Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Machine Binding made simple....Part 2 (the front)

This part goes pretty quickly, you already finished the hard part (click to find part 1)! Thread  your needle with thread that matches your binding, and the bobbin with thread that matches the back of your quilt.

Begin on the middle of one of the sides of your quilt, pull the binding from the back and wrap it around to the front.
I put my walking foot down and position my needle so that it is sewing pretty close to the edge of the binding. Don't sew too fast, just fast enough that you have control and keep your needle going next to the edge, but not off the edge. You can see the stitching line from when you sewed your binding on to the back, just make sure you cover that up as you position the binding, then your stitches will look good on the back too.

As you near the corner flip the binding up like this.
Flatten it down so the binding just keeps coming straight. When you are about 1 1/2 inches from the corner stop with your needle in the down position...
Drumroll, please. This is my magic trick! I had been looking for the perfect tool to do this, and one day I found it in my scrapbooking supplies! A thin stylus I use with my cutter - I don't scrapbook nearly as often as I quilt... Next, lay your stylus down along the edge of the quilt and push it down so you are holding the binding firmly in place with the side of the stylus.

Keeping your stylus in place, fold the corner of binding back up over the corner of the quilt. You will see it form a beautiful mitered corner.

As you hold that beautiful corner with your finger, gently slide out your stylus and put the point right at the place where the two sides overlap and hold it firmly with the stylus.
Just keep holding it there and sew slowly and keep that stylus in place until your needle enters the fold of  the mitered corner and stop on that first stitch with your needle down. I like to use my open toed foot but it is camera shy and disappeared as I made this. It still works with your close toed foot, you can just see it better with the open toe.
Anyhoo, with your needle down in the quilt, lift  your presser foot and turn the quilt to the next side and sew away. Repeat this at each corner and you will soon have a perfectly mitered binding on your quilt.

When you turn it over, the stitching should all be on the quilt back, and not in the binding. That part gets better with practice. When I have had a bobble that went over the binding on the back and it was terribly obvious, I have a lovely assortment of colored sharpie markers that come out occasionally to turn the thread into a color that disappears on the binding! I haven't had to do that for a while now, you soon learn just where to put the binding as you are sewing for the stitches to land in just the right spot. Did you notice throughout this whole thing I didn't need to pin? That's one reason it goes quickly.

Please let me know if you need more instruction on anything, I will be happy to explain!

Try this on your next quilt, and let me know how it goes!


  1. Love all the pictures! I might actually be able to do this!

  2. Thanks for posting these two posts. Will come back to them. Hope all is well with you and yours. :)

  3. I use my dual feed stitch in the ditch foot and nestle that binding flange right on the line and the needle "just" catches the binding edge for a good, consistent topstitch.

    Yeppers, those styluses help...

  4. I do the front exactly like you do, but the back is awesome. I've been trying to have my stitch fall in the ditch. It sometimes works but is not consistent. I see if your binding thread matches the quilting thread on the back it just blends in. Too cool! I'm doing it your way from now on! Yes in deedy.

  5. I do mine much like you do, but I use a 3" strip. My binding, of course, is wider and I sew it down with a decorative stitch. It's not "show quality", but then I make quilts to be loved, so I don't care! My quilts never come apart!!! hahaha

  6. Thank you! I always struggle with corners - sometimes they're beautiful.....sometimes they're not!!! It stinks to have that kind of combo on a quilt! This will hopefully do the trick for me. Great explanation and pictures!

  7. I have been quilting for a number of years, but HATE the way my corners come out....I am going to try your method today...I never started right at the edge....can't wait to try your way...thanks for all the great pictures

  8. I use this same with method with the exception of using monofilament (clear) thread in the bobbin. Rarely will I secure my bindings by hand... Thanks for doing this tutorial.

  9. Well-done tutorial. Congratulations!

  10. Very nice. I hope to do some quilting in the future.

  11. Jeanna! What great tutorials! Thanks for sharing your talents!!!


  12. Jeanna! I'm once again referring to this amazing tutorial as I make quilts for Christmas. I miss having you nearby to visit with and talk about quilting! I hope all is well for you and that you are enjoying quilting from the other side of the world! :) - DeAnn


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

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