Rainbow Binding Tutorial

While working on my Dare to Dresden quilt, I decided I wanted to have a Rainbow-striped binding for it using some of my hand-dyes.

Here is how I did it:

I first cut 2” strips (22” strips) of each of my fabrics and then I sewed them together along the long edge of the strip – staggering them 2” from the end:  I only put six strips together like this to make cutting easier later. 


I made sure to press each seam open.  This reduces the bulk.  I do this when joining my binding regularly anyway. 


The next step (no photo, sorry) is to take a longer ruler and line up the 45-degree mark with one of the seams and cut the staggered ends off creating your strait line.  Then it is just as simple as cutting each bias strip 2-1/2”.  To keep it accurate, line the 45-degree mark up on a seam to make sure your angle is still accurate.

Once your strips are cut, ,then just join your strips together end to end as you would normally for bias binding strips, pressing seams open.

If you have more colors/fabrics that you want to use (for instance in a 12-step rainbow), just make different sets of strips and then join them together when making the length of the binding, alternating strip sets, continuing until you have enough binding to complete the perimeter of the quilt.

Once you have your binding strip made ( folded and pressed in half) – here are some tips to help you attach it easier:

Leave a 12” opening with 12” tails on both ends for joining the binding seamlessly.  I use “the binding tool” for joining the ends of my binding together.  Instructions can be found on the tool.

I also sew with a 3/8” seam.  I like my bindings to be tight, but completely filled and even.  This is how I get them and still able to get crisp mitered corners:

First, take a square post-it note and fold it in half diagonally.  I place it in the corner as below and sew to the post-it note.


Follow the stitching along the edge of the post-it note to the corner of the quilt.


Take the post-it note and flip it to lay in this direction below.



Use the post-it note as a guide for folding:  Flip the binding fabric as the photo below and fold it there.  As you are holding the fabric down in that position, carefully pull out the post-it note.


Place the post-it note in the corner of the quilt as below. Again, use the edge of the post-it note as a guide to fold.  Flip the binding back along the edge of the quilt


Flip the binding back along the edge of the quilt. 


Carefully pull out the post-it note.  Until you get really good at holding this edge without pins, I suggest pinning the binding down.  This creates a nice, even fold for the miter.


Now you just sew from the edge all the way to the next corner where you repeat the steps above.



I have been doing my binding like this for over a year and have not had a horrible corner, even when a seam ends up in the corner like it seems to inevitably.


10 thoughts on “Rainbow Binding Tutorial

  1. Pingback: I Triple Dare You | A Peach in Stitches

  2. Your rainbow block is so pretty. I love it. Thanks for the tutorial in the binding I am a new quilter and need all the tips I can get

  3. Great rainbow Dresden plate and thanks for the binding tutorial. Interesting to see a different method.

  4. Love your rainbow and appreciate the binding tutorial. Very informative. Even old quilters can use new methods.

  5. Oh the colors turned out so very beautiful!! I love the whole quilt, especially the binding!

  6. I’m glad for a new tip always. I have an “old” friend and she has never finished a quilt. She has one to the stage that lacks the binding. Maybe this tutorial is the trick that she needs for the corners that will help her. She is a perfectionist through and through. I have no idea what is holding her back, so maybe so maybe this will help her to finally tackle this chore for her to finally finish her first finish. Thank you. I have two quilts to bind for twin great niece and nephew and I’m going to give this a go for those as I too am a perfectionist and am always looking for a sure fire method. Many thanks. And we will certainly welcome you back to the mainland and hope you find peace here.

  7. I tried your mitering technique and I love it. It works so well. I even made myself a template for the post it note triangle out of plastic. It works well. Thanks for sharing. I love the rainbow binding too.

    • You can make the template out of anything; the important thing is the shape. I had one out of cardboard I used, but I kept loosing it. I now just use post-it notes because I always have post-its on my desk and if I lose one, I can just grab another.

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