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10 easy steps to a no binding finish for small quilted projects


My little project is definitely coming together. And to think I had such a creative block at the beginning of the week. Yesterday I showed you how easy it can be to sew curves using 4 steps the right way.

I’ll use a no binding finish for the placemats which means I have to finish before I can start the circle designs. Are you ready for the no binding finish in 10 easy steps?

Small projects lend themselves very well to this technique of no binding using the flip and quilt finish. What exactly does this mean?

To start there’s no binding on the finished piece. Instead the piece has been sewn together, all three layers, then flipped so that everything is right side out and the opening that’s left is sewn together by hand. Then the quilting is done.

Follow these simple steps for this no binding flip and quilt technique.

Step 1 Cut all three layers – backing, batting and top – the same dimension.

Step 2 Lay the top on the batting so all edges match evenly. The top will be right side up.I like to use a 100% cotton batting for placemats because it’s a low loft batting and lays flat. Perfect for placing dishes on.

Step 3 Lay the backing on the top with right sides facing each other.

Layer the three layers - batting, top and backing
Layer the three layers – batting, top and backing


Step 4 Pin the layers together leaving the outside edges free. The curved basting pins are perfect for this step. They come in a couple of sizes – 25mm and 38mm – I prefer the larger ones.

Step 5 Sew around the outside edges leaving an opening large enough to pull all three layers through. When sewing, stop a ¼″ from the corner leaving the needle in the down position, pivot and sew down the other side. Use a neutral colored thread for this step such as gray or beige. I used a ⅜″ seam allowance for this step but a ¼″ will also work.

I like to mark my starting and stopping points with a flathead quilting pin so that I don’t accidentally sew the whole piece and forget to leave the opening.

Mark start and stop of stitching with pins
Mark start and stop of stitching with pins


Step 6 Clip the corners with small cuts so that they lie flat when turned.

Step 7 Pull quilt through the opening so that everything is right side out.

Opening to pull quilt through
Opening to pull quilt through


Step 8 Make sure that each corner of the piece is flat and forms a perfect corner. You can use a round ended awl to poke the corners out. I used the end of my Unique Sewing seam ripper as it’s rounded and won’t poke through the fabric possibly causing a hole or tear.

One placemat pulled through and one half way through the opening
One placemat pulled through and one half way through the opening


Step 9 Iron flat and pin together again before quilting and sewing up the opening.

Step 10 Hand sew the opening closed. I’ve tried to match a thread that won’t show on either the green or blue fabric. I’m using a Gütermann polyester thread in a medium gray.

Ready to hand sew opening close
Ready to hand sew opening close


This is definitely a quick method of finishing, especially when the piece is really too small to warrant binding. And it looks good too.

Now that the 3 layers are together it’s time to quilt it.


All ready for quilting
All ready for quilting


So why not try the no binding finish in 10 easy steps for your next small project such as a trivet, placemat or pot holder? Join me tomorrow, we’re cutting perfect circles for the Rolling Snowman Placemats!


This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Sure fire method for sewing curves – no pins or clipping required

Go to part 5: 5 steps to perfect circles using the TrueCut 360°

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!


  1. Sue Thornton

    I always have a little bit of trouble with the miter corners. Thank you for the information.

  2. Barbara woods

    Greateeat tute

  3. JoyceLM

    Thanks for the great tutorial. Putting a binding on a small project is a pain, whether it’s single or double fold, so now I have another option.

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