How to Bind a Quilt – no hand sewing required!
Would you like to know how to bind your quilt with your sewing machine? Let me show you all my tricks. As I have grown to love modern quilts, and as the time I have to make them has become less and less – I opt to sew my quilt binding on all by machine now – and it looks beautiful! Hand stitching is beautiful, but I don’t have time. Let me show you how to bind a quilt with a sewing machine. Lots of quilters do!
Machine Binding Tutorial
Measure and calculate the perimeter of your quilt.
Use a cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter to cut enough 2 1/2’’ wide strips from your binding fabric to go all the way around your quilt.
Use the same quality of cotton fabric that you used for the rest of your quilt (hopefully good quality!). I usually cut my binding strips on the straight of grain (from selvage to selvage). It is fast and easy. However, many quilters like to cut their binding at a 45-degree angle (for bias binding). This makes for very cute striped binding.
Joining the Binding Strips
2. Sew the strips together by sewing right on the line.
- After sewing a few strips together, you may no longer need to draw the line, but it will help if you are just starting out.
- Sewing your strips together at an angle helps to reduce bulk in the binding as it wraps around the raw edge of the quilt.
Press the seam open.
Repeat to join all of your binding strips.
4. Fold the binding in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press.
Attach the Binding to the Quilt
Make sure your quilt sandwich is ready – quilted, trimmed, and squared up.
In order to sew the binding entirely by machine (no hand sewing), use a 1/4’’ seam allowance to sew it to your quilt.
If possible, use a walking foot (or even feed foot) for attaching quilt binding. It helps prevent puckering.
- Align the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of your quilt top.
- Leave a tail at the end of the binding about 6-8” long, and start sewing the binding to the quilt on one side with a 1/4” seam allowance.
How to Miter the Corners
Miter the corners of the binding at the corners of the quilt for a professional look!
1. To miter the corners, sew until you are 1/4” away from the edge on one side, and then backstitch. Remove the quilt from the sewing machine.
2. Fold the binding to the right, making a neat 45 degree angle.
3. Then fold the binding back to the left with the fold right on the edge. Secure with a clip or pin.
4. Start sewing on the new side of the quilt, near the end. Backstitch to the end, and then continue sewing the binding to your quilt.
Miter all the corners the same way.
1. Stop sewing the binding and backstitch when you are 4-6” away from the starting point. Move your quilt to the ironing board.
2. Bring the binding to meet in the middle and fold the ends back. Press the area where the two folds meet to make a nice crease.
3. Mark the crease with a pen, if desired.
Unfold the binding and place the two ends right sides together, matching the crease lines. Pin.
You may have to fold the quilt a bit to get the binding to match up nicely. The smaller the quilt, the trickier this might be.
Sew along the crease or drawn line and trim the seam allowance to 1/4”. Press or finger press the seam allowance open.
4. Refold the binding and finish sewing it to the quilt.
To finish sewing the binding down on the back of the quilt, I like to stitch in the ditch from the front side of my quilt, catching the binding on the back. In order for this to work, the binding must be wrapped tightly around and secured to the quilt back.
You don’t have to, but my last binding trick uses glue. You can use the Super Stik fabric glue stick or another white glue stick that’s safe for fabric.
1. Apply the glue stick (optional) to the binding on the back, wrap it around, and use your iron to quickly set and dry the glue. That edge won’t move now, so you can safely sew from the front.
2. From the front of the quilt, sew in the ditch (as close to the binding as you can without sewing on it).
Tip: Try to start and stop on a piece of fabric that is the same color as your thread so the backstitching will be less noticable.
Check to make sure that your stitching catches the folded edge of the binding on the back.
3. Continue all the way around. Fold the edges carefully around the corners to preserve your mitered corners.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂
I like this trick. Will have to try it . Thanks for the tip.
These are great tips, Caroline! Those mini quilts can be tricky to bind. Thanks for sharing!
If you glue does it get on the needle when you stitch? (I love the idea)
With this technique, my needle doesn’t get gummed up. Either it’s the brand of glue or maybe because I ironed it dry. Good luck!
Can I see a picture of how the corners turned out?
I used this method today for a very small shoulder strap for a bag and it worked perfectly for such a small area! I’m so glad I found your post. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
When I am sewing the ends of the binding together, I overlap the ends, the same distance as the width (I like 2.5 inch strips) and sew as you did when you joined your strips. You can’t tell where the binding ends and it is a perfect fit.