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How to Machine Bind a Quilt

Hello lovelies!

I’m back with the final step of the Little Miss Sawtooth quilt along.  Next time I post about this quilt it will be with completed pictures.  It’s been such a lovely journey to have you take with me and I have very much enjoyed the company.  I’ll be sure to post some of the finished quilts that you have made as well.

Today we bind.  I’ve discussed this topic and my unusual way of completing this task here, but today will be with a video tutorial.  Hopefully, it makes it easier to see and understand, but feel free to jump to that post last year if needed.  It’s got many pictures.


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Squaring up your quilt

Before we bind, you will need to square your quilt up and cut off the excess binding, so let’s get to that.

I don’t do anything special here.  I lay my quilt on the cutting mat, keep it smooth, line up my ruler along the edges and trim off the excess batting and backing fabric.  You have to work in sections and sides.

Happy Cloud Quilt Batting by Fat Quarter Shop

Calculating and making your binding

Add all 4 sides up of your quilt, next add 10″ to that number to give yourself a little cushion and to be able to make your binding meet properly.  Next, you will divide that number by the width of the fabric (I always use the number 44).  For example, on our Little Miss quilt our top and bottom are 60″, those added together is 120″.  Our sides are 72″ each.  Add that to 120, and you get 264″.  Add 10″ for that extra you need and you have 274″ of binding we need.  Fabric is usually 42/44″ wide, so I use the number 44.  Divide 44 into 274 and you have 6.22.  Now round up to 7.  7 is the number of strips you cut.

Cut (7) 2.5″ strips.

Be sure to cut off the selvedges.  Then sew all your strips together end to end until you have one very long strip of fabric.  Take this to your ironing board and with wrong sides together fold your fabric in half.  I like to open all the seams.

Roll it up into something pretty like the above.  Isn’t that just pretty?  So pretty!!

I roll it up so that it doesn’t drag the floor or get caught everywhere and it just looks nice too.

Now it’s time….

Bind your quilt


You can use any presser foot you’d like to use, but I have found I like to use the walking foot the best.

Step 1 – Start binding in the center of one of your sides.  You’ll want to leave a 10″ tail.  That means don’t start at the very beginning of your binding, start about 10″ in it.  Lay the raw edge of your binding directly on the raw edge of your quit and begin stitching with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Back stitch to secure your stitches when beginning.

Step 2 – Keep stitching until you come to a corner.  Stop stitching and back stitch 1/4″ from the corner.  Clip your threads, and maneuver your quilt top so that you are stitching down the next side of your quit.  Fold your binding back on top of the part you previously just stitched, the tail of your binding should be pointing directly away from you and hold this with one hand.  Now, fold your binding over again until it’s pointing at you.  You will have to hold these folds in place until you start stitching again.  Start your stitches right at the edge, back stitch to secure once more.  Repeat this at every corner.

Step 4 – Stop your stitches about 10″ away from the place you first started stitching down your binding and back stitch.  Raise your presser foot and clip your threads.  Hold both ends of your binding to meet with your left hand.  Move your right hand through the throat of your machine and gently pull the quilt away from you, while your torso presses up against your machine and keeps the quilt from moving.  This should keep your quilt pulled tautly and make it easier to get your binding to meet in just the right place.  When you feel that your binding is just right (when it meets without any folds or wrinkles and everything feels taut) take a pencil and draw a line on both binding ends right up against where they meet (don’t worry, this gets folded up into the quilt, so you will never see your markings).  You can let go of everything now and relax.

Step 5 –  Open up the end of your binding (the part you stitched last) and lay it right side up.  You may have to maneuver your quilt a little bit to do this.  Lay the beginning of your binding (still folded) on top of the end.  Line up the line you drew on your folded binding end with the fold on your opened binding end.  Use the line you drew on your opened binding end to center.  Once all is aligned properly open up the binding end that’s folded, careful not to move it.  Both binding ends should be pointed in different directions.  Use pins to hold the position if you wish.

Step 6 – Sew a line diagonally down where the binding meets.  Cut excess binding off.  Then, fold your binding back up and maneuver it back to the edge of your quilt.  Start sewing exactly where you left off before, back stitch to begin.  This will close up the hole that you left.

Step 7 – Flip your quilt over to work on the back of it.  Fold your binding over on to the back of the quilt.  Stitch as close to the edge as you can.  Back stitch to begin.

Step 8 – When you come to a corner, stop a few inches away from it and ready the corner before continuing.  To ready your corner, fold the binding of the side you are stitching down.  The binding of the next side should fit snuggly over it.  Line up the edge of your corner to the inner edge of the binding of the opposite side.  Hold with your fingers and begin stitching down the inner edge of your binding once more.  Once you get to just past the fold, keep your needle down, raise your presser foot and pivot, pointing your next stitches to go down the next side of your quilt.  Repeat for all corners.

Step 9 – When you get to the part of the binding where you first started your stitches, try to make your stitches meet.  Back stitch to secure, clip your threads, you’re done!

The result of all this is mitered corners.


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I’ll see you next week with finished pictures!!


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