after experimenting with a couple different ways to machine bind a quilt, i’ve discovered a simple, easy technique that has consistent results each and every time, no missed stitching on the back and perfectly mitered corners, front and back!
keep reading to see how..
this tutorial will provide detailed instructions on how to sew a double binding onto your quilt. the benefits of a double binding is strength and durability throughout many years of use and laundering.
step 1. measure and cut
- measure all sides of your quilt to determine how many inches of binding you will need, cut the length of strips you will need plus 10″-12″ extra.
- cut your binding strips, i generally cut mine 2 1/2″ wide, across the width of fabric.
step 2. piecing your binding strips
- trim off the selvage ends.
- with right sides together, use a ruler to mark diagonally from corner to corner, pin, and stitch across your marking. continue piecing your strips together until you have the length of binding you need.
- measuring 1/4″ trim corners off.
note: using this strip piecing technique will give you less bulk when stitching, and a professional looking finish.
step 3. press
- press your diagonal seams OPEN, fold in half and press the full length of your binding.
step 4. attaching the binding
- BEGIN approximately 15″ down one side of your quilt, and using your Clover Wonder Clips, ATTACH YOUR BINDING TO THE BACK OF YOUR QUILT with raw edges together. the wonder clips will keep your binding and quilt perfectly flat, pins will create bulk, puckers, and unevenness.
- when you approach a corner, you will fold your binding upwards, away from the quilt, finger press, as shown above.
- use a small ruler and lay it across your binding corner, even with the raw edges of your quilt and binding.
- next, fold the binding over the ruler, as shown above, use a clip to secure the binding in place and slide the ruler out.
- use another clip to hold the corner in place. taking this step will give you a perfectly square and eventually lovely mitered corner. [trust me it will all make sense in the end]
- continue all the way around your quilt, until you reach the other side.
- you will now have two “tails” of binding and a 10″-12″ opening.
note: be sure when you are clipping the binding strips around your quilt that the diagonal seams we created when piecing the strips together, DO NOT meet at a corner of your quilt. this creates to much bulk, and will not give you a perfectly mitered corner.
step 5. sewing your binding
- using a walking foot, and a 1/4″ seam, begin stitching below the first clip you placed at approximately 15″ down one side of your quilt. DO NOT start stitching your binding at a corner.
note: using a walking foot is another tool that will give you a nice smooth, professional finish to your quilt binding. a walking foot prevents bunching and puckers through all the layers of your quilt and binding.
step 6. perfectly mitered corners
be sure to read through these next few steps thoroughly and carefully…the results will be a consistent, perfectly mitered corner on both the front and back of your quilt.
- when you approach a corner, you will finger press your corner, leaving a diagonal fold/line across the binding, as shown above.
- when your needle reaches the fold/line, STOP with your needle in the fold/line.
- LIFT YOUR PRESSER FOOT AND PIVOT, towards the outside corner.
- lower your presser foot, slowly stitch 2-3 stitches and then backstitch 2-3 stitches, then continue to stitch forward and off the corner!
- cut your thread, lift presser foot, and remove your quilt. it should look exactly as show above. trust me this is a trick that will create a perfectly mitered corner each and every time.
- now you will begin stitching down the other side of that mitered corner, flip the corner to the other side and use a clip to hold the corner down, as shown above.
- begin your 1/4″ seam by lowering your needle into the fold/line, stitch forward, then back to lock your stitch, and continue to the next corner, repeat each corner as shown in the above steps.
- once you reach the side you began stitching on, backstitch to lock your stitch, leaving a 10″-12″ opening, this will provide you room to complete step 7.
step 7. the binding tool
i love my quilting gadgets, anything to help me achieve quick, easy, professional results. which brings me to the Fons & Porter Binding Tool. i’m not going to lie the first time i used this tool, i had to read the instructions several times over before i got the hang of it.
- remember that 10″-12″ opening we left after attaching/sewing the binding around the quilt, where the left and right ends/tails meet..
- i had a 10″ opening so i cut the right side end/tail at the mid mark of 5 inches, as shown above.
- take the binding tool and lay it over the right side of the binding you just trimmed, matching the binding tool end with the end of the binding, as shown above.
- now take the left side tail and fold it over itself at the 2 1/2″ binding tool marking, or the appropriate marking, i.e. if your binding was 2 1/4″ wide you would fold it at that marking instead.
- finger press, at the fold.
- now you’ll cut on that fold you just made.
this part gets a little tricky, at least it was for me…
- match rights sides together of both the left and right tail or end of binding
- take the binding tool and lay it over you binding ends, aligning the binding tool as shown above.
- draw a marking line and pin in place.
- measuring 1/4″ trim the corner off, and press seam OPEN.
- your finished seam will look like this, matching perfectly.
- to finish, stitch the 10″ opening closed, backstitching at each end to lock your stitch.
step 8. pressing
- next, press your binding outward as shown above, no need to worry about pressing your corners.
- turn your quilt over with the quilt top/front facing upwards and your binding will be pressed as shown above.
- working your way around the quilt, fold your double fold binding over the raw edge of your quilt top, using the binding clips to once again hold your binding in place.
- when you reach a corner, simple finger press the mitered corner in place and clip in place.
- using your walking foot, position your needle 1/16th – 1/8th of an inch away from the inner binding edge, as shown above.
- begin stitching, backstitch to lock and continue.
- when you reach a corner, you will go 1-2 stitches over the mitered fold, backstitch, lift presser foot and pivot, as shown above. a perfectly mitered corner each time, due to the technique we used earlier in step 6.
note: by attaching the binding to the BACK of the quilt as shown in step 4, and folding the binding to the front, you will have a perfectly sewn binding every time, with no worries about catching the binding underneath because it’s already sewn securely in place.
the only thing you will be focused on, is stitching the binding to the front.
…beautiful, consistent, professional results every time!
if you look closely you will see that the stitching on the BACK of the quilt runs along side of the binding, in other words the stitching does not need to catch the back of the binding, because it’s already secured in place.
if you prefer to have the stitching across the backside of your binding vs along side the binding, simply use 2 1/4″ wide binding strips.
this technique will create a strong, durable, long lasting binding, made to last for generations.
once i’m finished i like to wash my quilts in a cold water, gentle cycle with a Shout Color Catcher, and tumble dry on low.
i take this step for a couple reasons, the first is, your quilt has been on the floor, in and out of your hands multiple times, etc.. etc.. and secondly, i love the soft feel and quilty goodness after washing.