Straight, Double-fold (French) Binding With Mitered Corners

To make straight binding, follow the instructions given in “Straight Binding“.

These instructions are for sewing on a double-fold or French binding. This process can be used for making mitered corners with both straight and bias binding.

Notice that I have not trimmed away the extra batting and backing from when the quilting was done. I leave it on because it gives me better control of the layers and the backing fabric is less likely to get tucks accidently sewn on the back. I just keep the binding lined up along the edge of the quilt top as I go. Some people prefer to trim the excess away before applying the binding. Try it both ways and see which way works best for you.

Start along one long edge of your quilt. Leave a tail approximately 8 inches long. Line up the raw edge of your binding with the raw edge of your quilt and begin sewing.  Begin stitching 1/4″ in from the edge of the binding and quilt top. Take a few stitches backward to begin, then stitch forward. This will hold the tail in place. Maintain the 1/4″ seam allowance while sewing the binding in place.

When you get 1/4″ away from the corner, stop with your needle down. Raise the presser foot and pivot the quilt so that the new edge is showing on the right.

Take a couple of stitches backward. Bring the needle up. Pick up the presser foot and move it to the side. Do not cut your thread.

Fold the binding up at a 45 degree angle so that the raw edges are in a straight line.

Fold the binding down and align the raw edges once again.

Begin sewing at the top folded edge and continue a 1/4″ seam allowance. Line up the raw edges as needed.  This will have made the front half of the first mitered corner.

Continue sewing binding to the edge and fold each corner up and back down as you did with the first corner.


When you have about 12 inches left until you reach the first stitches, backstitch to secure the binding in place.

Open the first tail and lay flat, wrong-side up.

Fold the corner up at a 45 degree angle and finger-press.

Open the corner back up and cut on that folded line.

Open the ending tail and lay wrong-side up.

Lay the first tail, wrong-side up on top and smooth both pieces to be sure they lay flat.

Use the angled cut as a template and draw a line along this cut edge onto the bottom tail.

Draw another line 1/2″ to the left of the first drawn line.

Cut on the second drawn line.

Place the ends of both tail pieces right-sides together and off-set them by 1/4″.  Notice the point on the left is overhanging and that the seam will start in the little valley created by the off-set. Pin and sew a 1/4″ seam.

Finger-press the seam open.

Re-fold the binding in half and smooth into place.

Beginning where you left off stitching, backstitch a few stitches and continue sewing forward until this section has been sewn to the quilt. Backstitch at the end to lock the stitches.

Trim the excess batting and backing. I line up the 3/8″ line on my ruler with the stitching where I attached the binding. Notice the batting and backing extend past the edge of the binding? My preferred binding width is 3/8″ so I just maintain a 1/4″ seam while attaching the binding and then trim to 3/8″.

Turn the binding to the back and either use safety pins or use clips to secure it.

Using a single thread, make a tiny Quilter’s Knot. Insert the needle into the seam allowance and bring the needle up at the machine stitching line. Take a small stitch in the binding, just barely catching the edge. Take a stitch into the backing just off the edge of the binding. (Be careful to not go all the way through to the quilt top.)

Bring the needle up into the edge of the binding and pull the needle and thread through. (This is the same procedure I use for hand applique.)

Continue taking stitches and securing the binding in this manner until you reach a corner. Open the binding and take 2 to 3 stitches attaching the binding to the seam allowance. My needle is pointing to the stitch at about the center. Take 1 backstitch there to secure it.

Insert the needle into the seam allowance at the backstitch and bring the point up at the sewn line on the backing. You can see the thread coming out at the sewn line.

Lay the needle in the seam allowance where you secured the thread with a backstitch. Use this as a guide to fold over the binding until the edge meets the sewn line on the backing. Hold it securely with your thumb.

Use the needle to adjust the binding so that the new edge of the binding meets at the inside corner.

Take a stitch or two in the corner to secure it.

Stitch the corner fold closed on the front and back of the binding. Continue stitching as before, until you reach the next corner. Repeat this process until all edges and corners are secured.

When you take the last stitch, make a tiny knot just off the edge of the binding. Bury the thread in the binding and clip.