Pretty In Pink Quilt Along – Part 5

Today will be the last post on the Pretty In Pink quilt along.


My quilt is finished and there are just one or two things left that I can talk about.  I am just going to go over a couple of things about the binding.


First of all, the seam allowance when it comes to binding.  There are a few people out there that do a 1/4″ seam allowance for everything related to quilting.  When it comes to binding, this is one of the times when you get to break that rule.  Your seam allowance actually depends on a few things – what width you cut the binding and things like the thickness of your batting.

I cut my binding for this quilt 2 1/4″.  Your seam allowance for attaching the binding to the quilt will be roughly 1/6th of the cut size (because the binding is folded in half, then it’s folded three times).  One sixth of 2 1/4″ = 3/8th of an inch, so that is my starting point for the width of my seam allowance.  This does not account for the thickness of the batting, etc. so it’s best to sew a little bit and then test it.


To test it, I fold the binding to the back side and make sure that the folded edge just meets the sewing line on the back side.  If it folds way past, then I make the seam allowance a bit wider.  If it doesn’t quite meet the seam line, then I make the seam allowance a little narrower.  My pet peeve is an empty binding – which is what happens when you take too small of a seam allowance.  I like full bindings – in fact,  I sometimes call them voluptuous binding to really get my point across.



I will also show how to miter the corners, though I’m sure many of you know how to do that.  The first trick is knowing where to stop by the corner – and you guessed it – It may not be 1/4″.  It’s actually the width of your seam allowance.  So If you seam allowance was 3/8″, then you need to stop 3/8 of an inch from the corner and back stitch.



Take the quilt away from the machine and turn it so that the next side to be bound is ready to go.



Fold the binding tail straight up.  Pull it all the way up until your back stitching stops you.



Now fold it down, so that the fold is even with the top edge of the quilt, and continue sewing.  Repeat on the remaining 3 corners.



Lastly, let’s talk about what to do when you get all the way around the quilt and what to do with those tails.



There are lots of methods for what to do – but I like a no math, no cutting angles, no lump method.


First of all, leave an 8-10″ tail when you start and at the end.  Cut off a scrap piece of binding and lay it next to the beginning binding tail like this –



Now overlap the other tail and cut it, using your scrap of binding as a “pattern” as shown below.  So – the overlap is always equal to the width of your binding (in this case, 2 1/4″).  I just use a scrap of the binding so I don’t have to go get a ruler and measure it.    It’s that easy – no measuring, no math, cutting at angles, or adding seam allowances.  Just cut the overlap of the tails to the width you cut the binding.



Now lay the two tails right sides together as shown (just like how you sew your binding strips together at an angle – I should have taken a picture of this, but I assume that you all know that you sew the binding strips together on the diagonal to reduce bulk).  The pin shows where I will be sewing them together.



Now sew the seam



And cut off the corner, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance (again – the same as how you sewing binding strips together and trim them)



Now, just tuck the binding back in half and it should fit the quilt perfectly!



Finish sewing the seam.   You will now have a continuous binding and you won’t be able to tell where the last seam was.



For help with the hand stitching, I have a tutorial already posted here.  If you don’t already use the method and tools that I recommend, it should save you a lot of time!


I will do a few more quilt alongs throughout the year – Do you have any requests of things that you want to learn more about?  Or can you tell me which tip you found the most helpful?  Your feedback will help me know what to focus on!  Thanks for the feedback and thanks to those of you who joined along.

About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
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8 Responses to Pretty In Pink Quilt Along – Part 5

  1. Christine says:

    Thank you for the tip about the seam allowance for binding. I had never stopped to figure it out mathematically. Good to know – start by dividing the width of the binding by 6. And then test it.

  2. Nancy says:

    Just read your tutorial on sewing on binding. What a good idea. I personally love sewing on binding as it means the project is nearly done. I’ll give it a try next quilt. The one thing I have trouble with is picking out fabrics. So I tend to buy kits where someone else has done the work! I also have trouble being scrappy! I’m too much of a control freak. Am working on projects from your last book. Actually gifts for next christmas.

  3. Colleen Gander says:

    Your tutorials are helpful both for beginners and for more experienced quilters who may need an alternative method or a refresher. I would also be interested in your take on combining colours as I would love to be able to use my stash instead of just reproducing the work of others. Often it is their choices that draw my eye to begin with but I really need to start using up what is on my shelf. Thank you for inspiring my creativity.

  4. charlotte m. says:

    Thank you for showing how to sew the binding together where it meets. I have struggled with that. Your method is so easy and so clear. I can’t wait to try it out.

  5. Olivia says:

    I absolutely love that you are demonstrating the pretty, and nearly invisible way to bind. I’ve bound things this way since childhood and cringe at the thought of doing it all fold-over and lazy (in my opinion). Love it!

  6. Thanks for the great binding tip; it will come in handy many times over! I am still struggling with the piecing; we went on a 10-day vacation, so that threw me behind. Next time I do this pattern, I may stitch all the charms together, then slash and insert the white sashing across the entire piece, one strip at a time. For now, I am s-l-o-w-l-y getting these bitty pieces together, but even with a good machine (Bernina) and quarter inch foot, I struggle for perfect (or even near-perfect) alignment. I know it’s great practice, but I will never be a Super Quilter, LOL!

  7. Diana says:

    Your tutorials are great!! Thank you! Very helpful. Hey, in your spare time could you write another great book of patterns & include lots of incredible tutorials?? 😀 as always love your blog & Instagram feed – thanks so much for sharing.

  8. susanmp14 says:

    I’m confused when you say “the binding is folded in half, and then it’s folded three times”….what? When do you fold it 3 times. I’m very confused. The rest of your tutorial is very clear. As you can tell, I’m new to this.

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