The other day a customer came in wanting to know how much fabric she need to purchase to make continuous binding for a quilt that would have a strip running the length of a 216″ quilt. While I am familiar with continuous binding, I was not sure how much to tell her she need to buy.

Straight of Grain

If you are wanting to know how to calculate fabric amounts for continuous binding, remember you will first need to cut a perfect square of fabric to make continuous binding.

Also, you will need to cut the beginning length of the square according to the direction the fabric is on the bolt. For example, the straight of the grain runs along the selvage edge the same direction as the manufacturer information on the side of the fabric as the fabric comes off the bolt.

So, for example if you need to cut a 25″ square for continuous binding, you will need to ask for at least 0.69444 part of a yard or 3/4 of a yard to have enough to cut a perfect 25 inch square. Make sure to remember the “perfect square” part when buying the fabric because most quilting fabric comes in 45″ widths unless you choose to buy a larger width cotton. So, if you need a 46″ inch perfect square make sure to get a width of fabric larger than 45″ wide.

A 46″ perfect square will give you 846.4 inches of 2.5″ width binding which is a little over 300 extra inches of binding to bind a king size quilt that measures 120 X 120 inches! For our customer, she was wanting to calculate for strips in a quilt and we can see how she might want to consider buying a larger width of fabric. I will explain at the end of the article how to calculate binding for various size quilts for you.

Based on Yardage

Now lets take a look at how to determine how much binding each part of a yard will give us. If we consider our customer’s quilt, she needed 216″ strips that were 2″ wide. So, we would do the following calculations:

In my customer situation, she needed 216″ strips for the length of her quilt. If she were to choose a 25″ square to sew for her strip, she would multiply 25″ X 25″ which gives her 625 square inches. She needed 2″ strips, so she would divide 625″ by the width of strip she plan to use. A 25″ square of continuous binding would give her 312.5″ of continuous binding, well over the 216″ length of her quilt.

25  X  25  \  2″ Wide Strip = 216″ whole strip

Lets calculate how much continuous binding a fourth (1/4 = 9 inches) yard of 45″ fabric would allow her. We would divide 45″ wide fabric by 9 inches which gives her 5 – 9″ squares. One 9″ square would give her 40.5 inches of binding. if we multiply that by the 5 – 9 inch squares she would be able to get 202.5″ of continuous binding from a fourth yard of 45″ fabric which would not be enough for her 2 inch strip. She might want to buy at least a half yard of fabric for each strip she plan to include in her quilt. She would be able to get two 18″ squares out of a half yard of fabric which would allow her 324 inches of continuous binding for her strips. She would have a little left over of course. A third of a yard is 12 inches, so she would save fabric and money if she were to calculate by inches in a yard. Here is a yardage to inches chart free for you to download and use.

Binding for Quilt Sizes

If you are in need of calculating how much fabric to buy for binding your quilt, here are some examples you can consider.

Crib: 36 X 45 – Twin 63 X 87 – Double/Full 78 X 87 – Queen 84 X 92 – King 92 X 100

To calculate for binding around your quilt measure the length and width, add those two number, and multiply that by 2. That will be the number of inches in binding you will need for your quilt. For example, binding amounts for a crib size quilt that is 36 X 45 we would calculate 36 + 45, which gives us 81 inches. We would then multiply that number by 2, which gives us 126 inches of binding needed to complete the quilt. If you are using the continuous. binding method, you will need to figure how wide of binding you want to use.

For example, most quilters advise using 2.5″ binding and add an additional 15 inches to the length of binding which allows for going around corners. So, for our crib quilt example, we will need 126 inches of 2.5″ binding to go completely around our quilt. To calculate the amount of continuous binding, we could use a 18″ square – 18 X 18 / 2.5 = 162″ of continuous binding which would be plenty to bind our quilt using the continuous binding method. If we were buying 45″ wide fabric, we would only need to purchase a half yard!

You will need to do some math before you head out to your local fabric store, but hopefully you have an easier time figuring up how much fabric to buy for your continuous binding project! Leave a comment if you have questions about the information in the article. Thanks for visiting!


Amy Thompson

Amy is a psychology graduate, founder of Feng Shui Enthusiast, and Life Coach. In her spare time, she enjoys front-end development, content writing, her new puppy Max, photography, and organizing.

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