Easy trick to perfectly join quilt binding

I've always struggled to get the perfect join and fit when joining my binding but with this tip it was perfect first time - and every time!

I know that for many of us, sewing on binding is our least favorite part of a project.  It usually comes at the end after all the other hard work and investment, and is a very visible part of the end result. If it doesn’t look good, then it can leave you feeling let down  🙁

I’ve recently been practicing my binding skills and especially this week practicing on how to join the two ends of the binding at the start and finish, where they meet. I don’t know what I was doing wrong, but I just couldn’t get it right.  It was always wonky somehow, or I’d measure what I thought was the correct amount but then it would end up just that little bit too long and I’d get puckers trying to make it fit.  Arggh.  Frustrating.  Until the lovely Lucy from Granny Sassy Designs, my quilting mentor, showed me the solution to all my binding joining worries.  She makes it look so easy and – it is!  I hope I can explain it properly.

How to join quilt binding

Let’s pretend that this is a quilt, mug rug, wall hanging or some other kind of project I’ve been working on that needs binding around the edge.  You will need to make sure you have plenty of length to your binding, and ideally at least 10 inches extra length in addition to the edge to be bound.  Here I’m just working on a practice piece for ease.

how to join quilt binding

Cut your straight cut binding strips. I’m using 2.5 inch wide binding, folded in half to make it 1 and 1/4th inches wide.  I find this works nicely with a 3/8th of an inch seam.  If you have a very thick batting you may need to allow a little extra in your strip width for that thickness – test it and see, or move your needle to get the seam allowance just right.

First decide where the approximate join is going to be.  If it’s pretty invisible that shouldn’t matter too much, but don’t make it too close to a corner because you’ll need space to work.  I’ve marked my join point with a Sharpie so you can see it.

how to join quilt binding

Leave enough of a tail to cover that mark plus about 2-3 inches and then start sewing about 6 inches away from the join mark.  Sew on your binding with the 3/8th of an inch seam (or whatever you have chosen for your project), and complete all the way around until you get to the final side again. (See this earlier article on how to turn corners with binding.)

how to join quilt binding

As you approach your joining point from the other side, stop sewing about 6 inches away and make sure you have enough binding left over to go past your joining point by another 2-3 inches.

how to join quilt binding

Snip off the extra binding.  If you smooth your binding out now, both ends should overlap and go 2-3 inches past the joining point.

how to join quilt binding

Take some of the extra binding that you have snipped off and open it out to the full 2.5 inches wide.  Line up the binding over the join point so the center crease in the binding is right over your join point.

how to join quilt binding

Mark the top piece of binding on the side away from the stitching, and cut off any extra. Fold this piece of binding out of the way now, this is cut to the right length.

how to join quilt binding

Mark the lower piece of binding on the side opposite to the stitching and cut off the extra.  Now if you overlap the two binding pieces they should exactly overlap the same width as the binding strip. Double check that. Good.

how to join quilt binding

Time to join the two pieces.  Fold the quilt in half at the join point to give yourself some working space.  Place the two pieces of binding right sides together at a 90 degree angle, matching up the ends nice and square like this. Add a couple of pins if you need to.

how to join quilt binding

Then sew from the one corner to the other through both layers.  To double check which direction to sew, the point should be on the right of your needle and the quilt will be on the left. Open out to check you’ve done it correctly and if you are happy, cut off the excess fabric leaving a 1/4 inch seam. Press the seam open – finger pressing should be fine.


Fold the binding back in half, smooth it out even with the edge of your quilt and sew the gap between the two points of stitching.  Your binding should fit in there exactly – like magic!


Now you can turn the binding over to the other side and finish, and you’ll barely be able to see the join. Obviously use matching thread, not the contrasting thread I used for this example.


I stitched in the ditch from the front and caught the back of the binding evenly on the reverse.  The join is nice and smooth, the binding fitted perfectly with no puckers.  Easy when you know how!

Finished binding

More useful binding articles for you:

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10 Responses to Easy trick to perfectly join quilt binding

  1. Marilyn Moir says:

    Hi there I live in South Africa and am new to the art of quilting, I just love it! My quilting teacher has shown me various awkward ways to complete a binding but none as easy as this method…I will have to teach her how now😜Thanks you so much for making my quilting journey even more enjoyable!😘

  2. Lodi Srygley says:

    How can I pin THIS tutorial? I love it! (I pinned a couple on your “pin link”.)

    • Deby says:

      There are a full set of sharing buttons at the bottom of all of the articles so if you would like to pin, just hit the Pinterest sharing button that looks like a P and you should get the option to add it to your Pinterest boards.

  3. Donna G. says:

    Terrific tutorial! Thanks so much for de-mystifying how to do this! I’m printing this out and will use it on a quilt that’s been waiting for binding for months

  4. Angie says:

    Deby as always thank you for the awesome tutorial! I to have always struggled with joining binding, but i am sure with this trick it will get easier! Thank you!!

  5. Leslie says:

    Thank you for this – great tutorial!

  6. Fadanista says:

    What a wonderful tutorial, clear and easy to follow. Thank you so much!

  7. Colleen says:

    Great pictures and description! I’ve done it with a fancy “binding tool”, but the way you show it, no tool is needed.

    My problem is that when I match up the ends and sew on the diagonal, I often end up with an extra twist. I’ve learned to pin baste the diagonal, and straighten it out, just to make sure it’s OK.

  8. Guylaine F. says:

    Thank you so much Deby for this tutorial on how to join the binding. I’m sewing a table runner out of ulphostery samples given to me by a store. This afternoon I was up to the point of joining my double bias tape. Lucky I am, your trick was there for me. At first I wasn’t sure if it would work the same with a double bias tape, but yes, I confirm, it worked very well. Thanks for your clear explanations and so important enhanced photos (with your little arrows)!

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