“Lump-less” Binding tutorial

by Karen on April 2, 2010

in lumpless binding, TUTORIALS

Last night at the sewing group one of the ladies - Natalie – shared with us a method that she recently was shown for making “lump-less” binding.  There are different tutorials out in the land of internet I’m sure that show this but I haven’t come across this particular way before.  I had seen a different way to do it several years ago but this is a much easier way to accomplish the same thing.  I did a sample piece and took photos as I made it to practice and make sure I remembered how to do it myself.  It will come in handy next quilt that needs binding.  Just pretend that my beige piece of fabric is a quilt :)

this binding is 2 1/2 inches wide, fold it in half, press like you normally do and sew it down with a 3/8 inch seam. Make sure to leave plenty of un-sewn room to work with. For large quilts about a foot on both sides will give you maneuverability room.

from some of the extra binding that you have on your longest end cut a piece off and flatten it out. It doesn't have to be large. You will use the 2 1/2 inch width. Lay that piece on your quilt in the area that your finished binding will meet. (if you make your binding a different size this still works - just use the width of your binding )

straighten out one side of the binding and lay it over that piece of cloth and cut to match up to the end like shown.

Fold the piece that you just cut back and then do the same with the other side.

unfold both of the sides of binding and match to sew together

pin the two pieces together

sew from end to end

cut off the excess

finger press the seam flat and straightened out your binding - see it is a perfect fit. This method takes the guess work out of the equation and makes it exactly the right size.

sew in place to finish your binding.

for the purpose of this tutorial and not wanting to take the time to hand stitch this sample on the back I used spray starch and pressed the binding over to the back so you can see how flat it lays when finished.

When you complete your hand stitching (or whatever method you use) you will be find it hard to find where you finished your binding because of how flat and free of lumps it is. The pin indicated the bias seam that had been sewn together.

I hope this tutorial can help some of you that have not seen this particular method done.  The other way I had seen it done was just to try to judge where to sew the two pieces together by matching ends up – it didn’t always work and sometimes had to be done over again several times – maybe that was just me :) not always the brightest when it comes to new methods!  I always think a picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to quilting.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlotte April 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Karen, that’s a great tutorial. I have managed to learn to match the ends but sometimes the binding ends up being a tiny bit too long. I’ll have to try this. Thanks

Jackie April 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Slightly different than I normally do, but definitely well worth the try. Thank you for sharing. I am always up for new techniques.
.-= Jackie´s last blog ..AQS Review and Loot =-.

kathie April 3, 2010 at 3:56 am

great tutorial, I do something similar but that piece of fabric laid down really takes the guess work out.
.-= kathie´s last blog .. =-.

Vivian April 3, 2010 at 6:35 am

Thanks Karen. It’s usually hit or miss with me on the binding. I will try this on my next quilt.
.-= Vivian´s last blog ..Frustrated! =-.

Dee Jones April 3, 2010 at 7:19 am

You are speedy!! Thanks bunches for posting this on your blog.
Now when my memory laps come on the binding… I know where to
click… (hope that doesn’t laps too!!)
Great to see you at CL…

Karen L April 3, 2010 at 8:48 am

Karen, Yes, this is a great way to make lumpless binding! I also do a similar version like some others already said but I do think this method is a little easier to remember and get right the first time. I sure will be using it next time on my binding too. I always hated to try to sew down binding when there was that huge lump of fabric. Thanks for the great photos. They are so clear as to what you are doing.

anthony April 3, 2010 at 8:54 am

That is so clever. I have students measure. Laying down the piece of fabric as a gauge is so much easier. And places the end seam exactly where you want it. Learn something new every day! Thanks for sharing.

Marianne April 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

Yay! I had been taught the hit or miss method and always did it over and over until I finally just started sewing it by hand. Will try your way next time!

Aunt Spicy April 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Someday I will have to embrace binding. But not yet :-) When I do, I will definitely follow your tutorial!
.-= Aunt Spicy´s last blog ..Today’s Projects…. =-.

Arlene April 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I love this method but always get caught up tring to remember how much over lap is needed the fabric piece makes a lot of sense. I used to have this saved on my DVR when Fons and Porter showed it on there show but that recording has unforunately bit the dust of lost recordings. So thanks for all the photos.
.-= Arlene´s last blog ..Saturday and Easter =-.

Heather April 4, 2010 at 6:40 am

thats essentially what I do, though i lay a rular instead of a fabric guage. Do you press your seam open? I do all the seams in my binding pressed open.
.-= Heather´s last blog ..Recipe Thursday – Easy Food =-.

SewCalGal April 4, 2010 at 11:56 am


Great tutorial! I’ve been using this method for years and really love it. You truly did a fantastic job writing this tutorial. Can’t wait to add it to my list of favorite tutorials and sharing with others.

.-= SewCalGal´s last blog ..Happy Easter =-.

Karen April 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I’m so glad that many of my readers like this tutorial. I just knew when I saw it demonstrated the other night that I needed to share it. It will become my way of doing my binding from now on.

Crispy April 5, 2010 at 6:27 am

What a unique way to do the binding. Thank you for such a wonderful tutorial. I’ve book marked this one to test out next time I do a binding.


Gari April 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Your tutorial was excellent and a new way to do this method.
.-= Gari´s last blog ..Design Wall, etc. =-.

Kelly June 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

Karen, thanks for the tutorial. I finally was able to finish something so I could try this out! Worked very nicely!!!

.-= Kelly´s last blog ..May Blocks =-.

Susan April 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I have never tried your binding method…but I will give it a try on my next quilt! Thanks for sharing!

Fiona April 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Your tutorial is still helping people! Used it last night and it worked perfectly! Thank you!

Cathi May 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

I’ve got to try this method. The method I use works, but this appears much, much better!
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