Pile of striped binding

Hey Everyone, welcome back to Technique Tuesday.

I know most of us already know how to do this but there are new quilter’s out there who are still figuring out many things about quilting. One being how to calculate how many strips to cut for the binding. Not to mention how much fabric to buy for the binding.

Calculating the Number of Strips to Cut

Step 1: Add together the measurements of the two vertical sides of the quilt. For example: the vertical sides each measure 63 ½″, multiply x 2 = 127 inches

Step 2: Add together the measurements of the top and bottom of the quilt. For example: the top and bottom each measure 42 ¾″, multiply x 2 = 85.5 inches.

Step 3: Add the two totals from step 1 & 2 together to get the total measurement for all sides of the quilt. For example: 127 + 85.5 = 212.5 inches.

Step 4: Using 40 inches as the average length of a strip of fabric divide it into the total from step 3. For example: 212.5 divided 40 = 5.31.

Note: Most width of fabrics (WOF) are more than 40 inches so the extra amounts can be used for the amounts needed at the corners and for sewing the strips together.

This quilt requires 5.3 strips. Also take into account leaving tails at the start and finish for connecting the binding at the end. I would round the 5.3 up to 6 and cut 6 strips x WOF for the binding which means there will be some wastage but better to have too much than not enough.

How Wide to Cut the Strips

I like to cut my binding at 2 ¼″ where as some cut it at 2 ½″. I find that the 2 ¼″ works really well to have a nice full binding with no unfilled fabric at the edge of the binding.

Other widths can be cut but then one must figure out what seam allowance to sew it onto to the quilt to obtain the look one wants and to have enough fabric to wrap around to the back be sewn in place.

The 2 ¼″ and 2 ½″ strips can be sewn on with either a ¼″ or ⅜″ seam allowance leaving ample fabric to wrap to the back.

Amount of Fabric to Purchase

The amount of fabric required can be calculated by multiplying the number of strips x the width of the strip. For example: 2 ¼″ x 6 = 13 ½″ which is approximately 0.35 metres of fabric.

I would round this amount up to 0.4 metres and if pre-washing the fabric I would round up to 0.45 metres to account for any shrinkage.

So there you have it – an easy way to calculate number of binding strips needed and the amount of fabric to purchase.

For further info on binding check out my tutorials on how to make binding, how to attach binding and bias binding.

Happy Quilting!

Jen Transparent Signature