How to bind a quilt by machine

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How to bind a quilt by machine

Not many things excite me more in sewing than neatly sewn binding on a quilted project:). I used to dread that stage of making a quilt by machine. I always did it by hand and it would look fabulous but I would spent  a lot of time.

During my last scrap buster project I aimed at making one finished product per day, so there was no way to sew binding by hand. I started by searching machine binding tutorials on-line. It was helpful but not always simple enough:). In this post I summarize both what I have learnt and added myself. 

I cut my binding strips 2.5 inch wide. For this particular project I am using scrap binding.




I pin 2 strips together at 90 degree angle and mark from corner to corner.


And sew all pieces into one long strip


Then trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch at the seams,



iron seams open,  then iron the binding in half and roll it.


 Now your binding is ready to be sewn.


Mark the middle point on the long side of your project. Pin the binding 12 inch below from the marked point. I usually pin only the starting point but you feel like pinning along the side, just do it.


Now sew the binding with 1/4 inch seam allowance.

When you come to the corner stop at 1/4 inch from it. I read somewhere that you should stop at 5/8 inch. I don´t have a proper tool to measure, I usually even don´t measure 1/4 inch just eyeball it (simply don´t sew to the end).

 Now take the quilt from the machine and fold the binding  at 90 degree angle so the side of the binding to be sewn and side of the quilt make one line. 

and then fold the biding back and pin it.

Start right at the corner and sew another side.

Continue until you come to the point  we marked in the beginning (the middle of the long side). And leave 6-7 inch long the ending piece of binding (purple in this case).

 Cut the red side (beginning) of binding at 2 3/4 inch from the end of the purple ending of the binding.

Place 2 pieces (beginning and ending) of binding at 90 degree angle right sides together (like we did when we were making the binding) and leave 1/8 inch of the fabric at the top (on red binding ) and on the right side (on purple one),  then mark a line from corner to corner for sewing. If you don´t leave 1/8 inch of fabric at the sides, then the remaining piece of binding will be slightly longer than the side of your quilt and you won´t be able to sew it neatly.


Sew along the marked line, trim the seam allowance and finger press the seam open and fold it. If you want you can use iron. Now we can see that the remaining piece of binding is exactly the same length as the unsewn piece of our project.

Sew the remaining part of the binding. 

Now the easy part. We need to iron the binding twice. I use the steam for this stage. First iron binding away from the front.

Then iron the binding to the back, setting the corners. If you did everything correct then the corner of the binding will cover the 1/4 inch seam.



Now pin a 10-12 inch long segment of the binding to the back of your quilt. I like starting  5-10 inch from the corner. Pin the corner too.


Start sewing from the front as close to the binding as possible. "The stitch in the ditch" foot  would be a great help. Usually I use  it. Unfortunately, when I was writing this post my sewing machine has been serviced and I didn´t have that particular foot, just a regular foot worked as well. Set the seam width slightly wider than usual (I use 3 mm).


The key is to go SLOWLY. When you finish the pinned segment, pin the next one and go on. 

The finished binding will look like this (black - front, white - back of the quilt).


Check the back side - if you messed a part, rip the seam, pin and sew again.

Here is the scrappy happy table runner I have been binding in this tutorial.



I hope this is simple enough and would help you to bind your project quickly by machine. I would like to hear your feedback!=)


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