I recently had a friend who was apprehensive about doing her own machine binding on her quilts. I was trying to explain how easy it really is to get a nice finish on machine applied binding and thought I would do a tutorial on the method that I have come to find the easiest for me.
First off you will need a quilted sandwich. Since I have just finished my Grinch I will use this as an example.
Square the piece up. Now add the total measurement of all sides and add 10". That is the length of binding you will need. My total came to 69". On machine binding I use 2.5"
wide binding as it gives me a bit more room for the stitching. I like to miter my binding pieces together. To do that I lay piece #1 across my cutting mat and lay piece #2 at a 90 degree angle away from it. Draw a line from corner to corner and stitch. (I used leftover binding for my quilt so these fabrics are simply samples).
Stitch across that line and cut off the triangle pieces on bottom right side. Iron piece out flat. #2 fabric now becomes the #1 piece. Repeat until total length is met.
Iron entire binding in half lengthwise. You are now ready to stitch it onto your quilt.
I prefer to start at the center of the bottom of my quilts. Lay the starting edge with raw edges together with the quilt's. Start stitching about 4-5" from the beginning edge - leaving a loose tail at the beginning.
Stitch along lower edge to 1/4 inch from the edge. Stop and lower needle, pivot 45 degree and stitch off the edge.
Fold the binding up and back like this.
Now......fold the binding back to the left with the fold right along the edge you just stitched. You will now be ready to stitch the next edge.
I like to backstitch at the beginning of my next row to lock it in place. Continue around the quilt doing the nice miter technique at each corner.
Stitch until you are about 4" from the "tail" end of the beginning binding. Remove quilt to cutting table.
Lay the loose binding back over the top of the "tail" and mark it 2.5" from the end of the "tail".
Cut off excess binding along the marked line.
Open out the tail edge and mark 2.5" in from top edge. Draw a line to the lower left corner. This will be your stitching line to give you your last seam with a nice miter. This step can also be done before the binding is applied.
Take the two opened ends of the binding and place together like this.
Stitch together and cut away the triangle.
Finger press seam to side and fold binding back in half. Stitch down - meeting the stitching at the beginning of binding.
At this point I take the quilt to the ironing station and press binding towards the outside. Do not skip this important step!!!
Take back to cutting table for gluing. I use a glue stick for mine. It adheres quickly and really sticks. Apply glue little sections at a time - along raw edge of quilt in area between raw edge and the seam line made when attaching the binding.
Fold the binding just over the seam line - 1/16-1/8". Continue to corner.
At the corner continue fold out to the end. Apply glue to the corner and the next section along the next side.
I like to use my seam ripper to tuck into the corner to get a nice crisp mitered corner.
Continue all the way around the quilt.
You are now ready to stitch it down. Since the stitching will be visible on the back binding, I use a bobbin with thread the color of my binding. The top thread is whatever matches my quilt. It is hardly visible, but can be seen.
Returning to the sewing machine, start stitching "in the ditch" right along the binding on the front of the quilt. Having the binding ironed back makes this task pretty easy. Once washed or relaxed, the binding will roll back to pretty much cover that line of stitching.
The view from the back....... As you can see, the binding is just caught in the stitching and is practically invisible from the front.
Ta da......perfectly mitered corners and all!
The Grinch is now ready for his Christmas appearance.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. If you give it a try I would love to hear how it worked for you.
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