Friday, April 29, 2011

tutorial: how to attach quilt binding by machine

I've gotten a lot of requests to share how I attach the binding to my quilts, which I do entirely by machine. So, I've finally gotten the chance to write up a rather lengthy and picture heavy tutorial, but I hope it helps. I personally feel that this method is a more secure way to bind a quilt, rather than traditional binding by hand, and it's certainly a lot quicker. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!

square up your quilt by removing the excess batting with a rotary cutter and straight edge

cut strips of fabric to create binding. I typically use strips that are 2 ½“ times the width of the fabric

sew the strips together to construct the binding, in whatever length you need. to reduce bulk in the seams, sew each end together by placing one on top of the other, laying the top piece perpendicular to the bottom, and extending each strip approximately ¼” over each other

to ensure an accurate seam, I use a ruler to draw a straight line between the points where the bottom strip meets the top strip

pin the two strips in place with two pins

sew a seam along the pencil line, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam for reinforcement

this is what the strips will look like after they’re sewn together

snip the excess fabric, leaving ¼” seam allowance

press seam open with a hot iron

this is what the seam looks like on the right side of the fabric

after all strips are sewn together, press in half with a hot iron along the length of the binding, so that the strips are approximately 1 ¼” wide

once the binding has been pressed, open the first few inches of one end

make a fold in the strip by bringing the wrong sides together, to form a diagonal crease, about 1 ½” from the edge

press the fold with a hot iron

lay the binding along the back of the quilt. starting in the middle of one side, line up the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the quilt and begin to pin in place about five inches down from the fold at the beginning of the binding

pin the binding to the quilt every 2-3”

when you reach a corner, leave about 2” unpinned

fold the binding up perpendicularly on top of itself

and then bring it back down on itself along the edge of the next side of the quilt to create a mitered corner

pin in place

pivot quilt and continue to pin the binding in place along each side

once you’ve reached the side of the quilt you started on, leave about 12” of the quilt unpinned

stitch the binding onto the quilt using a ¼” seam allowance

when you get to the folded edge of the binding at the corner, stop sewing and leave your needle down

remove the pins and unfold the binding at the corner. you should see a fold in the binding that runs diagonal to the side of the quilt you are working on

continue to stitch just until you reach the fold in the binding, about ¼” from the edge. backstitch to secure the stitch

here’s a detail to show how much to leave unsewn at the corner

snip the threads and pivot quilt to sew the binding on the next side. backstitch at the beginning of the seam. continue to sew the binding to the rest of the quilt until you reach the unpinned section on the side you started on. backstitch at the end to secure the seam

open the unsewn section of binding on the left hand side

turn it over so that the binding lays right side up along the edge of the quilt and pin in place

bring the unsewn section of the binding that is to the right (the end you started with) and lay it over the pinned end of the opened binding

pull taut and pin in place

using a water soluble pen, mark a line along the edge of the diagonal fold of the beginning of the binding

unpin the binding and line up the two ends so that they’re perpendicular to each other, just as when you constructed the binding from the individual strips of fabric

pin the two sides together, placing the crease on the top piece directly over the line on the bottom piece that you just marked

using the fold on the fabric as a guide, sew a seam and backstitch at the beginning and end

remove the quilt from the sewing machine and lay the unsewn section of binding along the edge of the quilt to check that it is the proper length needed to finish

pick up the unsewn section of the binding and trim off the excess fabric, leaving ¼” seam allowance

press the seam open

then fold the unsewn section of binding in half and press with a hot iron

pin this section in place

and sew in place with ¼” seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam

optional--I use a serger to coverstitch the raw edges of the quilt and binding. there are a lot of loose threads and by running them through a serger, everything is kept nice and tidy. if you don’t have a serger, you could also sew a zig zag stitch along the edges to keep them tidy

turn the quilt over so that the top side is up

pull the binding up from the back so that it lays flat, extending beyond the edge of the quilt

press in place with a hot iron

here is what it looks like from the back now

fold the binding down over the raw edge of the quilt

pin in place

here’s what the back looks like now

to create a mitered corner, fold the edge of the binding so that it creates a 45 degree angle

press with a hot iron

pull the binding on the other side of the corner taut and press with a hot iron

fold corner over

pin in place

move the quilt to the sewing machine and topstitch just along the edge of the binding, removing pins as you sew

when you reach a corner, sew just until you reach the fold in the binding

lift the presser foot on your sewing machine and pivot the quilt

and continue to sew to the tip of the corner

then backstitch until you get to the edge of the binding on the next side of the quilt

lift the presser foot, pivot the quilt and continue sewing along the edge of the binding. continue sewing along the entire perimeter of the quilt until the binding is attached on all sides, and backstitch to secure the seam at the end. congratulations, you’re done!

here’s what the finished binding looks like on the front

and on the back. you’ll see that the stitching on the back of the quilt that results from attaching the binding this way creates another line of quilting along the perimeter along the back

I told you this was rather lengthy and picture heavy! I think this just might be my longest post ever. But, I really hope this helps to show you how I do it. If you end up trying my technique, I'd love to hear how it works for you!


SarahB said...

Thank you for sharing this! Somehow I never thought about sewing it to the back! The serge/zigzag tip is a great one too!

Debbie said...

Awesome tut, thank you so much! I have ONE quilt done (I'm just starting, lol), and it just needs binding and I've been so afraid to start it for fear of the hand stitching. I think I will try a table topper this weekend and try this :) You ROCK!

Heide said...

I was seriously just thinking this morning that I wanted to ask you some questions about your binding, and then I opened up twitter and Voila! Fabulous! I'll definitely be giving it a shot soon. Thanks!!!

Sara said...

I love the zig zag you added on the edge all the way around the top:) Great tutorial:)

Tara @ Tara Being Tara said...

This is how I do all of my bindings too. But... I always forget how to do the last part when you make it fit perfectly and have to You Tube it. Thanks for the tutorial!!

Diane N said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I am definitely going to try this on my next quilt. I saw something similar to this in the past, but it was machine attached to the front and then hand-sewed to the back...which wasn't so bad on a 20x30 rug...but would take forever on a queen sized bed quilt!

melissa@yummygoods said...

I wish you lived on Cape Cod. xoxo

Elizabeth {e tells tales} said...

Thanks for posting this!

I'm hand quilting our baby blanket right now and have been dreading the binding, but this looks doable for sure!


RenegadeQuilter said...

Thanks for taking the time to put this together for us. I usually sew my binding to the front & press to the back. I then use silk finish pins and pin in the ditch on the front making sure to catch the binding on the back. I then use my number 10 foot (Bernina) & stitch in the ditch following the seam of the binding from the front. It works well.

Jenean said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I really appreciate it when people take the time to document every single step of a process, then kindly share that information. This is so helpful. Looks wonderful! Thank you!!

TaneshaN said...

Fantastic tutorial!! Thanks for posting it.

Lori said...

Great tutorial Heather! Thanks! I was wondering how that would look on the back and it was nice of you to include everything! Very thorough! I just might try this now!

Lavender Lane said...

That rocks! I already knew how to do it but u helped me see how to do things properly and in a finished way! Thanks babe!

What She Quilted said...

Thanks for this great tutorial. I hand stitch mine to the back like most, but have been toying with the idea of finishing it by machine instead.

Sue said...

Thanks, Heather! This was great and was the perfect finish for my quilt. So much better than hand sewing the binding.

seeks said...

Great tutorial! It was well illustrated and easy to understand, which is super helpful for me these days. My brain is too fried to do decent maths much less hand-sewing in a timely fashion. Thank you SO much! (I'll be posting on my results tomorrow, I think, if you want to see how you've helped this girl out.)

Sequana said...

Better late than never, I did a search for binding all by machine and here you are. :)

It looks like a very doable technique the way you've laid it out. I've never been able to do a decent "join" either.

I'm working on a set of placemats - the perfect size to try this. Thx so much for all the time you took with it.

Terrace Hill said...

I'm new to binding corners, and I just knew there had to be a trick! Thanks so much for sharing and for the detail of your explanation

xsoccermom said...

This is the best tutorial for attaching a binding by machine, I have found. Thank you so much for taking the time to put it on the web, for us quilters. So nice of you.
C. Newell
Your the Best!

Nancy said...

Wow, I never thought about topstitching the binding on the front side. This is beautiful, practical, and fast. How marvelously modern! Thanks, Heather.

LaurieBelle said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have arthritis and it is difficult to hand stitch binding on these days, so I searched to see if anyone else used the machine and found your blog. Your directions were perfect. I got the binding on my quilt last night in a couple hours and it looks great. It would have taken me days the "old way". Thank you! You have a lovely blog here that I will follow.

sactdl2 said...

Do you prefer to cut the binding strips on grain versus on bias?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...