Sunday, January 6, 2013

Machine Binding Tutorial

Machine Binding Tutorial

There are lots and lots of binding tutorials.  Lots.  So I’m going to skim over binding basics fairly quickly in order to share with you how I machine bind my quilts to look almost hand sewn.

I do all my quilts this way, so by now I’ve become fairly quick at it.  I still love a hand-stitched binding, but I’m more confident that my machine bound quilts can withstand lots of washings and use from my family.  I always machine bind baby quilts…because we all know that baby quilts get washed all.the.time.

12-25-2012 Christmas!

First you’ll need to square up the edges of your quilt.  I lay my cutting mat on the floor or table and straighten up my edges with my rotary cutter and ruler.  I cut my binding strips 2.5" x the width of the fabric and trim off the selvages.  To figure out how many strips you’ll need, add up the length in inches of all four sides of your quilt + 20 inches.  Then divide that number by 42" (the width of fabric).  

Lay your fabric strips right sides together as shown, sew a diagonal seam from corner to corner, trim the corner, and repeat until all of the binding strips are sewn together into one long strip.  Then press that whole long strip in half, wrong sides together.

12-25-2014

Sew the binding onto the quilt FRONT first. 

Pin the binding to a side of the quilt, matching the raw edges and leaving about a 10" tail.  Start sewing under the pin using a 1/4" seam allowance.   Use a walking foot.

IMG_7242

Keep sewing until you reach a corner, and stop stitching and backstitch 1/4" before the corner/next side of the quilt…it’s important to get that 1/4" of unsewn space at the end!  Lift the binding strip up as shown making  a diagonal fold, then pull the binding strip back down creating a fold at the top, pin.   Start sewing down the next side at the top using a 1/4" seam allowance.

12-25-2015

When you get back to where you started, stop sewing about 10" from where you started, leaving a unsewn tail. Fold the bindings to meet in the middle of the unsewn space, press with an iron or finger press…enough to make a crease.  Open the strips, and match the crease marks and pin the strips right sides together.  Sew down the crease marks, trim (make sure it’s sewn correctly before you trim!), and press the seam.  Place the strip back on the quilt and finish sewing the binding on. 

You can also sew these together with a mitered edge…I don’t bother because this method is so quick for me now.  It looks complicated and its really hard to explain/take photos of…but once you try it you’ll get it.

12-25-2017

This is what your quilt will look like now:

IMG_7269

Now turn the quilt over and we’re going to stitch the binding down onto the BACK of the quilt.

Choose a place to start, and fold the binding strip over until it’s PAST the 1/4" seam line that you made sewing the binding onto the front and pin.  This part is important…if you don’t pull the binding edge past that seam line…you’ll get stitches in your binding on the front.  

(the other seam line in the photo is the stay-stitching after I’m done quilting…ignore it)

IMG_7272

Sew right along the edge of the binding on the back…you are trying to sew to the left of the seam line always.  If you pull that binding past the seam line and sew right long the fold of the binding strip…you should be fine.

IMG_7274

Keep sewing until you reach a corner, stop 6" before the corner, fold the bottom edge up, then the side edge over creating a nice mitered corner and pin.  Sew to the corner, leave your needle down and turn to sew down the other side. 

12-25-2020

Keep on sewing until you’re back at the start and you’re done!  If you did it right (it takes some practice!) the binding will look like this on the front/back.  

IMG_7289

See no stitches in the front binding? All you can see is a nice straight line of stitches in the quilt, and it blends in nicely with the quilting.

If you don’t stay to the left of the seam line when your sewing the binding down on the back, this is what happens…you’ll get some stitches in your binding. 

IMG_7291

It’s a very easy and fast method to sewing bindings, and it looks way better than sewing the binding down on the front of the quilt with a visible seam line in the binding. 

IMG_7303

Doesn’t that binding look nice on the quilt front??  Hopefully it’ll work for you as well as it has for me!

95 comments:

Suz said...

Machine binding can be so persnickity... but this looks like a technique well worth trying. As you say, the stitching on the front blends in with the quilting stitches.

Jocelyn said...

Thanks for this! I need to bind a quilt & was thinking about trying a machine binding cause I want it done quick! :) I'll have to give your method a try.

CHD said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I am new to quilting and starting on my first one. This has been most helpful and I'll be coming back when I get to that stage. Cx

Melanie said...

Great tutorial. Thank you!

Kellie said...

Thanks for this Allison... you have a great way of explaining things. I'm going to try this with my next quilt!

Mom2mykids said...

This is a great tutorial! I made a quilt for my daughter and I wish I had known about this method before I put the binding on it! I'm making a quilt for my cousin, and will definitely use your method to finish that one. Thanks so much!

La Pecora Nera said...

Great tutorial! Very fast!
Thank you, Emanuela

thea said...

I'll be binding a baby quilt soon .. might just try it.

N. Maria said...

I think that makes perfect sense....strength for the babies wash! This tutorial helps to know exactly where to fold over your binding and to stitch on the side that needs the stitching. Good one!

Carie said...

Thanks for a great tutorial; I like your method so much more than any of the ones that leave you with a seam down the binding so I shall have to give it a whirl. I do love a handsewn binding though; somehow it gives me time to say goodbye to the process of making the quilt and embrace the finished item!

Jessica said...

Wish I had this method up my sleeve a couple weeks ago when I had a baby quilt to bind in a night. I think I'll have to give it a go on some smaller items first so that I'm ready for the next quilt! Thanks for sharing.

Simplesmente Silvinha (Simply Silvia) said...

Thank you I have a BIG problems with Binding .

Kathleen said...

I love ALL of your tutorials and thi is another great one!! I always look forward to new posts!
Thank you!

trish said...

I have always wanted to learn how to do this. Thank you for taking the time to show us how. :0)

Sue B said...

I am certainly going to try this on my next quilt, stitching the binding down by hand is a tedious job, thanks for the tutorial.

Domini said...

How wide do you make your binding?

girlsfour said...

Beautiful work! Love how colorful the quilt is that you used in your tute!

Got all excited when I saw the pins you use. I use them quite often (of course have lots of pins, all shapes and sizes). I every now and then teach kids with a friend and we finally decided that the button-topped pins are prerequisite on the supply list. Kids have a hard time pinning and those pins really help.

I also work very pt at Hancock Fabrics and I promote those pins quite often. I do tell them though that they can bend.....

Thanks for the great blog!!!

Meg
Woodbury, MN

jmday said...

Yours is the first machine sewn binding that I actually like the look of. I've tried a zillion and one ways (including this method) and mine never look good AT. ALL. But FWIW, I've sewn a million baby quilts, with a million hand sewn bindings and they've held through the washes ok. :)

Deborah Hamilton said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial. I thought the stitches were supposed to go on the top of the binding, and I never liked that look, so I sewed them down by hand. I'm going to try your way now. It looks so good, and I also like your way of doing corners. Thanks again

Colleen Potter said...

Thanks for this wonderful tutorial - excellent pictures and explanation. I got a new sewing machine for christmas that I am waiting impatiently for it's arrival. It has a walking foot and I can't wait to try this binding method !
Love the colors in this quilt too.

Alex Duenkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela Atkins said...

Ha! I tried a new method to sew on a binding this weekend, the one on Red Pepper Quilts, and was terrible at it. I need to see what I'm sewing. Had to rip it out but didn't want to rip the seams from attaching the binding to the quilt. This method is what I ended up with. Now I feel a little better.

Tiffany said...

Thank you! I've seen lots of binding tutorials, but so far yours is the best! It is SO important to sew to the left of the seam line, but it took me forever to figure that out on my own! ;)

OKC Modern Quilt Guild said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cozy Pumpkin said...

Have you ever tried a 2 1/4" binding? That's my preferred width, but it probably just makes it a bit more challenging. I like your method for the corners...it makes much better sense than the method I was taught.

-Amanda-

Vicki H said...

I've always done my binding by hand because I didn't like the stitching on the front of the binding. I will try this method. Thanks for the tutorial.

Sandy said...

Sewing the binding has been my arch enemy for so long... I am definitely going to try this on my next quilt! Thank you soooo much :)

Jean Burke said...

How do you decide on thread color - do you match it to the color you used for the machine quilting? What if it is very different from the binding color? Thanks....great pictures!

Patty said...

Thanks for the fast and easy lesson.

cyndiofthevortex said...

I've always wondered how to do this to make it look as good as hand sewing the binding to the back! This looks great and your tutorial was very well done. Thanks so much. I'm definitely using it for my next quilt.

Mary Deckert said...

Great tutorial! I have a question about your "stay-stitching" around the edge of the quilt before binding. I've tried it, but always wind up with a pucker or two, so I finally just stopped doing it, depending instead on the quilting to hold everything in place. Can you explainthe advantage of stay-stitching? Thanks for all your great tips!

Caroline said...

Thank you for this tutorial, I'm going to be binding my first quilt ever! So any and all examples are greatly appreciated.

thedodds said...

Fabulous! Thank you, Allison x

thedodds said...

Fabulous! Thank you, Allison x

Helen L said...

Great tutorial. I've always sewn the back of my binding by hand, but I need to try this for baby quilts: like you say, they get alot of washing!! thanks!!

SewBlinkey.blogspot.com said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I tend to sew on the front binding more than not. It's frustrating. I will continue to try and I love the way you sew your tails together. It has been so hard for me I almost gave up quilting. I decided to sew them across. Your quilts are wonderful!

stitching under oaks said...

this is awesome! I'm going to pin it so I can find it when I need it. i usually hand sew on my bindings, but this looks great and would be so much faster! Thanks!

karen said...

Thanks so much! I will refer to this for the next machine binding I do. I did three the weekend before Xmas and used a zigzag stitch--UGLY (IMO; the family didn't mind a bit, though). I really love the look of a hand-turned binding, so yours definitely appeals.

Becca Ross said...

Great tutorial! I recently wrote one on my blog for binding quilts. Yours is much more thorough, so I won't even bother sharing mine! :)

Becca

celkalee said...

What a great method. I know several people who do it well. And you make it looks so easy!

Marie said...

Thanks so much - I always do mine by hand but thought it would be good to know how to do this, especially for baby quilts, as you mentioned. Faster too, me thinks!

homeamazing said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I always do machine binding but have always done it the opposite way... sewing the binding on the back of the quilt first, but I agree that it looks much better without the seam running through the binding on the front. I will have to try this out for my next quilt.

Theophanie said...

Cool! That has GOT to be faster than hand sewing, I will have to try it. :)

Amanda Corbet said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have used the technique where you are supposed to stitch over the top of the binding on the front and it is so hard to do! I've only made two quilts, but this method looks so much easier and prettier! I will definitely try it out on the two quilts I plan on making for Christmas gifts for this year!

Michelle Corey said...

Haven't had much luck machine binding yet, but I am definitely going to try this. Seems much easier to keep the stitching off the binding on the front than to try to keep the stitching on the binding on the back. (If that makes any sense.)

Goog said...

A good way to avoid the stitches showing on the FRONT of the binding is to bind it the opposite way - attach the binding from the BACK, then pull it around to the front.

Purple Quilter Queen said...

WOW! That is so simple. I've always done it the same way, but once I've flipped it to the back and pinned it down, I'd always done the stitch in the ditch from the FRONT. I much more like the way you did it. It seems like it helps you control the backing looking smoother if you stitch it from the back - Awesome step by step pics - thanks so much!!! Jenn

Lucy @ The Pink Button Tree said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I'm definitely going to try this on the next quilt I make.

Cydni said...

Thanks! That is great to learn that way. At some point will you show how to bind a scallop edge quilt?
P.S. Love your blog!!!

Brooke said...

Tried this method tonight and it worked like a dream! Thanks for sharing and for the clear instructions! I used it on my 4th hourglass quilt using your tutorial. : ) Love it!

Brooke said...

Tried this method tonight and it worked like a dream! Thanks for sharing and for the clear instructions! I used it on my 4th hourglass quilt using your tutorial. : ) Love it!

Allison said...

I'm so glad Brooke! Thanks for sharing! -Allison

Erin @ Billy Button Design said...

I've always sewn from the front... Will try this out though. Thanks for the tips

wasntquiltinaday said...

Ah, thank you for this tutorial! I've started a few quilts, but the binding is scaring me - this really makes sense and now I can't wait to get to this step.

Claire Jain said...

This looks nice. I usually stitch in the ditch on the front, but sometimes the binding isn't sewn down as evenly on the back. I'll have to try this on my next quilt!

SIMPLESEW said...

Thank you for sharing.. Please stop by my blog and share the news.. of my blogaversary..

Christina Flowers said...

I like to use my fancy stitches when machine binding, mind you I also do a much wider binding than most people, the smallest width I use is 3" since I believe the binding is an integral part of the over all look. I really recommend to reverse this process if you want to use fancy stitching and do the binding finish on the front rather than the back since the fancy stitches tend to be more difficult to handle and you don't want boo boo's on the front of a quilt lol! Thanks for the quick walkthrough, I am going to try your method on a couple of small projects and see if I like it better :)

Savannagal said...

Your tutorial was really helpful. Thank you. The only part I didn't quite follow, and it's because I am a complete beginner, is the part where the two ends of the binding strip is joined together. I can't exactly tell what you did there after pinning the two ends together at the creases. How do you stitch the two pieces together, by hand down the crease lines, with the tails up in the air to be cut off later? Then there would be raw edges then. The tails don't appear to be tucked under and sewn down, after being trimmed. Thanks again for your great tutorial. It's really helpful to beginners like me.

sara said...

Thanks for such a useful tutorial!
www.infanta.blog.pt

Shawn Stephenson Schumacher said...

Great tutorail!

Trinity said...

Thank you for the tutorial! I don't have the patience for hand binding and this method leaves a much cleaner look. Also, I have never really caught on to joining the ends--I've always just overlapped them and I have never liked the end result. I was stuck at first until I caught on to opening the strips then creasing and sewing. I will continue to use this method--thanks again!

Alanna Latham said...

Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial! Makes it so simple!

scrappin' girl said...

thank you for this great tutorial .. i have just finished my second ever quilt .. the first one i hand stiched the binding on the back but the one that I just finished this rvo (a small baby quilt) i used this technique !!!! finished in no time !!!

meli55a2001 said...

Thank you very much for this tutorial! I just completed binding for the first time. It's not perfect but I know I'll get better with each project. :)

Kim said...

I combined this with another tutorial to complete my first binding today! I have a question though--how far over are you supposed to fold the binding to the back? Should the fold be right against the quilt sandwich?

Tami C said...

Very nice tutorial. Bonnie Hunter sent me here. I think I'd like to use this method. I've always sewn the back on by hand. Thanks!

Taylor Family said...

Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I really appreciate the time you spent photographing, explaining and blogging this. Thank you so much for taking the time to help other improve!

Carly

Marva said...

Oh how cool! Can't wait to try this!

RaspberrySunshine said...

Thank you so much for sharing your method. I am a new quilter and just binded my first lap quilt using your method!

Cindy

GrecianUrns said...

hello...you actually forgot to say in the instructions that you first stitched all the way around the quilt to hold all layers together. I couldn't work out why , when you turned it over to stitch the last and other side, , that there were 2 rows of stitching, and you pointed to just one row, saying.. stitch OVER this line.... now I know why you had two rows of stitching....

Lisa Baker said...

Great tutorial. I bound my first quilt ever this afternoon & I am very happy with the result. Thank you!

Ashley said...

This is the best binding tutorial I have come across after lots of searching! I like how you started on the front of the quilt instead of the back. I will definitely use your method!

Kellie said...

I'm attempting machine binding for the first time tonight... need to get a quilt done by Saturday and I don't think I can get it done by hand that quickly... wish me luck!

Elizabeth said...

This tutorial just saved me from another below mediocre binding. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

giddy99 said...

I just bound my dad's queen-size quilt by machine (my first machine-binding ever), and my life will never be the same. THANK YOU! So much faster than hand-binding, and it looks lovely. :)

RoseMary Baty-Willcox said...

I was wondering what of foot were you using. My walking foot does not look like the one in your pictures.
Thank You posting this seems so much easier.

Mary @ Ms. Redo said...

I finally got a new Janome, I finally got a walking foot, and I finally got this! I understand it now and I'm at the machine sewing those corners so fast! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!!

Mary

Deanna McCool said...

Great tutorial! I linked to this from my post today! :)
http://www.sewmccool.com/chinese-year-of-the-horse-hot-pad/

Moheckie said...

VERY helpful, well done pics. Its helpful to see the mistake too, I've done that...

Moheckie said...

VERY helpful, well done pics. Its helpful to see the mistake too, I've done that...

Ellen said...

I am making my first baby quilt for my daughter's first baby and this tutorial was/is a lifesaver. It is clear and understandable and the pictures are great. Thank you so much.

Allison said...

I'm so glad it was helpful Ellen...and congrats on the new baby coming!!! -Allison

Amy in VA said...

Thank you!! I finished a teacher gift using your tutorial just a little bit ago. It was a lifesaver!!

Aly V said...

Thank you. This is awesome.

thecraftymastermind said...

This is my preferred tutorial! I have come back to it everytime I've finished a quilt. Brilliant

Alicia said...

I just used this tutorial and, while I still need some practice, it looks great! Thanks so much for sharing this!

Natasha Renstead said...

This tutorial just helped me sew my first ever machine binding on a quilt. as I have a few baby quilts in the near future to complete I think this will be the preferred method of binding from here on in :) Thanks so much for writing this post.

rhondar said...

I am so in awe with your binding tutorials. I had googled self binding since I am quilting my first ever quilt. I took a class on binding the past weekend to help with this first quilt and it was not all that helpful. No handout was given to go by when u get home to help and the instructor was not very good at explaining the process but your tutorial is 100% right on. I so understand now. Thank u, thank u, I thank God for u. Loved the self binding tutorial as well. God bless u and ur talent.

jena said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I just finished my 9th quilt, and decided to try a different method of binding -- for all of my other quilts, I've just folded the backing over to the front and stitched it down thinking that that was the easiest method. This method was SO much easier, faster and looks so great! I was so pleased with the results, I just had to thank you for this awesome tutorial!

berylthepearl said...

This method is definitely the best, I've been doing binding this way for nearly 50 years! Your instructions are very clear. I would add to make sure your bobbin thread color blends well with the fabric of the front side. Good tutorial!

Joy Manoleros said...

I had never liked the thought of machine binding... I've done my binding my hand for 30 years! But a couple months ago I was in a real hurry to finish a charity quilt and I stumbled upon your tutorial... now I'm hooked. I finished it in less than an hour with amazing results. THANKS!

Jeanne said...

This was so clear and easy to follow and it worked perfectly. Fast and simple with great results. Thanks.

Carmen Lee said...

Thank you so much for sharing this here! I really need to bind a quilt for my brother. I was just thinking about to trying a machine binding cause it can be done quickly by me as well. This method is so clear and easy to follow and you know what now? II just have to follow you. :)

Jamie Farrell Tomlinson said...

Well I tried this. So far, it has produced the best results out of my 8 failed attempts, but I still couldn't make this work. I must really suck at binding. :'(

Linda Spears said...

Thank you for the binding tutorial. I am going to try it on my Christmas mug rugs. I don't like sewing binding on anything (tried a few times), but it might be the same as with zippers .. just need practice!?? By the way, I love the name of your blog!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails