How to Sew On Binding on a Quilt with the Edge-Joining Foot

This is a quilt tutorial to learn how to sew on binding on a quilt. I'm showing step by step how to get double-fold binding, also known as French binding and I'm using the edge-joining foot to bind this little quilted placemat.

With the instructions below you will achieve nice, crisp mitered corners and a thin, clean bound edge. It is an ideal method for small items like placemats, where you want a narrow binding.

double folded binding on a placemat

This type of quilt binding is a very strong and durable binding, as you will have two layers of fabric on the bias going over the edge, which is why I prefer it for things that are going to be washed often. But you have choices!

If you don’t need it to be particularly durable and don’t want to be bothered with bias tape, you can cut 2” fabric strips on the straight of grain and sew them together. Also, if you want a wider binding, simply use 2½” tape and a scant ⅜” seam.

Materials used to sew binding on a quilt

You will need

the tools and material you need to add binding to a placemat

1. Preparing the Quilt Binding

The first thing we need to do is to fold the bias tape in half lengthwise. If you are using pre-made, commercial tape, you will need to iron out the folds first, and then fold it in half.

If you want to make bias tape yourself and you don't know how to, go to our blog about making your own bias tape.

Simply match the edges and press gently, taking care not to stretch the tape.

Once we attach the quilt binding, it will be folded in three, but not all three folds will be the same width, as we need to take into account the turn of cloth, plus the fact that we want the bottom fold to extend slightly beyond the top one.

how to press bias tape for a quilt binding

2. Sewing the First Seam

This seam will be hidden, so you can use any thread color. Lay your tape on the edge of the quilt, starting away from the corners; match the raw edges, and make a mark two to three inches from the beginning of the tape.

Pin if you need to, place the mark you just made under the presser foot and start sewing a quarter-inch seam.

I like to use my quarter-inch foot with guide for this, as it helps achieve a neat, regular width seam (if you’re not familiar with it you can find a manual about the quarter inch foot on the webstore and a blog about joining blocks with the quarter inch foot on the Madam Sew blog).

using the quarter inch foot with guide on a sewing machine to add quilt binding to a project

3. Making the Mitered Corners

1. Stop about an inch or two before the corner. You can use your ruler or seam guide to mark ¼” from the edge, or you can use the pivoting guide on your ¼” foot.

2. Continue sewing slowly and stop with the needle down on the mark (or the pivoting guide on the edge).

3. With the needle still down, lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric so that the corner is right in front of the needle. Sew the small diagonal line to the corner and cut the thread.

4. Fold the tape at a straight angle away from the quilt.

how to add mitered corners with the binding on a placemat

5. Now fold it back along the next edge, making sure the fold is aligned with the first edge.

Start sewing from the edge and continue until you reach the next corner. Repeat until you come to the first side again. Stop sewing about two inches from the original edge of the tape (mark the spot with a pin).

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4. Joining the Ends

1. Lay the end of the tape over the beginning and trim it so that they overlap for one inch.

2. Use your nail or a hera marker to mark a straight line in the middle of the overlap.

3. Unfold the tape, pin right sides together, and stitch down the mark you just made.

4. Trim the seam allowance to a quarter inch and finger press it open.

Fold the tape back down, and finish the seam, back tacking at the end.


5. Turning the Binding to the Back

Give the binding a quick press to push it away from the seam

adding binding to a quilted placemat, press down the binding with a hot iron

Turn it to the back and make sure the folded edge goes over the stitching line, pin carefully from the folded edge to the outside, being especially careful with the corners (you can even press them for extra safety). Long flower pins are perfect for this job.

6. Stitching-in-the-Ditch

Thread your machine with a color that matches the quilt top and use a bobbin with thread matching the binding. Snap on your edge-joining foot and make sure your needle is on the center position.

Place the quilt right side up, with the foot’s guide to the left of the seam you just sewed.

Lower the needle and start sewing slowly, gently guiding the seam against the guide. The pins will be awkward to pull out, especially if you are dealing with a full size quilt, so you have permission to sew over them (gasp!) as long as you do it slowly.

When you get to the corner, slow down and stop right at the intersection with the needle down. Lift the presser foot and pivot the quilt 45 degrees to continue down the next side.

Repeat until you reach the beginning; sew a few stitches over the first ones and backtack.

All done! Just trim those threads and admire your finished binding.

binding with bias tape on a placemat
mitered corner on a placemat with bias tape

I hope this tutorial made it clear how you can use the edge joining foot to sew binding on a thin quilted project like this placemat.

The edge-joining foot is one of my all time favorites, how about you? Do you have a favorite foot? Let us know in the comments!

Happy quilting!


Blogging for MadamSew

For more turorials and inspiration about quilting and sewing scroll through our Sewing and Quilting Blog articles and find free patterns, step by step instructions, youtube videos and more.


Other great tutorials about quilt binding

- Binding a quilt using the binding foot

- How to selfbind a Quilt

- Three Binding Hacks

- Making Quilt Binding with the Bias Tape Maker Set


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