If you have the ambition to make a quilt, you will eventually have to face the often daunting task of calculating and attaching binding. How to calculate binding for a quilt is a skill that can seem overwhelming, but with a few easy steps and some simple math, you can take the guesswork out of your quilt’s border and make attaching the binding a breeze. In this article, we’ll step you through the process of measuring the quilt, creating a binding plan, calculating the fabric requirements, cutting the strips, and completing the finished binding for a beautiful heirloom quilt.
Calculating Target Quilt Binding Length
Creating a quilt binding is an important step in the quilting process. It not only helps the shape of your quilt and its overall structure, but it also adds a decorative touch. To get the look and feel you want, you need to calculate how much binding you need. This section will provide you with all the steps needed to calculate your target binding length and attach it to the quilt. By the end of it, you’ll be better-equipped to create perfectly bound quilts on your own!
Measuring the Quilt
One of the most important steps when creating a quilt is measuring the quilt accurately. To do this properly, you must measure each side of the quilt individually, as minor discrepancies can add up when measuring the quilt overall and may affect the size of the bindings. Use a soft cloth or plastic measuring tape and measure from edge to edge, going both horizontally and vertically. You should also double-check the measurements to make sure that you have done so accurately. Do not forget to measure across diagonals and then compare measurements from different areas of the quilt. Be sure to record all measurements with a pen or pencil so that you can refer to them later when calculating target quilt binding length and determining the number of fabric strips to cut.
It is important to be as precise as possible when measuring a quilt, as it has a direct bearing in the amount of fabric you need to purchase and how many quilt binding strips you will need to cut. Additionally, accurate measurement can help you ensure a good fit when applying the binding to your quilt. It is a good idea to write down the measurements and double-check them against each other and against the quilt’s finished measurements. As you measure, you should also take note of any irregularities in the quilt’s size, such as corner points or angled seams, as these may affect your calculation of the quilt’s total length when you come to the binding stage.
Much of the quilt-making process relies on accurate measurement and calculation. Knowing how to measure a quilt accurately is a fundamental skill that needs to be mastered before attempting to create a quilt. Taking the time to measure each side of the quilt properly and making note of any irregularities present will ensure a smooth process and an attractive quilt as the end result.
Creating a Quilt Binding Plan
Once you know the measurements of the quilt top, it’s time to move on to creating a quilt binding plan. Depending on the look you want, the type of binding you select will vary. It’s important to note that a single fold quilt only requires one layer of quilt binding, while a double fold quilt requires two layers.
For a single fold quilt, the binding strips need to equal half the measurement of the perimeter of the quilt top. For instance, if the perimeter of the quilt was 80 inches, the total length of binding strips would have to equal 40 inches.
For a double fold quilt, the binding strips need to equal the measurement of the perimeter of the quilt top. For instance, if the perimeter of the quilt was 80 inches, the total length of binding strips would need to equal 80 inches.
Once you know what type of quilt binding you want and the total length needed for the binding strips, it’s time to move on to calculating the fabric requirements. Here are a few tips to help you create an effective quilt binding plan:
• Divide the total length needed for the binding strips by the width of the fabric you wish to use. This will tell you the number of fabric strips you need to cut for each of the four sides of the quilt.
• If you need more than one strip for each side, adjust the length a bit so that the strips will be slightly more consistent on each side.
• Remember to add a few extra inches of fabric for bias cuts or mistakes when cutting, such as in the case of a double fold quilt.
• Choose a fabric that will coordinate with the colors in the quilt top itself, or pick a bolder color to bring the design of the quilt alive with a pop of color.
Calculating Fabric Requirements
A key part of calculating fabric requirements for quilt binding is understanding the process. This involves measuring the quilt to determine the precise size, creating a quilt binding plan, and calculating fabric requirements.
To get the most precise measurements when calculating fabric requirements for a quilt, it is important to measure each of the four sides of the quilt separately. Using a measuring tape, measure the length and width of each side of the quilt.
Once the quilt has been measured, it is important to create a quilt binding plan. This plan should include how many binding strips will be needed to go around the quilt and how long they should be. This plan should factor in the size of the quilt, the size of the strips, and the type of fold used for the binding.
After creating a binding plan, the next step is to calculate the fabric requirements. The fabric required for quilt binding will vary depending on the size of the quilt, the size of the binding strips, the number of binding strips, and the type of binding used. To calculate the amount of fabric needed, start by multiplying the number of binding strips by the binding strip size. Then, divide the length of the quilt by the number of strips to determine the width. Then, multiply the length and width together to get the total amount of fabric needed.
List of Fabric Requirements
- Measuring tape
- Quilt Binding Plan
Cutting Quilt Binding Strips
Once you have a quilt binding plan and the right fabric, it’s time to start cutting the quilt binding strips. The width of the binding strips will depend on the binding plan you created and the specific quilt you’re working on. Generally, quilt binding strips should measure 1.5″ to 2″ wide.
When you have determined the width of the binding strips, start cutting. You can use a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat for precise cuts. If you’re looking for an even faster way to cut large amounts of quilt binding strips, you may choose to use a strip cutter.
These are the steps to get accurate results:
1. Cut strips out of the fabric widthwise at the desired width.
2. Measure and mark the vertical cutting lines of each binding strip. For instance, if you’re cutting 1.5″ wide strips, use a ruler and a fabric marking tool to mark 1.5″ vertical cutting lines.
3. Carefully cut along the marked lines to make the binding strips.
4. Once you have finished cutting out the binding strips, stack them neatly.
5. Optional: Calculate the total length of each quilt binding strip to make sure you have enough to completely bind the quilt.
Sewing Quilt Binding Strips
Sewing quilt binding strips together is the next step on the way to having a finished quilt with a finished binding. Before you get started, you need to make sure that the quilt binding strips are all the same length. If they are not, you will need to make some adjustments before sewing them together.
To join the quilt binding strips together, you’ll need:
- The quilt binding strips
- Measuring tape
- Sewing machine & thread
To start, lay out the quilt binding strips on a flat surface. Take one of the strips and line it up with another strip. Pin them together at one end and begin sewing a seam ¼ inch in from the end. When you reach the end, do not back stitch. Instead, leave the seam open. When you have finished sewing, press the seams open and place the seam allowances towards one strip.
Repeat the process for all of the strips. When you are finished sewing the strips together, make sure to press the seams and trim any excess threads. Now that you’ve created one long quilt binding strip, you’re ready for the next step in creating your quilt binding.
Attaching Quilt Binding to the Quilt
Once the quilt binding has been prepped and ready to attach to the quilt, the process is fairly straightforward. Begin this step by pressing the quilt binding strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Start at one of the quilt edges and pin the folded binding to the right side of the quilt. Make sure the raw edges of the binding are flush with the quilt edge, with the folded edges on the outside of the quilt. Continue to pin the binding in place, making sure that the quilt and binding still line up properly.
To attach the binding to the quilt, use a straight stitch and a 3/8” seam allowance. Sew the binding to the quilt, remove the pins as you sew, and stop when you reach 1/4” before you reach the corner. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end of the seam to strengthen the binding.
When you reach the corners, stop 1/4” before you reach the end of the previous line of stitching. Then place the next side of the binding at the corner, making sure the binding is folded to the side of the quilt. Place the next line of stitching at the crease in the corner and over the binding, continuing from the corner to the end of the binding.
Repeat the same process when attaching the binding to the other three sides of the quilt until you reach the starting point. To connect the two loose ends of the binding, line up the raw edges of the binding pieces and fold the end of the binding into a 45-degree angle. Pin the diagonal fold and sew a 3/8” seam allowance. Trim the extra fabric and press open the seam to finish the binding.
Overall, attaching binding to a quilt requires the following steps:
- Press the quilt binding strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together
- Pin the folded binding to the right side of the quilt
- Sew the binding to the quilt, removing the pins as you sew, and stop 1/4’’ before you reach the corner
- Place the next side of the binding at the corner, making sure the binding is folded to the side of the quilt
- Stitch from the corner to the end of the binding
- Repeat for the other three sides
- Connect the two loose ends of the binding by lining up the raw edges and fold the end of the binding into a 45-degree angle
- Sew a 3/8’’ seam allowance to finish the binding
- Trim off extra fabric and press open the seam
Finishing the Quilt Binding
Now that the quilt binding strips have been attached to the quilt, it is time to finish the binding for a lasting, professional-looking quilt. After the quilt binding is attached, the edges of the binding need to be folded up and the raw edges secured to the back. This can be done by hand, but for best results, use a machine for this step.
Here are some tips for finishing the quilt binding:
- Before folding, press the raw edge of the binding up away from the quilt.
- Fold one side of the binding over the quilt and press to the other side of the quilt.
- Create a crease along the fold with an iron.
- Edgestitch the binding to the quilt on both edges, securing the raw edge.
- Use contrasting thread so the stitches can be seen.
- Use a walking foot on the machine to keep the top and bottom layers of fabric from slipping.
- Check the quilt edges while sewing to ensure the binding is lying flat and the edges are even.
- If using a machine, stitch around the entire quilt before trimming and overlapping the binding at corners.
- Fold the overlapping corner and stitch in place to complete the corners.
Once all the corners are finished, the binding can be trimmed if needed. When attaching the last cut edge to the quilt, backstitch and tack the binding down at both ends to secure. Take care to fold the binding neatly for a polished look, pressing as you go. And voila! The quilt is now finished with beautiful binding.