Finishing Irregular Quilt Edges Without Binding

Sometimes it gets tricky when you need to bind a quilting project with irregular edges. So here is a simple method I like to use for finishing my quilt rugs without using binding. This method is also great for finishing table runners, placemats, Christmas tree skirts, and other small or medium size projects.

The concept of finishing without binding is that the quilt top and backing are quilted individually and are sewn together once quilted. Therefore, you will need 2 pieces of batting (1 for front & 1 for back), that are a few inches larger than the size of your project.

Front Of The Quilt

  • With the right side facing you, lay your finished quilt top on a piece of batting
  • Pin or spray baste to hold these 2 layers together
  • Stitch in the ditch or custom quilt as you like
  • Once quilted, baste stitch around the edge of the quilt top for stability, approximately 1/8″ away from the edge
  • Trim away the excess batting by cutting around the edge of the quilt top
Finishing Irregular Quilt Edges Without Binding

Back Of The Quilt

  • With the right side facing you, lay the backing fabric on top of your second piece of batting (both pieces should be a few inches larger than your finished quilt top)
  • Pin or spray baste to hold these 2 layers together
  • Quilt as you like using basic techniques…it does not have to be fancy on the back, but it is a great place to practice free motion quilting if you wish

Assembly

  • Place the front piece on top of the back piece, with right sides facing each other and pin them around to hold the layers together
  • Sew around the edge of the front layer, with a 1⁄4″ seam allowance, leaving a 6″-8″ opening at the longest edge for turning
  • Trim away the excess backing by cutting around the edge of the front piece
  • Clip the concave corners to release tension and cut off the bulk around the convex corners, being careful not to cut through the stitching
  • Turn your project right side out through the opening, using a point turner to smooth out the seams from the inside and make the corners sharp
  • Press the edges with steam from the back side
  • Top-stitch around closing the opening & you are done!
Finishing Irregular Quilt Edges Without Binding

Additional Tips

If the edges of your projects are too complex and it’s hard to leave an opening for turning, you will need to make a few minor adjustments:

  • Front Of The Quilt – Finish as described above
  • Back Of The Quilt – Finish as described above, then cut backing in half and sew it back together with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 6″-8″ opening in the center
  • Assembly – Finish as described above, but do not leave an opening along the edge as you already have it on the back of the quilt…so after turning, simply sew the back opening by hand with an invisible ladder stitch and then top-stitch around
Jelly Roll Fox Rug Quilting Pattern
Roxy The Forest Fox Jelly Roll Rug Pattern

About Author

IraRott

I am a fiber artist and a pattern designer from Southern Ontario, Canada. I love working with fabrics and yarns to express my ideas. Crocheting, sewing, knitting, quilting - is my happy place.

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