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Tutorial – Quilt Binding with Mitered Corners

February 9, 2008

Updated 4-25-12 with new and improved pictures!

In honor of Sew, Mama, Sew’s quilting month I am finally getting around to posting this pictorial tutorial (say that 10 times fast!) on how to do quilt binding with mitered corners. There are plenty of fabulous tutorials out there (like Heather Bailey’s, for example), but so many of them had drawings that I decided to do one with real live pictures.

Another mini/doll quilt ┬áis going on the wall of Cosette’s room, ala Hillary Lang’s doll quilt wall.

Pink Love Mini Quilt

Pink Love Mini Quilt

Pink Love Mini Quilt

I’m binding a doll quilt here, and I like my binding pretty narrow, about 1/4″ wide. I cut my binding strips 1 1/8″. I figure 1/4″ finished binding on the front and back, plus 1/4″ seam allowance on the front and back, plus 1/8″ for quilt thickness.

(If you prefer a wider binding: For example if you want it 1/2″ wide, cut your binding strip at least 2 1/8″. Match your raw edges, and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance. You can add a 1/8″ or more if you have a thicker quilt, too. I use very thin cotton batting, so that’s all I usually need.)

I don’t usually use pins here because I think it’s easier to match my raw edges as I sew. Start your binding strip in the center of the bottom of your quilt, and fold the raw edge over 1/4″.

Binding with Mitered Corners 1

Working on the front of the quilt, with right sides facing each other, match the binding and quilt edges and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance. When you approach the corner, stop 1/4″ from the end of your quilt. I like to backstitch here.

Binding with Mitered Corners 2

Fold the binding strip straight up, creating a diagonal fold.
Binding with Mitered Corners 3

Being careful not to disturb the first fold, fold the strip straight down.
Binding with Mitered Corners 4

Now, matching raw edges and starting at the very top, sew this length with the 1/4″ seam allowance. Again stopping 1/4″ from the edge. (Remember, if you making 1/2″ thick binding, use that measurement instead.)
Binding with Mitered Corners 5

When you get all the way around, overlap the edges of the binding strip. The bottom layer should be folded over 1/4″ so that no raw edges will be sticking out. (Or check our Heather Bailey’s method for continuous binding… I think this works just as well, and is easier. You can always run a few hand stitches in there to hold it down nicely).
Binding with Mitered Corners 6 Binding with Mitered Corners 7

Once you have sewn the binding all the way around, fold it open and press.
Binding with Mitered Corners 8

Flip the quilt over and press your seam allowance about 1/4″ (Or up to 1/2″ if making the thicker binding).
Binding with Mitered Corners 9

Make sure that when you fold it again to sew it to the backing that the binding will cover the stitching from attaching the binding. Yup, this’ll do to cover my stitching from the front!
Binding with Mitered Corners 11

Fold the binding over the back and pin into place. Making sure that you have the 1/4″ seam allowance folded all around the corners also.
Binding with Mitered Corners 10

Fold straight across the corner.
Binding with Mitered Corners 12

Then just fold the next side over and pin. You can tuck a little in the corner if needed and adjust your fold so that you have a perfect mitered corner.
Binding with Mitered Corners 13

Hand sewing the binding into place:
Binding with Mitered Corners 14

With your thread coming up through the fold of the binding, insert the needle at the same point in the backing. You only need to catch a few threads, not more than 1/8″ or a few mm.

Working parallel to the binding, bring the needle up and through the first layer of the binding. Again just catch no more than 1/8″ of the binding, and bring the needle up through the fold of the binding seam allowance.

When you get to the corners take a stitch or two in the same fashion up the mitered corner and back.

Repeat, repeat, repeat! With a little practice you should be able to have a beautifully finished binding with invisible stitches!
Binding with Mitered Corners 15

White side is machine stitched, pink side is hand stitched.
Pink Love Mini Quilt

Hope this helps for those of us who are visual learners. Please let me know if there is anything I can add to make this tutorial better. I love to get feedback.

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36 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2011 8:27 pm

    Thanks! Just what I needed today. I’ve finished quilts by turning the top fabric over the back and by “making and envelope” and turning the quilt right side out. Never tried binding before, but this project crys for a proper binding. Wish me luck.

  2. Judy Jennings permalink
    December 10, 2011 2:20 pm

    Thank you, I have had so much trouble trying to find a tutorial that has clear pictures and instructions. This is excellent.
    I have just about been ready to chuck the whole quilting business (have only just discovered quilting) because I couldn’t get the back of the mitred corner (when binding is folded over) figured the stitching on to the front part, but not the back UNTIL now. So thank you so very, very much :-)

  3. Jeanette permalink
    February 21, 2012 10:32 pm

    Very helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Becky Owens permalink
    March 18, 2012 10:20 pm

    Thanks–the corners always give me a fit! Hope this will help mine look as nice as yours!

  5. Kim permalink
    March 23, 2012 12:00 am

    Do you have any suggestions for if you are folding over the backing to create the border on the front?

    • Wendy permalink*
      April 4, 2012 5:52 am

      The plus to doing that is being able to machine stitch it from the front nicely, and your stitching won’t show much on the back. Unfortunately, I have not done that recently (or necessarily successfully) any time in the recent past!

  6. July 3, 2012 3:54 am

    This was SO helpful. Thank you for such a detailed post!!

  7. July 21, 2012 3:05 am

    This was just what I was looking for! Thank you so much for this great tutorial. Now i can finish my first quilt.

  8. August 4, 2012 6:06 pm

    Thanks, this is really helpful to me, very clear :)

  9. helen permalink
    October 20, 2012 4:08 am

    Love this tutorial! Thanks!

  10. Kris Hittler permalink
    November 20, 2012 1:18 am

    This was so helpful. I am binding my first quilt…and looked at several tutorials. This was by far the most helpful. Thanks!

  11. Janet Burson permalink
    November 29, 2012 5:06 am

    This was a great help to me as I was making a quilt for my granddaughter and I had forgotten how to make a mitered corner.

  12. Sue Cooper permalink
    February 28, 2013 11:52 pm

    Thank you so much for this visual tutorial. I am just completing a quilt for the first time and this took away the stress of wondering just how to do it correctly. I just turned my first corner and it is looking beautiful!

  13. March 7, 2013 9:28 pm

    WENDY, Could you put pictures of folding over the back to make a nice seam on the front on the internet??????????????

    • Wendy permalink*
      March 7, 2013 10:57 pm

      Unfortunately, I just don’t have time to do that! Sorry.

  14. Kym Howe permalink
    April 8, 2013 11:46 am

    Thank you for your help have been dreaming about how I could mitre the cornersof the first quilt I have made for my grand daughter.I have had several attempts and several unpickings. I love the tutorial and clear instructions.

  15. Kathy permalink
    April 22, 2013 11:55 pm

    Thanks so much for your very clear tutorial. I’ve watched this done before, but always have to have a reminder when i give it a try. This is one I’ll bookmark for the next time!

  16. Maria morales permalink
    May 6, 2013 11:19 pm

    Just finished quilting my grand baby quilt and this will help me . Thanks

  17. Cassandra permalink
    May 25, 2013 4:17 am

    This is great for us visual learners!! I really like that it is photographs rather than pictures, makes it much clearer. Thankyou for taking the time to do this :o)

  18. June 7, 2013 8:07 pm

    I have no problem doing the binding on the back, but I go through fits trying to miter it on the front. Isn’t that weird? This looks good–fingers crossed it helps me :)

  19. CJDickinson permalink
    June 27, 2013 8:50 am

    This was a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much for putting it on the web. Easy to follow, and perfect corners.

  20. Mary Jane Peden permalink
    August 30, 2013 2:24 am

    What do you do if you want the binding to be, say 1″ wide, or do you not do that? I tried but, the corners just wouldn’t come out right… very frustrating.

    • Wendy permalink*
      August 30, 2013 2:41 am

      You’d need to cut it wide enough. I’d probably do like 2 5/8″ strips (width of binding x2, plus seam allowance x2, plus a pinch for thickness). Press a 1/4″ seam allowance on the binding, and line up the pressing line at 1 inch from the quilt edge (that’s the tricky part). When you get to the corner, you want to sew to only within 1″ of the edge.

  21. Maggie Walker permalink
    September 27, 2013 8:28 pm

    I just used this technique for the first time and for the first time I don’t have a quilt that puckers at the corners!!! Thank you SOOOOOO much.

  22. October 4, 2013 7:54 pm

    Thank you so much! Finally, something clear enough to understand – the pictures instead of sketches are perfect.

  23. October 7, 2013 8:06 pm

    I’ve been watching youtube tutorials, like about 10 of them and was completely confused. Thank you for a great tutorial. Now to go sew my corners!

  24. October 24, 2013 8:53 pm

    Came across your awesome tutorial by doing a Google search! Thanks for this, I’ll be using it soon! :)

  25. Darla Halker permalink
    November 16, 2013 1:19 am

    Very helpful! Thanks.

  26. December 23, 2013 7:10 pm

    I have searched over and over for a tutorial on binding quilt corners. This one I can do! Thank you so very much. Very clear, concise, and looks easy enough. I’m off to try it out.

  27. maida permalink
    July 13, 2014 7:06 am

    Searched through 5 quilting books for just this info to no avail. Thank you so much for the clear explanation, now I can finish my quilt beautifully!

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