While most quilt patterns will provide you with fabric requirements to complete the quilt top and may even give you the amount of fabric needed for the backing fabric, not all patterns include the length of binding needed. ZJ Humbach explains how to quickly and easily calculate quilt binding, taking into account the extra material needed to miter the corners and join the binding ends.
Calculating Quilt Binding
ZJ show how to calculate the amount of binding needed by first determining the finished length and width of the quilt. Once you have those numbers, you simply add all four numbers together. To that total you will need to add 10 inches. ZJ explains that this extra is needed to miter all of the corners and give you enough room to be able to join the ends together using a diagonal seam.
Once you have this final number, which is the total length of binding needed, ZJ shows how to turn that number into the yardage needed for the binding. When determining the yardage needed for a quilt binding, you must know how wide of a strip you intend to cut for the binding. In general, 2 ½” strips are commonly used for standard bindings; however, if you want a thinner or tighter binding over the edge of the quilt, you can use 2 ¼” or 2” strips.
ZJ then shows how to use the strip width and total length of binding needed to calculate quilt binding yardage. ZJ also shares that the number of strips that you need to cut depends on the width of the fabric you are cutting the strips from. Most quilting cotton has around 40”–42” of usable fabric, so know that if your fabric is a different width, you will need to take that into account. Now that you’ve mastered determining fabric calculations for your quilt binding, learn how to bind a quilt.