Mastering the Art of Machine Binding: How to Bind a Quilt Like a Pro

Quilting has been a beloved pastime for generations, bringing warmth and comfort to homes around the world. And while the traditional method of hand binding a quilt may be an art form in itself, many modern quilters are turning to the efficiency and accuracy of machine binding. But with so many techniques and tips available, it can be overwhelming to figure out the best way to bind a quilt by machine. Fear not, for we have delved into this very question and uncovered all the important details you need to know. So, grab your sewing machine and get ready to learn how to expertly bind a quilt by machine in this comprehensive guide.

What You Need to Know Before Binding a Quilt By Machine

When it comes to binding a quilt by machine, there are some important things to keep in mind. Unlike hand-binding, machine binding requires a bit more precision and technique. It may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and steps, you can achieve a professional-looking finish on your quilt.

First and foremost, it is essential to choose the right fabric for binding. The ideal fabric for binding should be tightly woven and durable to withstand regular wear and tear. A 100% cotton fabric is often recommended as it is both strong and easy to work with.

Next, make sure you have the necessary equipment ready before starting the machine binding process. Besides a sewing machine, you will need some basic sewing supplies like scissors, thread, pins or clips, and an iron. Additionally, having a walking foot or edge-stitching foot for your sewing machine will make the process much easier.

Preparing Your Quilt for Machine Binding

Before you can bind your quilt by machine, you must first prepare your quilt top by layering it with batting and backing fabric. You can either baste these layers together using safety pins or use spray basting for a quicker method.

Once your quilt top is prepared, trim any excess batting and backing so that they are flush with the edges of the quilt top. This step will help ensure that your binding looks neat and tidy when it is attached.

The Step-by-Step Process of Binding a Quilt By Machine

Step 1: Cut Your Binding Strips
Measure the perimeter of your quilt top to determine how much binding you will need. Most quilters prefer to cut their bindings on the bias (diagonally across the grain) as it provides more stretch and flexibility while sewing around corners. The width of your strips should be around 2.5 inches, and the length should be long enough to cover all the sides of your quilt.

Step 2: Join Your Binding Strips
If your binding strips are not long enough to cover the whole perimeter of your quilt, you will need to join them together. To do this, place two strips diagonally on top of each other with right sides facing, and sew a straight stitch along the edge, leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance. Trim off any excess fabric and press the seam open.

Step 3: Sew Your Binding to the Quilt
Start sewing your binding to the back of your quilt with a ¼ inch seam allowance, leaving a tail of about 8-10 inches. When you reach a corner, stop sewing approximately ¼ inch away from the edge and backstitch. Fold the binding strip up at a 45-degree angle, then fold it down over the next side. Continue sewing until you reach the next corner and repeat this process.

Step 4: Joining Your Binding Ends
When you have sewn around all four sides of your quilt, you will have leftover binding on both ends. To join these ends seamlessly, lay them over each other at a right angle with right sides facing. Mark where they overlap and cut diagonally along this line. Then join them with a diagonal seam by sewing from one end to another using a ⅜ inch seam allowance.

Step 5: Finish Sewing Your Binding
Fold the joined ends in half and press them before finishing sewing along the remaining unstitched edge on your quilt. Make sure to tuck in any raw edges as you sew for a clean finish.

Tips and Tricks for Machine Binding Success

– Test your machine settings and tension before starting on your actual quilt to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
– Use an invisible thread or matching thread color for stitching so that any imperfections are not noticeable.
– Use clips instead of pins to secure your binding in place. This will help prevent any pricks from pins and make it easier to remove them while sewing.
– Consider using a decorative stitch for the final topstitching of your binding to add a personal touch and extra flair to your quilt.
– Don’t be afraid to take it slow and go back and fix any mistakes or unevenness in your stitching. Precision is key when it comes to machine binding.

Binding a quilt by machine may seem daunting, but with the right tools, techniques, and practice, you can achieve a beautifully finished quilt. Remember to choose the right fabric, prepare your quilt top correctly, and follow each step carefully for the best results. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to try out different methods and find what works best for you. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced quilter, mastering machine binding will take your quilting skills to the next level. Happy sewing!

Making a quilt by machine is an enjoyable and efficient way to create beautiful quilts. But before you can start stitching, one important step is to properly bind the quilt. Binding is the process of covering the raw edges of a quilt with a fabric strip, giving it a clean and finished appearance. While hand binding is a traditional method, machine binding has gained popularity for its speed and durability. In this article, we will explore How to Bind A Quilt By Machine in a comprehensive manner.

Gather Your Materials

Before diving into the binding process, gather all the necessary materials. These include quilt top, batting, backing fabric, rotary cutter and mat, ruler, sewing thread (preferably in a color that matches your binding fabric), sewing machine with zigzag stitch or walking foot attachment, fabric scissors or rotary cutter with pinking blade, pins or clips, iron & ironing board.

Preparing Your Quilt

To prepare your quilt for binding, trim away any excess batting and backing around the edges leaving about half an inch seam allowance. Use your ruler and rotary cutter to achieve straight edges. Press your quilt top and backing to remove any wrinkles or creases.

Cutting Binding Strips

Now it’s time to cut the binding strips from your chosen fabric. Cut strips of fabric on bias (diagonally across the grain) at 2-1/4” wide using your rotary cutter and mat. It’s recommended to cut one continuous strip that goes around all four sides of your quilt but you may need more strips depending on the size of your quilt.

Sewing The Strips Together

To create one long strip from multiple strips cut earlier – place two strips at 90-degree angles (right sides together), then mark from corner to corner (as shown below) and sew a quarter-inch seam on the marked line. Trim away the excess fabric and press the seam open. Continue to add strips until you have one long continuous strip.

Preparing The Binding Strip

After you’ve prepared your binding strips, press the entire strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Then, open the strip and fold both raw edges of the strip towards this center pressed crease. Press it again to create a double-fold binding strip with raw edges neatly concealed inside.

Attaching The Binding To Your Quilt

Begin pinning or clipping (your preference) your double fold binding around one edge of your quilt top – starting from the center of one side and leaving approximately 5” of binding free at the beginning. Ensure that both raw edges are aligned with the raw edge of your quilt top and smooth out any puckering or wrinkles as you go along. Continue to pin or clip your binding, working around each corner mitering them at 45-degree angles.

Sewing The Binding In Place

Now that your binding is pinned or clipped in place, it’s time to sew it on to your quilt by machine. Set up your machine with zigzag stitch attachment or walking foot attachment if available. Begin sewing from where you left off, removing pins/clips as you go along but leave about an inch away from last corner unstitched to join them together (using square knot or diagonal seam) later.

Sew slowly – begin sewing on top of previous zigzag stitch for about an inch – then release pressure on foot pedal so needle stops but keep needle in fabric – turn a few stitches by hand while moving back over pressed folded edge – piggyback another inch worth of stitches – repeat this process until reaching first corner – then continue straight stitching along next straight side – repeat aforementioned pivot process at each corner. Stop sewing when you reach where you started and leave enough binding to overlap (approximately 2”) over quilt edge (refer to picture below). Create a diagonal seam joining them together and trim away any excess fabric – make sure they match in thickness. Finish sewing last inch.

Mitring The Corners of Your Binding

Before bringing your binding over to the back of your quilt, let’s miter the corners for a more polished look. Begin by pulling the binding straight up away from your quilt top, fold it back down over itself at a 45-degree angle aligning its bottom raw edges with that side of its sewn binding. Pin it in place.

Finishing Up

Now that everything’s in place let’s finish up by hand or machine whip-stitching backing and batting raw edges closed – repeating aforementioned pivot copies at each corner – making sure not to catch any quilt top fabric or hand stitching going through three layers only – knotting/finishing stitching inside backing so nothing shows on top.

After completing the stitching, give your quilt a final press ensuring there are no wrinkles or puckers on the binding. Admire your beautiful finished quilt! With practice, you will become more efficient and mastering

1. How do I prepare my quilt for binding by machine?
To prepare your quilt for machine binding, first make sure all of the layers are evenly basted together. This will help prevent shifting while sewing on the binding. Then, trim the edges of your quilt so they are even and straight.

2. What kind of foot do I need to use when binding a quilt by machine?
It is recommended to use a walking foot or an edge-stitching foot when sewing on binding with a machine. These feet help to evenly feed the layers through, reducing puckering and ensuring a straight stitch line.

3. Do I need to sew the binding onto the front or back of my quilt first?
The choice is up to personal preference, but it is recommended to sew the binding onto the front of your quilt first so you can ensure it is attached correctly and neatly. Then, you can hand stitch the backside for a clean finish.

4. How do I know how much binding to make for my quilt?
A general rule of thumb is to measure the perimeter of your quilt and add 10 inches to account for corners and overlap. You can also use online calculators or consult a quilting book for specific measurements.

5. What stitch should I use when attaching the binding by machine?
A straight stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance is typically used when attaching the binding by machine. You can also adjust your stitch length slightly if needed.

6. Is there anything specific I should do when reaching corners while sewing on binding?
When you approach a corner, stop stitching 1/4 inch from the edge and backstitch to secure your stitches. Then fold and press your binding at a 45 degree angle, fold it back down on itself, and continue stitching from the edge. This creates a mitered corner for a clean finish.

In conclusion, binding a quilt by machine is a relatively simple but crucial step in creating a well-finished and long-lasting quilt. By following the steps outlined in this article, one can achieve a clean and professional-looking edge that will hold up to regular use and washing.

First, it is important to select the appropriate binding fabric and calculate the required length. The binding should be cut on the bias for optimal flexibility and ease of sewing. Additionally, trimming the quilt edges and attaching the binding with a zigzag stitch can help prevent puckering and ensure a smooth finish.

Next, carefully mitering the corners and joining the two ends of the binding strip will result in clean and seamless edges. It is essential to take one’s time with this step to avoid any uneven or bulky corners.

When it comes to actually attaching the binding to the quilt, using a walking foot or making small adjustments on your machine’s settings can help ensure even stitching along all edges. And finally, hand sewing or topstitching with a decorative stitch can add a personalized touch to your quilt.

We have also discussed some tips for troubleshooting common issues such as puckering or misaligned corners during the binding process. By following these steps diligently, one can create a professionally bound quilt that will last for years

Author Profile

Jill Nammar
My name is Jill but everyone calls me Jilly. I design original cross stitch patterns inspired by vintage French and flowers. Roses are my muse.
I hope you have a cozy time stitching my patterns. Put the kettle on, relax and create a heartwarming piece of hand-embroidered art. Personalize your home and turn up the soulful charm with soulful stitchery.

My goal is to provide you with pretty patterns that promote peaceful stitching. My wish is for you to discover the gentle beauty of hand-embroidery.My patterns have been featured around the web and in Homespun Magazine and Boston Magazine. I find my bliss in cross stitch.

From 2024, I have embarked on a new venture—writing an informative blog on the “Embroidery and Cross-Stitch” niche. This blog is an extension of my passion, where I share detailed posts and respond to queries related to embroidery and cross-stitching.

The blog covers a wide range of topics from beginner tips, pattern creation, historical insights, and the therapeutic benefits of stitching. My goal is to build a community where enthusiasts can learn, share, and grow in their embroidery skills, ensuring everyone can find their own bliss in cross-stitch just as I did.

Thank you to all my customers and readers who have supported Sew French. Your kind emails, photos of completed patterns, and continual encouragement fuel my dedication to this beautiful craft. Join me in stitching a world of beauty and peace, one pattern at a time.