Learn how to bind an inside corner so you can finish even those unusually shaped quilts. It’s easier than you think!
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Usually when you need to bind a quilt there’s four corners and they’re – you know – regular rectangle corners.
But sometimes the shape you’re dealing with is something other than a plain usual rectangle. Maybe you were feeling super adventurous and designed a funky quilt with inset corners. Or maybe you’re making something other than a quilt. Yes, friend, that IS an option. People do make things that are not quilts.
I’ll give you a minute to recover from that.
You alright? Ok, so a great example of a thing that is not a quilt but still needs to be bound, is our Christmas tree skirt. You can see just by looking at it that there are some suspicious corners there. And you might think ‘But Ula, how on Earth can I ever bind that? There’s no possible way!’ But there is, my friend. There is.
What is an inside corner (or inset corner)?
When talking about binding an inside corner, what we mean is binding any corner that is inset. That means that the binding will be sewn around a corner that is larger than 90 degrees.
Sometimes it’s a 270-degree corner (so it’s still a ‘right’ angle, but inset) and other times (like with our tree skirt) it’s a random angle. It doesn’t matter, which situation you’re dealing with. The process is actually pretty much the same.
Want to see? Here we go.
How to Bind an Inside Corner Step by Step
Here is how you bind an inside corner. As I’ve said, we are demonstrating on our Gift Wrap Christmas tree skirt, where there are lots of all kinds of corners to bind really. But as you can see we’ve got quite a few inside corners (with a pretty wide angle). This same tutorial will work for other angles as well (as long as it’s an inside corner). So if you’ve got a 270-degree inside corner, follow the same steps – the only difference is mitering the corners which we cover in Step 9 here.
Steps to bind an inset corner:
Using a long stitch, sew a stabilizing seam along the edge of the quilt. You want the seam allowance to be a little less than ¼’’ (so it doesn’t show after you’ve attached the binding with a ¼’’ seam allowance).
Pay special attention at the corner, making sure you get the same distance from the edge when you rotate the quilt around the corner.
Using scissors, clip into the corner. Go close to the stitching, but don’t clip all the way to (or across) the stitch!
Begin attaching the binding along the chosen edge of the quilt using a ¼’’ seam allowance. I am starting at the back of the quilt (but you can start at the front if you plan to finish it by hand later on).
As you reach the inside corner, mark a parallel line ¼’’ from each edge of the quilt on top of the binding. The intersection of the two lines marks the pivot point.
Stitch slowly towards the pivot point and stop when you reach it. Make sure the needle is down inside the quilt right in the pivot point. Lift the presser foot and rotate the quilt.
Open the corner (the cut we made in step 2 will allow you to do that), and align both edges of the quilt so they form a straight line. (You will get a pucker of fabric on the left side of the presser foot.)
Continue the stitch with a ¼’’ seam allowance along the second edge of the quilt. Finish sewing the binding on this side of the quilt (this means sewing all the way around the quilt and connecting the binding ends).
After the binding is attached on one side, you’ll see there’s some excess binding fabric right in the corner (where you cut the seam allowance on your quilt). Using your fabric scissors, cut out a ‘V’ shape into the binding fabric to help the corner lie flat.
If your corners are closer to 270-degrees, you’ll want to miter the binding. This means you’ll create a 45-degree fold of the two edges. This will happen naturally as you fold the binding edges over one after the other.
In our case, we’re dealing with a very open corner. That means that’s not that much etra fabric in the corner, so we’ll just wrap the binding around and sew.
Wrap the binding around the edge of the quilt and pin in place, if you want.
Stitch along the edge of the quilt to attach the binding to the other side (top, in my case) of the quilt.
As you reach the corner, go slowly to the corner pivot point. Leaving the needle down, lift the presser foot and rotate the quilt. Continue sewing along the second edge. (If you’re binding a very open corner here you might want to pivot slowly as if you were making a very small curve.)
Continue stitching around the edges of your quilt until you reach the beginning of the stitch.
Voila! You’ve just bound an inset corner. It’s really easier than you think, so don’t be scared and just go for it!
And if you want to make a Christmas tree skirt for the next holiday season, you can get the pattern in our shop!