Quilt Binding Calculator: Bias & Straight

Last Updated on December 17, 2023

Quilt Binding Calculator: Quilt binding is not just the finishing touch to your quilt; it’s a crucial element that adds both functionality and aesthetics.

Understanding how to calculate the binding length and width is essential for a successful quilting project.


  1. Accurately measure your quilt’s dimensions to calculate the binding length, ensuring a precise and tailored fit.
  2. Understand the difference between straight and bias binding, and choose the method that best suits your quilting style and design.
  3. Add a 10-inch overage to your binding length for joining strips and finishing touches.
  4. Decide on a binding strip width between 2 and 2.5 inches for a balanced and visually appealing quilt edge.
  5. Whether straight or bias, take your time sewing the binding onto your quilt, ensuring even placement and polished corners.

Quilt Binding Calculator

To calculate quilt binding, measure the quilt’s perimeter, add 10 inches, choose straight or bias binding, and determine the number and width of strips based on your preference, ensuring a polished finish to your quilting project.

Here, we will break down the steps for calculating quilt binding, exploring both straight and bias binding techniques.

Quilt Binding Calculator

Quilt Binding Calculator


Calculating Straight Quilt Binding

To calculate straight quilt binding, measure the quilt’s perimeter, add 10 inches, determine the number of straps based on the chosen binding width, and multiply to find the fabric length.

  1. Determine Quilt Perimeter: Measure the length and width of your quilt, and calculate the perimeter using the formula: 2 × length of quilt + 2 × width of quilt = Perimeter
  2. Add Overage: Add 10 inches (25.4 cm) to the perimeter to account for joining binding strips and finishing. The length of the binding tape is the sum of the quilt perimeter and the overage:
    Perimeter + 10″ = length of bindingperimeter + 10″= length of binding.
  3. Calculate Straps: For straight binding, measure the edge of the binding fabric where you will cut the straps. Use the formula length of binding/width of material = amount of straps length of binding/width of material = amount of straps.
  4. Determine Width: Decide on the binding strip width, typically between 2 and 2.5 inches. Multiply the number of straps by the chosen width to find the length of fabric needed: Amount of straps × width of straps = length of fabric amount of straps × width of straps = length of fabric.

Calculating Bias Quilt Binding

For bias quilt binding, estimate the required area of bias tape by multiplying the length of binding by the width of straps, and if cutting from a square, calculate the side using the square root of the area. Alternatively, for a rectangle, estimate its dimensions based on the fabric size and desired area.

  • Estimate Area: To create bias binding, estimate the area of the required bias tape using the formula,
    Length of binding × Width of straps = Area of binding fabric
  • Square Binding: If cutting from a square, calculate the side of the square using the square root of the area:
Square’s side =\sqrt{ Area of binding fabrics}
  • Rectangle Binding: If cutting from a rectangle, estimate its length and width using the size of fabric you have and the required area. You can use an area of a rectangle calculator for this step.

Sewing the Binding

Whether you choose straight or bias binding, the final step is sewing it onto your quilt using a sewing machine. Take your time, pinning the binding evenly along the edges and mitering the corners for a polished look.


Why must I add 10 inches to the quilt perimeter when calculating the binding length?

Adding 10 inches (25.4 cm) accounts for the extra fabric needed to join the binding strips and properly finish the binding tape’s ends on the quilt. 

What is the best width for quilt binding?

Quilters commonly choose a binding strip width between 2 and 2.5 inches. This width allows approximately 0.25 inches of binding to be visible on each side of the quilt, providing a balanced and visually appealing finish.

How do I calculate the number of straight binding straps needed?

Divide the length of the binding by the width of the material to determine the number of straps needed. The formula is: length of binding/width of material=amount of strapslength of binding/width of material=amount of straps.

Can I use bias binding for any quilt, or is it specific to certain designs?

Bias binding is versatile and can be used for any quilt. It is beneficial for quilts with curved edges, as the bias cut allows the binding to stretch and curve smoothly around the quilt’s contours.

Why choose bias binding over straight binding?

Bias binding is preferred when dealing with quilts that have curved edges, as it provides more flexibility and allows the binding to follow the curves without puckering. Straight binding is suitable for quilts with straight edges.

Can I use pre-made binding tape instead of cutting my own?

Yes, pre-made binding tape is a convenient option and can save time. Ensure the tape’s width matches your project’s requirements, and be mindful of the color and material to complement your quilt.

Do I need special tools for cutting bias binding?

While not mandatory, a rotary cutter and a quilting ruler can make cutting bias binding more accurate. These tools help create clean, straight cuts for a professional finish.

How do I sew quilt binding on a sewing machine?

Pin the binding evenly along the quilt edges, mitering the corners for a neat finish. Stitch the binding using a sewing machine, securing it with a straight or decorative stitch. 

Can I mix and match different binding widths on the same quilt?

While it’s possible, it’s generally recommended to maintain consistency in binding width for a cohesive look. Mixing widths can be done for artistic reasons, but careful consideration of the overall design is essential.

What if my quilt has irregular shapes? How do I calculate binding for that?

For irregular shapes, the perimeter calculation remains the same. The key difference is handling bias binding for curved edges, ensuring it is cut on the bias to allow for flexibility around the irregular shapes.


Calculating quilt binding may seem like a mathematical challenge, but breaking it down into steps makes it manageable. Whether you opt for the simplicity of straight binding or the flexibility of bias binding, these calculations ensure your quilt will have the perfect finishing touch.