Tuesday Tutor - machine binding

Posted by Ruth on 19 April 2011 | 0 Comments

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As you know, there are many methods of binding your quilt. My preference is to stitch it on (single fold if its a wall hanging), turn it to the back and hand stitch in place. This is the neatest in my opinion. But today I'm going to show you a machine binding with mitered corners. This binding is done completely by machine. In fact, I'll show you two methods and you can decide which one you like best. They both have a slightly different finish.

First you need to square off your quilt and trim away any excess batting and backing fabric. Then we need to measure around the outer edge of the quilt to ensure we make enough binding. To do this, measure the length and width of your quilt (for our sampler that is 46" in length and 34" in width). Add the two numbers (80"), double it (160" since there are two ends and two sides) and then add another 10" or so, to allow for the joins and miters. That gives us a total of 170". Now since the width of our fabric is say, 40" wide, we need to divide this number into our measurement to find out how many strips to cut. That would be just over 4 strips (4 x 40 = 160), thus we would need 5 strips of binding.

To make a 1/4" double binding we should cut the strips 2 1/2" wide. Go ahead and cut FIVE strips 2 1/2" wide.

All strips need to be joined in a continuous strip. To do this you should make bias joins. Place the two strips perpendicular (right sides together) and sew across the diagonal.

Join strips into one long strip with a bias joinJoin strips into one long strip with a bias join

Trim leaving 1/4" seam allowance and press seam open.

Join all the strips.

Cut through the diagonal on one end making a 45 degree cut which is on the bias. Fold under 1/4" on this cut edge. Now fold the binding in half lengthwise ready. Your binding is now prepared and ready to sew onto your quilt.

fold under one end and fold in half lengthwise

For this first method, attach binding on the front of the quilt, starting several inches away from the folded end. Make a 1/4" seam and sew toward the corner stopping 1/4" before the edge.

start stitching several inches from endstopping 1/4" before edge

Put your needle down in the fabric, lift the foot and pivot, then reverse off the edge.

The quilt can be removed from the machine if desire, or just pulled out from under the foot. 

Make a 45 degree fold in the binding so the binding goes upward. (see photo below)

fold binding at a 45 degree angle

Make a second fold leaving a small pleat and lay binding down along next side to be sewn.

fold binding at a 45 degree angle

Sew this next side starting at the pleat and continuing down to the next corner where you will stop 1/4" before the edge. Repeat this same procedure for all corners.

Once you are on the last side, stop several inches before the starting end of the binding. Lay the binding in position and trim off excess length making sure binding goes at least 1/2" beyond the folded edge of the start.

tuck end of binding into front

Open up the beginning binding and tuck in the end neatly so end is folded within the beginning section. Finish off stitching the binding in place.

Press binding over seam. This is important and makes for a neater finish.

pin binding in placeFold the binding over to the back, folding in mitered corners. Pin in place, pinning perpendicular to the seam line.

Notice the binding on the back will extend beyond the stitching line.




ditch stitch to catch back of binding


Once binding in pinned in place, ditch stitch around the edge of the quilt from the right side. The stitches will disappear into the seam and appear like quilting if seen. Since the folded edge of binding is well beyond the seam, you will catch this down with your stitches.

Miters may be stitched in place by hand or left as is. Your binding is complete.


Method Two:

This method is exactly the same as method one with the exception that the binding is sewn onto the wrong side of the quilt. It is then folded over to cover the stitching on the right side. After the binding is attached and pressed over to the front, the folded edge is top stitch in place. 

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting

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