My Two Favorite Binding Methods

When it comes to binding quilts I have tried all the methods! You kinda have to, so that you can see what you like best. And you can’t know until you try them. So….. here’s a post about my favorite two binding methods.


My two favorite methods are: chunky hand stitch and machine ditch binding.

There’s a time for machine stitching and there’s a time for hand stitching. If I’m making a quilt I’m head over heels for, I’ll probably take the time to hand stitch with my chunky stitch method, if I have the will and the time anyway. Just binding a throw quilt will take me around six hours by hand, so I reserve this for smaller projects and favorites or even quilts I’ve put a lot of love into.

I have an equal love for machine ditch binding. It makes for a strong quilt. So naturally, I’ll use this for any of my quilts that I think will get a lot of use, things I’m making for a baby or child or when I just need to get the job done and not sit and stitch for hours. I can machine bind a quilt in about an hour and that includes very large quilts.


Machine Ditch Binding
Chunky Stitch Binding

Chunky Stitch Method

I love the detail using this method adds to your quilt. It’s just your basic running stitch and most of us already know how to do this stitch. When stitching, you’ll have your stitches go through the binding, backing and batting, but they won’t show on the quilt’s front (unless you reverse this and prefer it to show there).

The sashiko needle I use for this method is a very long and very thick needle and it’s easy to handle and maneuver. It’s strong and can get the thread through these layers without fuss or using up all your hand’s energy. The eye is so big on it that your won’t have to get finicky to get your thread through the eye.

The most asked question I’ve received about this method is will it hold up over time. I wash my quilts fairly often and I haven’t had one yet come undone or break or look any different than the way I made it to look. That said, I’ve only been using this method for two years.

Here’s a video tutorial for the chunky stitch method….

Chunky Stitch Binding Supplies

Machine Ditch Method

What’s so great about this machine method is that your stitches aren’t showing on your quilt top. Stitches showing on a quilt top drives many of us crazy. To fix this little issue you are actually stitching your binding right into the ditch, hiding the stitches. If done correctly they’ll land on the back side of the quilt right along the binding’s folded edge. To get this look though, you have to use more narrower binding.

On all of my quilts, even on the one’s I had stitch, I use a 2″ binding. This is in direct contrast to my quilt patterns which always tell you to use the standard 2.5″. It takes some practice to get used to a skinnier binding. There’s some room for error, but now that I’ve found this method (about two years ago) I can’t go back to my stiches showing.

Here’s a video tutorial of the machine ditch binding method…

Machine Ditch Binding

Thanks for reading along today! I hope you find these two tutorials helpful. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments.


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