How to Easily Calculate Strip Binding

I hate waste. I try my best at every step to maximize each piece of material's potential - after all, fabric is expensive! When I first started quilting, there was so much to learn. Things that are second nature to me now were gibberish then ("what the heck is a WOF?!"). So when I got to the binding stage on my first quilt, I wanted to make sure I wasn't overdoing it on the number of strips.


So I consulted our friend Google and found lots of blogs and websites with charts and diagrams for binding calculations. While I love a good chart, I just felt like there was an easier way. So...I came up with one!


I'm an accountant by day, so numbers make sense to me. However, I know that math can be daunting if your brain just works differently.


I'll keep it super simple just in case math isn't your jam...


Let's start by determining the things we know:

  • WOF = 42"

  • L = Length of your quilt

  • W = Width of your quilt

For my example, I'm going to pretend like I'm binding a 15" x 20" quilt.



If you think about it logically, we need to determine how long the outside edge of the quilt is (e.g. how long my orange line is). This is how long the binding will need to be. So, for my imaginary quilt:

Length + Length + Width + Width = Total of All Sides

20" + 20" + 15" + 15" = 70"


I will need my binding strip to be 70" long, plus an allowance for the seams and tails at the beginning and end. To see how many strips we'll need:


Total Length Required / Length of Each Strip = Number of Strips Required

70 " / 42" WOF = 1.66 strips


For my little quilt, I would need to cut 2 strips (1.66 + at least 0.25 extra).


If you aren't using yardage for your bindings, that's no problem! Simply replace the 42" WOF value with however long your piece of fabric is. Et voila!


If a video would be helpful, check out my mini tutorial below.


Happy sewing!


Sarah


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