Workshop Wednesday: Binding a Quilt with Extra Style


The holidays are just around the corner, which means that many quilters are intently working to finish up projects they want to give as gifts (including yours truly). You don’t need a lot of extra time to add a special finishing touch to a quilt in the form of a piped binding or flanged binding (sometimes called a faux-piped binding). For such a narrow strip of fabric, these techniques of binding a quilt add an extra pop of color in an unexpected place and lend an almost artisanal look.

I’ll be honest: sometimes when I’ve seen a piped or flanged binding my reaction has been, “Well now you’re just showing off,” particularly on complex quilts on which the quiltmaker had clearly already spent a lot of time and energy. Binding a quilt takes a number of different steps as it is, so I’m always impressed when someone adds yet another detail when they’re so close to the finish line.

But as you’ll see, if you’re going to put the best of yourself into a quilt, adding a flanged binding doesn’t have to take that much more time to result in an elegant finish. Of the two methods, a piped binding is more involved than a flanged binding; piping adds an extra dimension of, well, dimension, whereas a flange is flat and may be part of the overall binding.

Piped binding

binding quilt with pipingIn this full video tutorial she did for “Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community,” Karen Charles, event specialist for Husqvarna Viking, demonstrates how to bind quilts using piping. Her first hint is to test the piping for shrinkage using a steam iron. Karen uses a binding foot on her sewing machine for this technique, but recommends using a zipper foot if a binding foot is not available. She also shows how to create a scalloped edge to the quilt binding. The full video tutorial is available for viewing here.

binding a quilt - how to add quilt piping with a serger

National sewing educator Pam Mahshie joined Marianne Fons on an episode of “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting” to share her favorite edge finishes and demonstrate how to add piping to a quilt with a serger. Pam showed Marianne how to make covered piping fast and easy, how to add rick-rack for a fun accent, and how to make unique wave edge piping with a serger. The full episode is available for viewing here.

Flanged binding

binding a quilt - finishing the medallion quilt with a flange

In an episode of her “Quilt Monkey” series, Katy Jones demonstrates how to add a flanged binding precisely to give a special quilt an extra-special finish, but with less work than a piped binding. In this case, Katy adds a wider flange than you’ll see in some of the other tutorials, which just shows that you can adjust measurements to achieve the look you want. The full episode is available for viewing here.

binding a quilt with machine sewn flanged binding

“Quilt Binding: Flanged Binding by Machine” featuring former McCall’s Quilting associate editor Sherri Bain Driver is a full video tutorial that demonstrates how to create and apply an all-machine-sewn flanged binding.

binding a quilt jenny-kae-flange

In her Lessons in Creativity video series, Jenny Kae Parks went into some of the details of adding a flanged binding to a quilt, including how to join the ends so the seams match up. You can watch the full video tutorial for free on our website.

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