Master the Art of Quilting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing Bias Binding on Your Next Project

The art of sewing is a beloved tradition that allows us to create beautiful and functional items with our own two hands. And one technique that every skilled seamstress should have in their repertoire is how to sew bias binding on a quilt. Bias binding not only serves as a finishing touch to your quilt, but it also adds durability and strength to the edges. In this article, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of sewing bias binding on a quilt, so grab your needles and thread, and let’s get started!


Bias binding is a narrow strip of fabric that is used to encase and finish the edges of a quilt or any other sewing project. It is an essential element in quilting as it not only adds a decorative touch but also strengthens and protects the raw edges of the quilt. Sewing bias binding on a quilt can seem intimidating at first, but with practice and patience, it can become second nature. In this guide, we will discuss the steps to sew bias binding on a quilt expertly.

What is Bias Binding?

Bias binding is a strip of fabric cut diagonally from the grain line of the fabric instead of straight across. This means that the threads in bias binding run at an angle instead of parallel to the selvage edges. The diagonal cut gives bias binding more stretch and flexibility, making it perfect for finishing curved edges such as those found in quilts. Bias binding is available in different widths and can be made from various fabrics such as cotton, satin, silk, or even lace.

Why Use Bias Binding on a Quilt?

There are several reasons why quilt makers use bias binding to finish their projects:

1. Strength: Bias binding helps reinforce and protect the raw edges of a quilt, making it more durable.

2. Flexibility: The stretch and flexibility of bias binding make it easier to sew around curved corners and edges smoothly.

3. Aesthetics: Bias binding adds a finishing touch to a quilt by encasing raw edges neatly, giving it a polished and professional look.

4. Versatility: Unlike straight grain bindings, bias bindings can be used on any type of edge, whether straight or curved.

Gathering Supplies

Before you start sewing bias binding on your quilt, you will need to gather all necessary supplies:

1. Bias binding: You can purchase pre-made bias binding or make your own by cutting strips of fabric on the bias.

2. Quilt with unfinished edges: Ensure that your quilt top, batting, and backing fabric are ready.

3. Pins or clips: To hold the bias binding in place while you sew.

4. Sewing machine: A machine with a straight and zigzag stitch will work best for sewing bias binding.

5. Scissors or rotary cutter and mat: To trim excess fabric and cut the bias binding to size.

Cutting Bias Binding

If you are making your own bias binding, follow these simple steps to cut it:

1. Calculate how much binding you need: Measure the perimeter of your quilt and add an extra 10-12 inches to account for corners and overlaps.

2. Cutting the strips: Cut 2-inch wide strips of fabric diagonally from your chosen material until you have enough to cover the perimeter of your quilt plus extra 10-12 inches.

3. Joining the strips: Lay two strips right sides together at a 90-degree angle and sew them diagonally from corner to corner. Repeat until all strips are joined together, then trim off excess fabric and press open seams to create one long continuous strip of bias binding.

Sewing Bias Binding on a Quilt

Now that you have all the supplies ready let’s dive into sewing bias binding on a quilt in detail:

Step 1: Open up your pre-made or homemade bias binding and align its raw edges with the raw edges of your quilt top, starting at one corner. Leave about a 6-inch tail hanging loose at the beginning, which will be used to join two ends later.

Step 2: Pin or clip the binding in place, ensuring that it is evenly aligned and smooth. Start sewing along the edge of the binding, using a ¼ inch seam allowance.

Step 3: When you reach a corner, stop sewing ¼ inch before reaching the corner and backstitch. This space will be filled by the tail that was left hanging loose earlier.

Step 4: Fold the binding up at a 45-degree angle to create a neat corner, then fold it down again, aligning with the next edge of your quilt. Make sure that you have created a diagonal fold so that there are no gaps or bunching at the corner.

Step 5: Continue sewing along the next edge, making sure to stretch out any wrinkles or tucks as you go.

Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 for all corners until you reach where you started sewing. Trim off any excess binding leaving about an inch extra.

Step 7: Overlap the beginning and end of your binding strips and cut them so they overlap by about an inch.

Step 8: Unfold both ends and overlap them to create a diagonal seam. Sew along this diagonal line and trim off any excess fabric.

Step 9: Fold over and tuck in

Overview of Sewing Bias Binding on a Quilt

Bias binding is a strip of fabric that is cut at a 45-degree angle to the grain, making it stretchable and ideal for binding curved edges such as those on a quilt. It adds a finished and polished look while also providing durability to the edges of the quilt. Sewing bias binding on a quilt may seem daunting, but with the right technique and some practice, it can be easily achieved. In this guide, we will take you through step-by-step instructions on how to sew bias binding on a quilt like an expert.

Choosing the Right Bias Binding

Bias binding comes in various widths, colors, and materials. When selecting the bias binding for your quilt, consider its width and if it matches your desired look. For thinner bindings, you can fold them in half to make them thicker or opt for wider bindings if you want to make a statement with bold edges. Choosing a color that complements your quilt will also enhance its overall appearance. If you’re making a quilt that will be frequently used or washed, opt for a sturdier material like cotton or linen.

Preparing the Quilt

Before you start sewing bias binding onto your quilt, ensure that it is fully pieced together and pressed flat with all threads trimmed. It’s also important to decide which side of your quilt will have the binding – traditionally it goes on the front side but you can also choose to bind from the back.

Applying the Bias Binding

To begin sewing bias binding onto your quilt, open up one end of your fold-bound bias tape and align it with one edge of your quilt top; leave around an inch-long tail end extended beyond each edge. Start sewing at one end of this gap angle by stitching along exactly where you have folded.

Pinning the Binding

Pin down the length of your binding onto your quilt using straight pins or clips. Be sure to match the raw edges and pay extra attention to any curves to ensure a smooth and evenly bound edge. Continue pinning until you reach the next corner of your quilt.

Mitering Corners

To miter each corner neatly, keep sewing completely past this corner’s earlier fold line, then stop an inch from this quilt’s bottom edge. Pivot and fold your bias binding diagonally so it lines up with your quilt’s bottom raw edge, right sides together; flatten it back down in the other direction and sew on. Repeat this for all remaining corners.

Joining Binding Ends

Once you have sewn all around, leave an inch-and-a-half distance between where you stopped stitching and where you commenced when attaching the binding – making sure these two ends meet precisely across. Draw a diagonal line and mark on these 1.5 inches; below, mark one or more inches from either side. Sew along these marked lines.

Securing the Binding

Fold the still-sewn bias tape back over its earlier stitching line together with your previously pressed-under half-inch seam allowance then pin it to cover up that exposed overlap – just barely! Throughout, secure with pins/sparky clippings through all layers at once – you’ll see why NOT baste stitch.

Sewing in Place & Finishing Touches

Stitch-in-the-ditch along this recently exposed seam both of which will again leave an easy-to-see line that measures precisely 0.5 inches away from just a purely decorative look in non-busy borders where simpler quilts might look inappropriate at very busy seams’ sets.It’s important to iron out any creases and ensure that the edges are straight as you go. Once you reach the end, trim any excess binding, and fold the edges to tuck them in. Finally, stitch along the entire bound edge to secure it in place and create a neat finish.

Mastering sewing bias binding on a quilt takes practice and patience. However, with these step-by-step instructions, you can easily achieve a professional look for your quilts. Just remember to choose the right binding, prepare your quilt properly, and take your time while applying the binding. With these tips in mind, you will be able to sew bias binding on a quilt like a pro!

Q: What is bias binding and why is it used on a quilt?
A: Bias binding is a long strip of fabric that has been cut on the diagonal of the fabric grain. It is used to cover and secure the raw edge of a quilt, providing a neat and durable finishing touch.

Q: How do I determine how much bias binding I need for my quilt?
A: Measure the perimeter of your quilt and add 10 inches for corners and overlapping ends. Divide this number by the width of your chosen bias binding strip to determine how many strips of fabric you will need.

Q: What tools do I need for sewing bias binding on a quilt?
A: You will need your quilt, bias binding strips, sewing machine, coordinating thread, pins or clips, scissors or rotary cutter, and an iron.

Q: How do I attach the bias binding to my quilt?
A: Start by unfolding one end of your bias binding strip and pinning or clipping it to the raw edge of your quilt. Leave 2-3 inches of unattached binding at the beginning. Sew along the edge of the unfolded strip using a ¼ inch seam allowance.

Q: How do I join two ends of bias binding together?
A: When you reach a corner or come back to where you started, stop sewing about an inch away from where you began. Cut off any excess binding leaving a few extra inches. Fold over one end and tuck in the other end to create a diagonal fold. Sew across this line to secure, trim off excess, then continue sewing around your quilt.

Q: How do I finish attaching the bias binding to my quilt?
A: Once you have sewn all around your quilt, fold over the remaining unattached end onto itself so that it overlaps with the beginning of the binding. Sew across this overlap, trim off excess fabric, press the binding away from the quilt, and then fold over the binding to the back of your quilt and hand stitch it down for a clean finish.

In conclusion, knowing how to sew bias binding on a quilt is an essential skill for any quilter. Through this process, quilts are not only given a professional and polished finish, but the overall quality and durability are also enhanced. To successfully sew bias binding onto a quilt, it is important to choose the right fabric and accurately measure and cut the bias strips. Properly sewing and attaching the binding with precise stitching will ensure a neat and seamless finish.

Furthermore, understanding how to miter the corners and securely attach the binding to both sides of the quilt is crucial in creating a clean and professional look. While it may seem daunting at first, with practice and patience, anyone can master this technique.

In addition to enhancing the appearance of a quilt, sewing bias binding also serves as an opportunity for individual creativity. Quilters can choose from a variety of fabrics, colors, prints, and even experiment with decorative stitches or trims to add their own personal touch.

It is also worth noting that learning how to sew bias binding on a quilt goes beyond just creating beautiful pieces of art. It teaches valuable skills such as precision cutting, accurate measurement, attention to detail, and patience – all of which can be applied in various aspects of life.

In conclusion, mastering the art of sewing

Author Profile

Jill Nammar
My name is Jill but everyone calls me Jilly. I design original cross stitch patterns inspired by vintage French and flowers. Roses are my muse.
I hope you have a cozy time stitching my patterns. Put the kettle on, relax and create a heartwarming piece of hand-embroidered art. Personalize your home and turn up the soulful charm with soulful stitchery.

My goal is to provide you with pretty patterns that promote peaceful stitching. My wish is for you to discover the gentle beauty of hand-embroidery.My patterns have been featured around the web and in Homespun Magazine and Boston Magazine. I find my bliss in cross stitch.

From 2024, I have embarked on a new venture—writing an informative blog on the “Embroidery and Cross-Stitch” niche. This blog is an extension of my passion, where I share detailed posts and respond to queries related to embroidery and cross-stitching.

The blog covers a wide range of topics from beginner tips, pattern creation, historical insights, and the therapeutic benefits of stitching. My goal is to build a community where enthusiasts can learn, share, and grow in their embroidery skills, ensuring everyone can find their own bliss in cross-stitch just as I did.

Thank you to all my customers and readers who have supported Sew French. Your kind emails, photos of completed patterns, and continual encouragement fuel my dedication to this beautiful craft. Join me in stitching a world of beauty and peace, one pattern at a time.