Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Machine Binding Tip

When I began quilting I used the machine to bind my quilts.
I went about it somewhat haphazardly with mixed results.
I wanted a more polished look.

So I hand stitched a few.
I like the look of  that.
However, I don't enjoy hand stitching.
The finish didn't seem durable either.

So I've been perfecting my machine binding process.
I get great results with this method and I'd love to share it with you. 

My Machine Binding Tip For You

(I am presupposing you know how to connect the ends of your binding tape and how to handle the corners.  For my binding I use a 2.5 inch wide strip and iron it in half.)

1.  Lay and pin folded binding strip on top of quilt with raw edges matching on the outside.  Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew all the way around the edge of the quilt top.  Iron it flat, back away from quilt top.

2.  The pinning is the key to this method--take time to make sure each pin is positioned exactly right.  Fold the binding over.  You're going to pin from the front, always puncturing in and out of the ditch (where you'll be stitching later).  Be very aware of where your pin shows up on the back.  Repin until you get it just right.  You want it to be close to the edge, but not too close.  Pin like mad!  Pin, pin, pin!  Lots of pins.  It will be worth it.

(above: close, but not too close)

3. *You will be sewing down through the TOP of the quilt in order to secure the BACK portion of binding.*  Stitch in the ditch on your quilt top. 

Use your fingers to make sure the binding doesn't shift open (particularly between pins).  Slow and steady here.

3.5.  For added durability I like to back stitch just a stitch or two on both sides of each corner.  

That's it!  Flip your quilt over and trust that your careful pinning has given you that polished, strong, machine stitched binding you were hoping for.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm linking up to Let's Bee Social


  1. This is an excellent tutorial, Molly! It does take some time and experience to get machine finished binding just right. And you have aced it!

  2. Very interesting technique. I have been working on machine binding - but using a top stitch on the front. This would be a good technique to try! It does seem like all that pinning would would be the key. Thanks for sharing this tip.

  3. Thanks Molly! I've been having trouble getting machine binding just right and will definitely be following your advice next time.