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Ditch Binding – Video Tutorial


I discussed this quite a bit in my Exploring Binding Methods post last Wednesday.  Forgive me as I repeat myself a little bit on this post, but since this is a tutorial I want you to know all that I know and I don’t want to assume you read last week’s post or make you hop somewhere else if this is the first time you are tuning in.

I machine bind like many quilters do, using a method that is in countless Youtube videos.  You can see my “old” method here.

I’ve since changed my method with the help of some quilty friends.  I want a no-show binding.  I don’t want that stitch line running the perimeter of my quilt.  I know that 98% of the quilts I’ve made feature this very stitch line.  I’m not knocking the method.  I’ve evolved, not enough to hand sew every binding mind you, but evolved enough to want to change my technique.  It’s allowed, by the way, to change something about yourself.  You don’t have to think and feel the same way all of your life.  And since I like to share everything I learn with you…

Today I’m showing you a video tutorial of my new binding method.


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 The Method

I’m using 2″ binding strips to achieve this look.  Yes, that’s thin!  It’s also a bit scary.  2″ is just barely enough to get everything covered.  If you are have not mastered getting points to line up or blocks all coming out the correct size, I would not recommend this method.  There is no room for mistakes.  The reason it needs to be 2″ is to avoid the binding on the back of your quilt of having a big fat lip.

For me, an ideal binding would have no sewing on the quilt top and on the quilt back I would have my stitch line on the very edge of the binding in a nice even line.  The nice even line is not always happening, but as long as I get close I’m happy.  Having it on the very edge is important to me for aesthetics.

Below is an image of a binding with a fat lip, although it is nice and even.  Nice and even means it’s not wiggly or moving all over the place, it’s a straight line.

Now the fat lip may be of no bother to you, and if that’s the case, I’d encourage you to use a wider binding than I am.



Just to make sure we are on the same page:  The 2″ binding is so you don’t have a fat lip binding.

You’ll cut binding strips according to the pattern you are making, but you’ll change the width to 2″.  You’ll sew your binding onto the TOP of your quilt.  Use binder clips to fold your binding around your quilt and keep it in place.  You’ll once again sew on the TOP side of your quilt, stitching in the ditch beside your binding.  You will not be able to see the bottom of your binding and know how things are looking, so it’s important to check as you go and make sure everything is looking how you want.  You also want to be consistent with how tight or loose you are folding that binding over.  It matters!  If you do it too loose, you might ended up not catching the back side of the binding in your stitches (something I’m still working on perfecting).  I feel like folding tightly is the best bet (at least for me).  Being consistent either way is the most important consideration.


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So there’s not any real extra supplies, except for maybe the binder clips.  I started out using clothespins, but they kept snapping off, so I tried the binding clips and found them to work very well.  One other thing is thread choice.  We tend to look over thread a bit, but your choice of thread really does matter.

Our goal with this method is to make our stitches disappear and there’s no better thread to do that with than Microquilter.  If I’m sewing white binding on a white quilt, I’d use white, but if I’ve got many colors going on, I’d recommend the silver as gray has a way of blending in no matter the color.  This is 100 weight thread.  So ridiculously thin, but PERFECT for stitching in the ditch.

In your bobbin, you’ll want to use a thread that matches your actual binding, as those stitches will show up on top of the binding on the back of your quilt.


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I’ve kept you waiting long enough!  Below is the video tutorial.



If you have questions or concerns, leave a comment below.  If you have knowledge you’d like to share, please do the same.  I hope that you’ve found this post helpful.  I’ve been using this technique for the last two months now, binding at least 10 quilts with it.  I have never been happier with my machine binding.  If it’s not for you, no worries!  We all have to use the methods that work best for us.  My quilt patterns will continue to link to my original method and will ask for 2.5″ binding since that is the norm in the quilting world, but there’s nothing wrong with mixing things up if you find something you love!

If you give this method a try and love it, I’d love to hear about it.  Hugs!


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  1. Hello Melanie, i would like to let you know that the problem with the pictures is solved! I can again see every picture! So happy!! Thank you and have a nice day!

  2. This is how I bind my quilts – I love it! The 2 in binding does take awhile to get used to but it looks so much cleaner without the fat lip lol!

    1. I’ve been doing this for about two months now, and I’ve gotten better, but there’s still places to improve. But you are totally correct. Have to get used to it!

  3. How do you do the corners? I would love to see a video on how you handle them, please!! I’ve subscribed to your Youtube channel and will enjoy learning from you!! I also hate hand sewing the binding to the back and anything that gets my binding done by machine and looking great works for me!!

  4. I use this method to bind quilts. The only thing I do different is, after stitching around the quilt the first time to attach the binding, I take it to my ironing board, fold it over, glue it in place on the underside of the binding and then take it back to the machine for the second pass to stitch in the ditch

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