Finishing the Quilt’s Edges

Finishing the edge


finishing the edges

Learn about some of the different methods to finish the edge of your quilt.

download transcripts  Video transcripts:

There are many different ways to finish the edge of your quilt.  The most popular method is to use binding which protects the edges of your quilt from a lot of wear. After your quilt top has been layered with the back, batting and top, and then quilted; you cut off these raw edges.   Binding is applied to this edge.  It’s sewn in place.  I’ll put a pin here where the stitches would be.  Then it is folded over to the back and then stitched and that’s how it finishes off the edges.

I wanted to share some samples of alternate methods for finishing off the quilt’s edge.

You could layer the back, the batting, and the top together.  And instead of applying binding to the edge, you could take the top, with right sides together to the back and then sew all around the edge leaving a little area, an opening, to turn your quilt inside out.  And you would get something that looks like this. You’ll notice there’s a seam on the edge here.  There’s no binding. This works great with a small quilt where you don’t need to put in a lot of quilting. You’ll notice there’s no quilting in here at all.  But if you want a lot of quilting, this method makes it difficult to get the layers lined up properly for your quilting stitches.

Another way to finish the edges is to make a sort of chenille like on this quilt.  You layer the back, the batting’s cut a little bit shorter, and top.  You take your scissors and you cut about every ¼ inch or 1/8 of an inch.  And then after you finish doing this fringe all the way around the quilt, you throw it into the washing machine to get this sort of fuzzy edge.  This is a different look. It works well with a rag quilt but I am going to say this makes a mess when you wash it.  And I don’t recommend using this method on all of your quilts but it is fast and easy to use.

Let’s look at this third method here.  Now on this quilt (this is a very old quilt) and it’s kind of hard to see but I’ve taken the back and I’ve pulled it all the way around to the front and I’ve made this binding.

So here we go.  I’ve got the back, the batting and the top of the quilt.  And basically the back has to be cut a little extra large.  And I am going to fold that, and fold it over.  And I’m using the back to sort of finish off the edges of this quilt.

Some quilters prefer this method over binding.  This works best on a quilt that doesn’t get a lot of wear or washings.

In this video series, I will show you how to make a double fold straight of grain or cross grain binding like this and then how to apply that binding to the edge of your quilt to finish it off like this.  You will find more videos about binding at


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