quilt sandwich and binding. Begin stitching ¼” in from the edges of your quilt top and binding–this will be ⅝” from the trimmed edges of your quilt sandwich. Positioning and stitching your binding this way will allow you to achieve the wider binding look without covering up more than a ¼” seam allowance of your quilt top!
I like using a walking foot with a ¼” guide sole plate for this step, but this is a tool I didn’t have until very recently. If you don’t have one, you can use any ¼” presser foot to keep your stitching at ¼”. OR measure and mark ¼” from your binding and quilt top edge. Position your needle to stitch along that mark. Take note of where along your sewing machine base plate the trimmed edge of your batting and backing falls. Guide your edge straight along that edge as you stitch…
Turning Corners with Wide Quilt Binding
Turning and aligning the corners with a wide quilt binding took me some trial and error to figure out! If you’d like to see a demonstration of this part of the process, go grab a free copy of my Portmanteau Quilt Pattern here. It includes a link to a video tutorial where you can see just how this step works! Keep reading, and these instructions will match the video demonstration!
When your stitching hits parallel to that line you marked at the corner of your quilt top, stop sewing. Rotate your quilt and sew off the corner of your quilt sandwich at a 45-degree angle.
Fold your binding strip along that same 45-degree angle to extend past the edge of your quilt sandwich.
Then, fold the binding strip back over in the opposite direction at a 90-degree angle, lining up the folded edge even with the trimmed edge of your quilt sandwich. Hopefully your binding seams don’t land on your corners like mine did! The trimmed edge of your binding strip will now line up with the next side of your quilt top, with ⅜” of your batting and backing showing.
Head back to your machine and stitch the next side of your quilt! You’ll want your first stitch to land JUST in from the folded edge of your binding. If you stitch past that fold, you might wind up with an awkward, stiff point there when you turn your binding over to the back of your quilt. So give yourself a stitch-length or so from the very edge, then begin sewing with a straight seam, lining everything up just like you did for your first side.
When you reach the next corner, repeat until you’ve made it almost all the way around your quilt, finishing stitching about 12” from where you began! Join the ends of your binding, just like you normally would for a standard binding size. Then stitch the final section of binding to your quilt sandwich.
Attach Wide Quilt Binding to Quilt Back
Do you press your binding as you turn it to the back for stitching? I didn’t always–if you haven’t yet, you should try it! It’s such a game-changer. Once you’ve got your binding stitched all the way around the front of your quilt sandwich, take it to your pressing table. First, press your binding toward the outside of your quilt edges from the front of your quilt. Then flip the whole quilt over to the back to turn and press to the back. You should have just the right amount of width in your binding to cover your stitch line along the back of your quilt!
At each corner, turn and press the first side of your binding with a 45-degree angle at the corner. Next turn and press the second side to create a perfect mitered corner. Continue all the way around your quilt edges.
Attach the binding to the back of your quilt using your preferred method. I sometimes hand stitch, sometimes machine stitch-in-the-ditch from the front, and ta-da! You’ve got a chunky, ¾” wide finished binding on your quilt!
Wide Quilt Binding Measurements
If you’d like to play around with different widths of binding, you can use this same method with different measurements. Regardless of binding size, you’ll line up your binding edges with the edge of your quilt top and stitch in ¼” from those edges, and you’ll fold your binding at each corner so the fold lines up with the trimmed edge of your batting and backing.
Free Quilt Pattern with Wide Binding!
If you’re ready to give a wide binding a try (Or if you just like free quilt patterns!), head over to my website and download a free copy of my Portmanteau Quilt pattern
The pattern includes step-by-step written instructions and fabric requirements for the ¾” finished size binding I described here and a link to my video tutorial showing even more detailed instructions! Plus, it’s a fun, simple quilt pattern I know you’ll love!
And if you’re looking for more, all my quilt patterns include these same instructions for my wide binding. Check them out in my shop, and pick one to try this method on!