General Tutorials

Selvage Binding Tutorial


I really appreciate a beautiful selvage, but I rarely cut to save my selvage edges because I am just not sure what I would do with them. Working on several projects recently, I hatched an idea to use beautiful selvages in a single fold binding, and with this quick hot pad experiment, I was able to prove out the method.

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Supplies

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Supplies

I cut my selvage to be 1.25 inches wide, and you will need to piece enough length to match the perimeter of your quilted project. In this example, I had a 1.25-inch wide by 40-inch long selvage edge and a quilted 8.5-inch square hot pad. Note that my thought with using the selvage edge binding is that you want to show off the beautiful selvage, so the finished selvage edge will be on the front of your quilted item.

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Sewing down raw edge of selvage

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Sewing down raw edge of selvage

To begin, place the raw edge of the selvage, right side down, along the edge of the back of your quilted item and sew around the perimeter.

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Sewing down raw edge of selvage

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Sewing down raw edge of selvage

It is my personal preference to sew down the binding with between a 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch seam allowance.

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Sewing down raw edge of selvage

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Sewing down raw edge of selvage

For this simple hot pad, I did not use a mitered join in the binding. When I am doing a straight join on my binding, I like to fold back the binding edges and firmly finger press to leave an indication of where to sew the binding together. I also like to leave a very small gap between the fold. When I match them exactly I tend to have a slight pucker when I finish sewing down the binding around the edge.

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Joining Binding

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Joining Binding

When sewing your seams together to create your selvage binding roll and when joining at the end, I recommend sewing your seam and then reversing back along the seam to help really secure the edge. When the binding is flipped around the edge will be raw and exposed, and reversing back over your seam will keep threads tidy and the joint more secure.

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Joining Binding

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Joining Binding

Once the binding is sewn around the back of the quilt, flip the binding over by hand.

Selvage Binding Tutorial

Selvage Binding Tutorial

And then lightly press the folded binding along the seam.

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Press Binding Fold

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Press Binding Fold

Flipping the selvage around to the front of the quilt, sew down to the front of the quilt. For such a small item, I was able to do this all by hand, but clover clips and pinning will help keep the binding secure and aligned. I also use my “multi-purpose” tool (my seam ripper) to help hold my mitered corners when I am machine sewing down my binding, as you can see below. ;)

Selvage Binding Tutorial - Sewing to Front

Selvage Binding Tutorial – Sewing to Front

Note that I recommend reversing and sewing over the locations where your binding strips are joined together a few times to help keep that joint secure during use.

Selvage Binding Tutorial

Selvage Binding Tutorial

This particular binding left a colorful frame across the back of the pot holder and a lovely selvage frame for the front!

Selvage Binding Tutorial

Selvage Binding Tutorial

I hope this inspires you to cut and use some of the beautiful selvages in your stash.

Selvage Along

Selvage Along

Don’t miss out on the other great inspiration in the Selvage Along!

Selvage Along Schedule Hosted by Quilty Habit and Quilts of a Feather

July 20 Intro post
July 24 – Selvage storage/collection linkup
July 27 Selvage Strip Pillow Tutorial by Jess @Quilty Habit
August 3 – Anna Maria Horner Selvage Feathers Tutorial by Renee @Quilts of a Feather
August 10 –  Selvage Zippy Pouch Tutorial by Chris @Made by ChrissieD + mid-way/check-in linky on both blogs
August 17 – Selvage Binding Tutorial by Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
August 24 – Project by Vera @Negligent Style
August 31 – Project by Jess @Elven Garden Quilts
Sept. 7 – Selvage Churn Dash Project Share by Helga @Cluckin’ Pineapple 
Sept. 14 – Tutorial round up on both blogs
Sept. 21 – Last linky party- link up all your selvage projects!
Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays

Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays

24 thoughts on “Selvage Binding Tutorial

  1. Lisa Marie says:

    Wow, what a clever idea! For small projects like pot holders I like the idea of a less bulky single fold binding. Thanks for sharing.

  2. RuthB says:

    I never keep my selvedges and I’ve seen such clever ways to use them on this hop. Definitley coming around to them now!

  3. I’ve never kept my selvages, mostly because I’m not sure how to work with them. I think it’s time to start saving them! Your project looks so nice. I really like the way the selvage frames the front.

  4. Renee says:

    I love this idea for showing off a pretty selvage! Thanks for putting the tutorial together for the Selvage Along!

  5. Cassandra says:

    This is such a smart use for selvages, especially on a small project. I like that it also does an automatic “documentation” of the copyright year of at least one of the fabrics.

  6. Jayne Willis says:

    That is a clever way to use a selvage! I rarely keep mine, what I do have fits inside a lovely little sandwich bag! It’s too bad solids didn’t have a coll selvage, it that were the case I would have totes full! Great tutorial Yvonne!

  7. quiltyhabit says:

    Yvonne, this was an awesome idea! I love how your selvage is just a lighter shade of the potholder. It really makes a statement. Thank you so much for writing this up for the blog hop!

  8. Debbie says:

    This is really fun for a small project – thanks for sharing!

  9. Sandra says:

    This might be “the one” I try for those selvages…I’ve started to save some of them, no project in mind, yet. Love the aqua colours of your potholder.

  10. acbeier71 says:

    I love the idea of using selvage edges. I was wondering how you made it into a binding, but now I see that
    you gave it more material to fold over – great idea. At some point, I want to make a selvage edge quilt.

  11. With creativity like that, how can you NOT be saving selvages? I can’t believe I never thought of this! :)

  12. I love this! I love me some selvages though…

  13. I love this! I love me some selvages though…

  14. Lara B. says:

    What a great idea Yvonne! I’ve never seen anyone do this and it is so clever. you could even do a bigger quilt up with your technique. I too love the look of selvages.

  15. Judy says:

    I really like how that looks!! I have never saved selvages before – all of these great ideas are really making me rethink this! Thanks for sharing :)

  16. What a Great idea to use selveges! Especially smaller pieces. XX!

  17. Jasmine says:

    This looks great! I really like how you quilted the hot pad. It makes your top stitching on the binding disappear.

  18. I am not sure if I have enough time before my travels, but I have a selvedgey plan! Now, I am wondering whether I could bind it with selvedges too. I will have to see how I go.
    Interestingly, I would probably machine sew the front and then hand sew the back. (That is my way, and I am a creature of habit.)

  19. Linda says:

    Awesome! thanks so much for sharing this.

  20. What an interesting idea. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I love this tip! I usually trim my salvages off as small as possible and throw them into my future doggie pillow bag because I never know what to do with them. I am going to start trimming a few wider and keeping them, thanks.

  22. Vera says:

    I must try this! Thank you for sharing Yvonne!

  23. sally says:

    Great idea, and the shades of your pot holder look so pretty.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)