Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reversible Binding Tutorial

Last month I finished a quilt that was pieced by a good friend that passed away suddenly.  I agreed to finish her UFOs  to give to her family. After quilting this one, which goes to one of her sisters, I realized I did not have any good fabrics for the binding.  The final border was a wide red print, so it was a bit challenging to find something to go next to it that looked good.  After searching my stash, I finally found what I thought would work perfectly, but it was only a half yard cut.  Since this quilt was 80" x 110" I knew that would not be enough fabric for a traditional double fold binding. The solution -- make a reversible binding.  My calculations said I would need 10 strips of binding which would require around 25" for a traditional binding; but for my reversible one, I only needed 10 inches. Yes, it will work.!!

So for those who who asked how I made this reversible binding, I will try to show and explain what I do.

Cut enough strips of both colors (front & back) to fit the circumference of your quilt.  Cut the front color 1" wide and 1.5" for the back color. 

Next fold the 1.5" piece in half with raw edges together.

Lay this folded piece on top of the 1" front strip, with right sides together and sew them together with a 1/4" seam allowance.
I used dark thread here so you could see the sewing line better. Typically I match my thread to the fabric colors.

Finished binding, ready to attach to quilt.
Now take this "newly made binding" - all 400" here
and sew it to the front of your quilt in the usual way. Starting in the middle of one side of quilt, place the right side of the 1" strip to the front of the quilt, raw edges even with each other. The folded piece (tan in pic) is pushed out of the way to the left of the 1" strip (red stripe) and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.

When you come to the corner, use your same technique as if it were one piece of fabric.  Stop 1/4" from corner back tack a stitch or two, cut thread and take it out of machine; turn quilt and fold binding up away from quilt and back down even with the raw edge of quilt edge.  This should form a 45 degree angle next to the quilt corner.  This forms a mitered corner on the front of quilt.

Starting at the top, continue sewing 1/4" seam allowance down the next side as usual.  As you come to each corner, the technique is the same.
Continue down next side

When you finish all the way around, you can join the beginning and end in your favorite way. I usually join them on the diagonal the same way I make my original binding strips, but with this one, I chose to join them with a straight perpendicular seam because of the red and white striped fabric.

Here's the finished  binding on the quilt from the front.

And from the back.

I hope this tutorial helps you if you decide to make a reversible binding. This was my first attempt at making a tutorial like this, so if you have any questions, please let me know. 


  1. Very nice tutorial! In fact, if you hadn't showed pictures, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have figured it out :) It looks like you iron the seam towards the 1" strip and it would lay next to the front of the quilt when the binding is turned to the back for sewing. Is that correct?

  2. Nice tutorial, Dar! What a great technique for those times you don't have enough fabric!

  3. Thank you! I'm going to save this for the next time I'm short on the fabric I'd like to use for binding.

  4. Thanks for sharing, you had mentioned this technique a while back. It makes more sense now that I can see the steps.

  5. I've never heard of binding this way. Your tutorial is great. I plan to try this on my next finish. Thanks!

  6. You did a great job -- on the binding AND the tutorial. Barb's sister will love it, and Barb would have been proud of you. She's the one who taught me that binding trick. ((hugs))

  7. This is a very clear tutorial, and a very good result. I did this once, a little differently, I think, but I can't remember. I'll use yours next time.

  8. Very helpful tutorial Dar - Thank you for writing it! I have thought about doing a binding with two fabrics.