A Machine Sewn Binding

September 19, 2010 § 37 Comments

Okay. Here you go. This is how I generally sew on binding completely with the sewing machine.  I think there may be a couple of things that I do differently from the general population.  Let me know what you think!  These Mug Rugs are addictive.  Seriously! I want to make a dozen more…  This one measures approximately 6 3/4″ square.

1. Trim & square up your quilt.

2. Cut your binding strip(s) and press in half.  I like to make a 3/8-inch binding and cut my strips 2 1/2 inches wide.  If you want to make your binding a different width, this is how I calculate what width strip to cut:

3/8″ width binding x 3 (seam allowance, fold over back, fold over front) = 1 1/8″ times 2 (for a double folded binding) = 2 1/4″ + 1/4″ (to accommodate the thickness of the batting) = 2 1/2-inch binding.

You may want to experiment with different sizes and measurements to see what works best you.

3. At the beginning of the strip, fold over at a 45-degree angle and press.

4. Using your ruler & rotary cutter, trim away the excess, leaving a 1/4 seam allowance from the fold line.

5. Using your walking foot on your sewing machine, place the binding along the edge on the BACK side of your quilt, making sure that the triangle created from the 45-degree fold is somewhere in the middle of that quilt side. Start sewing a little ways beyond the opening and 3/8-inch from the cut edge.

6. When you get to the first corner, stop approximately a scant 3/8-inch from the edge and back stitch or secure the stitching. Remove the quilt from under the presser foot and fold the binding up to create a 45-degree fold at the corner.

7. Fold the binding down over the top of the 45-degree fold, mimicking the corner exactly.  Place your needle a scant 3/8-inch from the top edge and directly on the edge of the fold beneath the top layer of the binding.  Sew a couple of stitches forward then backstitch or secure the stitching. Continue sewing along the edge of the quilt until you reach the next corner.

I think folding the binding exactly at a 45-degree angle and exactly along the edge is what contributes to a well made or poorly made mitered corner. It takes a little practice to get it just right.

8. When you have gone around all 4 corners and edges, you will find yourself back at the beginning where you started.  Trim the binding so that it is just a bit longer that the triangular opening. Then stuff it in the middle to hide away all the raw edges.  Continue sewing  the rest of the binding to the quilt until you’ve sewn over the first few stitches at the beginning. Cut your thread and remove the quilt from under the presser foot.

9. Now, turn your quilt over so that the top side is showing. Bring the binding over the edge enough so that the folded edge covers the stitching by an 1/8-inch.  Place under the presser foot and insert the needle approximately a scant 1/8″  from the folded edge to be sure that the top-stitching covers the stitching underneath.   I like to start at the same place that I tucked in the raw edges so that everything is secure from the beginning.  Continue sewing until you are near the first corner and stop with your needle down.

10.  Carefully fold the bulk at the corner to create that 45-degree mitered corner on the back side.

11. Gently pull the binding over the top and smooth it flat. Place a pin right along the edge to hold in place while you are pulling up the bottom edge up and over to meet at the corner.

12. Once the corner is pulled up, use the pin to secure all of the binding layers.  Here is where I stitch slowly, carefully hold the binding in place and often using the pin as a quilting awl to make sure that nothing slides and that I sew 1 stitch over the edge to secure the binding in place at the corner. Stop with your needle down.

13. Raise your presser foot and pivot around the corner, carefully holding the binding in place. Continue sewing along each edge of the quilt until you reach the beginning again.  Back stitch a couple of stitches to secure everything with the thread.

If everything comes out okay, there should be 1 stitch over the edge of the corner fold.

And, on the back side, most of the stitching should fall on the quilt along the edge of the binding.  As you can see, mine doesn’t always  come out perfectly either!  There were 2 or 3 spots where the stitching ran over the binding.  But, for the most part, it looks pretty good.

Now you!  Go sew some binding.  🙂

§ 37 Responses to A Machine Sewn Binding

  • Susan says:

    Great tute! I have it bookmarked! Bubbles

  • Renee says:

    Super tutorial, great photos. Thanks!!

  • Adrianne says:

    Great Tutorial! Thank you!! I like the tuck method. I am totally trying this on my next mug rug. ; )

  • Linda says:

    Wonderful, wonderful tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to put it together. You make it look soooo easy! I can’t wait to give it a try…..

  • Florence says:

    Thanks !! Great tutorial !

  • Helen says:

    You make it look so easy!!

  • isabel says:

    Excellente tutorial! I’ll try this way someday, even if it doesn’t give the pleasure of “sewing in the couch”.

  • amy says:

    Thanks, Anita! You make it look so easy AND tidy. Do you usually use this method for your larger quilts too? I need to practice this so I can do this better.

  • tina says:

    Your binding is so neat and well done. I always hand sew mine on the back, but will think about doing it your way next time. Thanks.

  • Wonderful tute, Anita, thanks so much! You do beautiful work.

  • amandajean says:

    thank you for the wonderful and clear tutorial, Anita! i was thinking about this when i was making my cup of coffee this morning, and here it is, posted! i bet it takes a bit of practice (just like everything else) to get it right. i’m eager to try it out.

    LOVE this mug rug so very much!!!

  • joan says:

    Oh I am so happy to see this, perhaps I shall make a few of these things now that you have solved the binding problem. No more hand work….More time to knit

  • Alexandra says:

    Excellent tutorial, this is how I do my binding…I am NOT a hand sewer and because my quilts are going to be used and washed I think the machine binding is a better option. Plus too many quilts and not a enough time in life to hand sew. Also I am not in fear of quilt police, let them howl in protest, this is my quilt!!!

    One thing I do do differently is once sewn to the back I will iron the binding towards the edge of the quilt and turn the quilt top over and press the binding including the mitred corners so that I have a nice crisp fold in the binding and it lays flat making the sewing easier. I find it a bit more accurate and less tugging and folding when at the machine.
    THank Anita for continuing to be inspiring.

  • I bind this way…but I just started doing it the opposite way, sewing the binding on the front…pinning it to the back and sewing it from the top side. I have a blog post scheduled for it on Friday. Hop over and check it out then.

  • Rebekah says:

    Thanks for posting this! I definitely want to try this out soon.

  • Rachel says:

    This is great, Anita! I look at the tutorial when you first posted it, but didn’t have a chance to try it out until today. Your instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I chickened out on sewing the binding down by machine, though. I will stitch by hand in front of the t.v. tonight. Maybe I’ll try that on a smaller project…. Thanks for posting this!

  • pratima says:

    Great tutorial, Anita! I’ve always been sewing the binding by hand. I should try this method atleast on a small quilt first. Thanks so much 🙂

  • Cala says:

    Thanks for the handy tutorial.
    I have a sort of random question… What kind of foot is that on your machine? I’ve never seen one like it…

  • kayleighl says:

    It looks so clean and deliciously simple. Yet I’m so afraid I’m going to mess up!! Well, with my next quilt I’ll give it a try. Going to bookmark your site. Thanks for the tips!

  • Kim says:

    Okay so how many times did you have to practice this to get it just the way you wanted it? this is so nice done…clear and concise…..I’m gonna practice and see if I can get mine looking good :0).

    thanks so much and Happy sewing

  • Blue.Ridge.Girl says:

    I’m giving this machine stitched binding a try on a mug rug I am making for the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap. I am trying to stretch myself to learn new things :o) Can’t wait to see how it goes!

  • myra says:

    A wonderful tute! Thanks for sharing!! 😎

  • […] friend’s baby. Hand finishing the binding, but wishing I’d tried a machine method like this method. One corner to go! I’ll then wash it before it’s given. And will then finish a dress […]

  • Annessa says:

    Great pictures and just what I needed! Thanks!

  • Suzanne says:

    Hello! I popped over to your space months ago when Amanda Jean referenced your tutorial and I’m back again. It helped me so much. I’m nowhere near “good” but I’m getting a lot better with practice. Thank you!

  • Mary says:

    Thanks….you always do such a great job on your tutorials

  • Rosie says:

    Thank you for sharing your triangle tucking in method to join the binding! It is so much easier than trying to measure and join the binding off the quilt! I will be using this method from now on! Rx

  • […] you all another option for ending your quilts.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!  HERE is the tutorial for this particular […]

  • That’s a much easier way of putting the beginning and end of the binding together than I was taught. I’ll be giving that a go. Thanks!

  • Anne O'Neil says:

    Can’t wait to try tucking in the ends. Tomorrow!

  • Gayle Albin says:

    at an adorable quilt shop in West Monroe, La. I learned the binding the same way! The only difference was she taught me to use a 3 step zig zag for the front binding, the stitches hold the front beautifully and give it a nice finish for the front and the back! I love your site so much!

  • Sylvia Smith says:

    Thank you so much for such a clear tutorial.

  • Hey there! Thank you for this machine tutorial! Glad to be following you now =)

  • Dee Whisnant says:

    Great tutorial! Your presser foot looks like none I’ve seen before but would love to have! Is it brand specific (made to go with your machine) or type (low shank or slant shank type presser foot for any machine)?

  • janet rodriguez says:

    I have done binding by hand so long I love that you took the time to put this together and so clearly . thank you so much.

  • chandrika says:

    Great tutorial! Neat edges & sharp corners. Thanks for putting it all together so clearly. Cant wait to give it a try.

  • Ella says:

    Thanks for the BEST machine sewn binding tutorial I’ve ever used!!

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