How many of your prefer to machine bind your quilts?
I LOVE it. But it took me a while to find my groove and to get a lovely finished product. After machine binding for a few years, I finally feel like I have a fool-proof method. And now, I probably machine bind about 90% of my quilts. I love the durability and the finish. I know it’s not for everyone, but I thought I would share how I machine bind my quilts.
Let’s get started. There are several binding tutorials out there, so I won’t cover every aspect of binding. (If you need a comprehensive binding tutorial try here.) Instead, I’m going to show you what I do differently.
To start with, one of the main things I do to get the best finish on the front is to sew my binding strip to the back of the quilt.
Now, before attaching the binding to the front of the quilt I change up my machine settings a bit.
Before beginning, I make sure I have coordinating thread. I usually match my thread to the thread I used in the quilting. Then I set my stitch length to match the stitch length in the quilting, usually around 3.5. A walking foot is also important.
To start with, turn the quilt over to the front. Beginning with one corner, start wrapping around the fold of the binding to the front. Usually I just use my fingers, but clips and pins work too. 🙂
Once you’ve got the start pinned and your machine ready to go. Put that first corner under the foot. You will start stitching 1/4” away from each corner. But first, you will need to bring up your bobbin thread. So hold on to your top thread; then needle down and needle up. Then pull the top thread until the bobbin thread comes up. Pull each tails to the back and side, or away from the seam-to-be.
Once you’ve got the thread tails out of the way, lock stitch or stitch and back stitch. Then continue sewing about 1/8′ inch away from the fold.
For corners, I have just recently discovered I can just keep top stitching continously to attach the binding. (I used to stop and start at each corner.)
As you approach each corner you will need to pause sewing. Before continuing you are going to pin and clip your binding and miters into place. First start with clipping the binding into place on the next side.
Now, for the miter, be sure to put the binding fabric from the next side (bottom side in the picture) under the current binding fabric (show on the right in the picture). This will help the walking foot not “trip” over the fabric to make a yucky fold.
Pin the miter in place. (Is black the worst choice ever for a binding tutorial?!!! YES!) Try to pin away from where you will stitching so that you can keep the pin in place for as long as possible. And you just need to pin the top layers.
Once everything is pinned to your satisfaction, continue top stitching the binding to the front of the quilt. When you get to 1/4” away from each corner, which will hopefully be where your miter meets, you will pivot the quilt. Make sure your needle is down when you pivot. Pivot so that you can top stitch the binding to the next side.
Before continuing, just to be extra safe I put in a lock stitch. On my machine, the lock stitch is the circle within a circle button.
I think that’s that!
Just keep it up until you have 4…
Let me know if you have any questions!