How To Machine Bind a Quilt

There’s nothing I enjoy more than quietly sitting in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and sewing on a quilt binding by hand. Pure bliss.

But sometimes that binding just needs to get on the quilt… and quick! Machine binding is the way to make that happen and a great technique to add to your quilting skills arsenal. We had a customer contact us yesterday asking for tips on machine binding. Carrie rounded up the following tutorials which are all awesome and each a bit different so you can create a method that suits you best.

AmandaJean from Crazy Mom Quilts has an excellent tutorial using a straight stitch on the quilt front that intentionally misses the binding on the backside. This is how I like to do my machine binding. The comments on her post include lots of excellent tips from other quilters.

Rita from Red Pepper Quilts uses a sew from the top technique that catches the edge of the binding on the quilt back. By stitching in the ditch on the front the stitches are hidden. I would LOVE to be able to perfect this technique. I think I’ll practice with a small project first.

Rachel at Stitched in Color uses a zig zag stitch to attach the binding. It has a very nice finished look while not requiring extreme stitch precision.

Pat Sloan’s blanket stitch machine binding creates a lovely finished look on both sides of the quilt. When I first saw this tutorial I thought ‘oh my, that is VERY clever!’. It’s a great use of the blanket stitch on your sewing machine and allows for a little wiggle room in catching the backside binding edge.

Thank you to all these generous quilters for sharing such fabulous tutorials. Happy Weekend Sewing! xo Kathy

23 Responses to How To Machine Bind a Quilt
  1. Marny
    March 9, 2012 | 11:47 am

    Hi Kathy, using an edge joining foot when you stitch in the ditch from the front is the key! If you can snug you needle in a bit towards the binding that is also helpful.
    Here is our “tutorial”

    • Kathy
      March 9, 2012 | 2:37 pm

      You’re awesome Marny, thank you so much for sharing your tutorial. I’m certain I have one of those feet for my machine and can’t wait to give it a go!

  2. Jennie P.
    March 9, 2012 | 12:49 pm

    I don’t do handstitching because I have this idea that a machine’s stitches would last longer and are stronger, so I appreciate these tutorials!

    • Kathy
      March 9, 2012 | 2:39 pm

      I especially feel that way about baby quilts that I know will be laundered and dragged about. I seem to be in a hurry a lot lately too!

  3. two.hippos
    March 9, 2012 | 1:08 pm

    I have a slightly different method that uses straight-stitching on the binding; it can work with any foot but I find it easiest with a 1/4″ foot as a guide. The tutorial is here:

    • Kathy
      March 9, 2012 | 2:42 pm

      great idea to use the 1/4″ foot!

  4. Kevin
    March 9, 2012 | 3:58 pm

    Here’s another great binding technique! Trisha over at TLC Stitches has this on her site…

    I used her tutorial last week to complete a t-shirt quilt, and fell in love!

    • Kathy
      March 9, 2012 | 4:46 pm

      What a fabulous technique! Thank you for sharing Kevin!

  5. Dree
    March 9, 2012 | 4:42 pm

    I use Rita’s method, but I cut 3″ strips and sew a 3/8″ seam on the front. I like my binding a little bit wider :)

    I do like to pin it when I turn the binding to the back, but I have learned (the hard way) to remove those pins before they even get to the machine–let alone to the needle. If you (or I) wait too long, it will cause your stitch in the ditch to be WAY in the ditch, and thus you end up with a swerve on the back.

    I still haven’t perfected my corners on the back. I usually have 2 that are perfectly mitered and two that are not quite there.

  6. Kathy
    March 9, 2012 | 4:48 pm

    Every binding I sew I always wonder what went wrong with the ones that are not totally square!

  7. Lindsay
    March 9, 2012 | 5:33 pm

    I just finished my very first quilt for my daughter’s 3rd birthday…machine sewing the binding on that afternoon. I wanted to try to hand sew it, but just ran out of time. These tutorials sound like a great resource for my next quilt, as this recent one leaves a bit to be desired! A good showing for the first time though; and my 3 year old won’t notice.
    Thanks for all your great posts and information.

  8. MarciaW
    March 9, 2012 | 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the informative post. I like the Pat Sloan method you covered, and decorative stitches.

  9. Jenn
    March 9, 2012 | 7:32 pm

    Amanda Jean’s tutorial is my go-to tutorial. I used hers from the beginning. I’ve learned so many things from the talented quilters on the web!

  10. JoAnne T.
    March 9, 2012 | 9:30 pm

    Thank you so much! I don’t do hand work and this is very helpful.

  11. Amy DeCesare
    March 10, 2012 | 7:11 am

    Here’s a No Snit Machine Binding tutorial I recently found. It has exactly the look I’m after.
    I had beginner’s luck with it on my first small project.

  12. Jo Ann
    March 10, 2012 | 8:34 am

    I can’t wait to try a few of these methods for machine finishing. And a BIG thank you to Pink Chalk for gathering these tutorials and sharing them. You are the best.

  13. Kelly P
    March 10, 2012 | 9:38 am

    Thanks for this list! I HATE binding, it’s my least favorite part and usually ends up looking like a mess since I have ZERO patience for hand sewing it. Hopefully one of these will work for me!

  14. Debbie-Esch House Quilts
    March 10, 2012 | 10:47 am

    Thanks for the tutorials! I usually use Rita’s method, but I’ll have to give some of these others a try too.

  15. prsd4tim2
    March 10, 2012 | 2:23 pm

    Thanks for gathering these tutes. Now I’ll know where to come when I need a new technique.

  16. Beth T.
    March 10, 2012 | 11:30 pm

    Thanks so much for gathering these tutorials, and for gathering such a great group of quilters who have provided comments with additional, helpful links and ideas. I love Pink Chalk and the Pink Chalk community.

  17. Smriti
    March 12, 2012 | 8:02 pm

    Thank you so much for the links to all the tutorials! I’ve always been looking for binding tutorials and this is going to come in very handy!

  18. Sallie
    March 14, 2012 | 6:51 am

    very helpful post! Thanks!

  19. Rachel at Stitched in Color
    March 15, 2012 | 4:37 pm

    Oh, the blanket stitch is a lovely idea! Thanks for linking to my tutorial as well.