Machine Binding Tutorial

Machine binding both sides of a quilt is my go to method.  It is not for everyone or every project.  As with any technique, it takes practice so it doesn’t look sloppy.  Best results come with use of your walking foot.

machine binding tutorialFor my binding I usually go with a solid color, cutting about 5-6 2.5 inch strips, the width of the fabric.  Start mid way through one side, leaving a 5-6 inch tail above your first stitch.  Sew the binding to the front, mitering the corners.

Use a 1/4 inch all along the front of the quilt.
Use a 1/4 inch all along the front of the quilt.

As you complete the corner of the side you first started, you will want to stop your stitches to leave another 5-6 inch tail.  Your tails should overlap by at least 1 inch in order to leave enough room to sew the tails together.

Stop stitches leaving a 5-6 inch tail.
Stop stitches leaving a 5-6 inch tail.
overlap the tails and use a pin to mark where to cut
overlap the tails and use a pin to mark where to cut

From your mark, cut tails so you have a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

machine binding tutorialSew the tails together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Some people like to do a different method to make this seam less thick.  However, I haven’t practiced enough and it just looks terrible.  This is easy, just takes a bit more finessing on the back…later.

machine binding tutorialStart your stitches from your last stopping point and stitch all the way to your starting stitches, this is usually about 5 inches.

machine binding tutorialTurn the quilt over and start in a corner.  Its helpful to have it so when you turn the binding over, it lays at the outside of your walking foot.

machine binding tutorial.  Start in the corner and sew all the way to the other end of the side.  Use your fingers to help hold the binding over.

I put the edge of the binding near the inside of my walking foot
I put the edge of the binding near the inside of my walking foot

Sewing at a constant medium speed helps to keep the stitch straight and allows you time to inch with your fingers holding the binding in place.

stop at the 1/4 inch line from the front.
stop at the 1/4 inch line from the front.

Near the 1/4 inch from the front, slow down, try to not go over that line.  Backstitch a couple of stitches and cut your thread.

At the next corner start your stitches at the line you just sewed.  Take a couple of stitches, then backstitch.  Follow the same method from the previous side.

machine binding tutorialContinue all the way around the quilt.

Here is what a finished corner should look like.
Here is what a finished corner should look like.

This is how the binding will look from the back.

machine binding tutorialAt the seams, take your time.  With practice these will become easier.

When you flip the quilt over here is the line you will see.  May not work for every quilt or project, but a good technique to know.  By using the outside of your walking foot, you avoid the stitches going onto the binding on the front.

machine binding tutorialHave you tried this technique?  If so what works and what doesn’t for you?

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