Friday, January 21, 2011

My "Easy Peasy" Machine Binding Tutorial

Love to quilt, but hate to stich the binding by hand?  Maybe this Easy Peasy Machine Binding Tutorial will help.   I hope so. 

This is not my original idea, and I can't remember where I saw it, but I've been using this method ever since and thought I'd share it here.   This way,  makes it look like one continuous piece of binding.   The stitching by hand to the back of the quilt is best for your entries to a Quilt Show and items for judging, but when you need an Easy Peasy faster way, this might just be your answer.  It is definitely my answer for my dolly quilts for sale in my Etsy Store.

Let's get started, shall we?

Naturally, we do our quilting first.  I'm going to be using one of my small dolly quilts for the pictures.

When the quilting is finished, use your ruler & rotary cutter to trim the batting/backing edges even with your quilt top.

Cut strips from your binding fabric 2 1/4" wide. (You can cut them 2 1/2" wide if you prefer, but for my small quilts, I like it narrower.)  I use my AccuQuilt GO cutter when I cut 2 1/2" strips.

Pin two strips of your binding together at the ends (right sides together) perpendicular. Stitch diagonally across.

Trim seam to approximately 1/4", and press.

Press binding strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, matching raw edges.

Leaving a tail of approximately 6-8 inches loose and using a 1/4" seam,  stitch  binding to the quilt's right side starting half way down on the long side, raw edges of binding matching quilt edge.

To make a perfect mitered corner, place a pin 1/4" from end and stitch up to the pin, back tack, stitch forward to the pin again, needle down.  Raise presser foot, shift quilt slightly so the corner is facing towards you; needle down and continue stitching diagonally to the corner.

Lift presser foot, flip up binding perpendicular to edge you just finished, making sure right edge of binding lines up even with right side edge of quilt.

Fold down binding, lining up outside edge even with quilt, and make sure fold of binding is exactly at the side edge you just stitched.  (Take another look at the are worth a 1000 words, as the saying goes.)

Using 1/4" seam, stitch binding to edges of quilt; making  mitered corners as before.

End stitching approximately 6-8 inches from beginning and leave tail of binding free.

This next part is a bit tricky, but you can do it. (Take your time and look at the pictures.)  

Trim off end tail of binding so you have approximately 4 inches or so beyond the stitching you just finished. (see picture)
Using ruler, mark on the beginning tail of binding 2 1/4" (the width of the binding) marks as illustrated in picture, and then trim the beginning section of binding to that measurement.

Pin binding ends perpendicular to each other with two pins.

Stitch diagonally from corner to corner.

Trim seam and press open. 

Lay quilt on ironing board, fold joined binding in place, press.   Finish stitching binding to quilt.  (Please notice when joining your binding this way at the end, you can hardly see the seam....sneaky, aren't we?)

With back side of quilt facing up, press binding away from quilt.

Turn quilt  right side up and again press binding outward, away from quilt.

Turn binding to back of quilt with folded edge covering past the stitching approximately 1/16".  Pin in place.

See close up picture for placement of pins for miter corner.

Turn quilt to right side up.  Starting in the middle of one side, needle down, pull up bobbin thread to top.  Holding both threads in your left hand, start stitching in the ditch, slowly.  Stop; clip threads.  Stitch in the ditch to finish stitching binding to quilt.

Stitching completed.

Stitching in the ditch, as seen on the front.

Stitching completed, as seen from the back.

Here's my small quilt, with the Easy Peasy Machine Binding completed.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and learned a trick or two.  I would appreciate your comments, and/or suggestions so I can make  improvements to my future tutorials.

Thanks for visiting.


  1. Oh wow...I will have to try that...your instructions were very clear. Thanks!!

  2. Constructive criticism: maybe show how to pull up bobbin thread as you say when you begin stitching in the ditch.

    I am glad you sewed the binding to the front and then pinned it to the back. Stitched in the ditch on front. I have not seen a binding tute done this way before. I looked last month BELIEVE ME;) I did it like you have here anyway even though other tutes said it couldn't be done: P

    I noticed that you were sewing through pins---tsk,tsk he,he,he! Just had to be a stinker that's all.

  3. Sharon Schamber has some videos online showing her method which is very similar to this but she uses starch and Elmer's school glue which means no pinning required. I've been using her method for quite a while now and my binding is perfect every time.

    Joining the beginning and end of the binding like you did here make such a big difference in how that section looks on the finished quilt...a very important step!

    Nice job, and very cute little quilt!


  4. Thanks for the tips. Wonderfully explained.

  5. Great tut, Judy...I don't think there is any improvement that needs to be made. The pictures were certainly 'right on'. Marilyn in SA

  6. This is how I do them too, don't have time or patience to do them by hand.

  7. Love the tutorial...the way I learned was almost like this except for sewing out to the corner to get the mitered corner. I'll be sure to try that! I also love the striped incredibly lucky that the stripes just about aligned perfectly when you joined the two edge together.

  8. Great tutorial, Judy. The pics are better than any I've seen on other tutes. I look forward to more tutorials from you. : )

  9. this is fabulous! Love the pictures - really help with the step by step process!

  10. Great tip! It read like a mystery to me as I know how to bind and I kept waiting for the "new" thing. I was not disappointed! I will be directing my readers over here to see this, too!

  11. Easy peasy!!!! I think I have it figured out at the end to get that last miter.

  12. Great instructions, easy to follow. This is how I do my corners but your method of joining the binding pieces at the end is much better than I have done in the past. I will try this! Thanks!!

  13. Great photos, and I love the colors in your little quilt!

  14. I like this. I may do it like this with the exception of using Elmer's glue and heat setting it instead of the pins. (yes I see that Grace already mentioned that. ha ha)

  15. Hola!
    Gracias por el excelente tutorial!
    Es muy claro y con muy buenas fotos.!
    Creo que también podría hacerlo al revés! O sea, primero coser la tira en el lado posterior, luego realizar el giro hacia el frente del edredón y asegurarla con un punto decorativo de la máquina de coser, lo que le da un efecto muy bonito y delicado.
    Espero a Ud. le sirva la idea!
    Un abrazo!
    Thanks for the excellent tutorial!
    It is very clear and very good photos.!
    I could also do the opposite! That is, first sew the binding in the back, then make the turn towards the front of the quint and secured with a decorative point of the sewing machine, which gives a very beautiful and delicate effect.
    I hope to you will serve the idea!
    A hug!"

  16. I love binding.
    Thanks for the tutorial it's given me a couple of points to ponder.

  17. So simple! If only I'd seen this a few days ago when I did the binding for my first quilt - could have saved myself a few hours of hand sewing!

  18. I usually do it by hand, but what a neat idea!

  19. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I don't quite understand exactly where to continue stitching after this step:

    "Fold down binding, lining up outside edge even with quilt, and make sure fold of binding is exactly at the side edge you just stitched. (Take another look at the are worth a 1000 words, as the saying goes.)

    Do you just make a 90-degree turn, or is there any diagonal stitching?


  20. Thanks so much. This was my first attempt and I now understand binding!! Your directions were so clear - and you're right about the pictures - they're great. I am bookmarking this site to come back to for the next quilt. Thanks!!

  21. I loved this Binding tutorial... Ive linked it up part of my QUilt Class 101 series.. Its links back to you and this tutorial of course.. Hope that ok..

    You can see it here

    Thanks for a great tutorial, Bec

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