How To Machine Sew Binding On A Quilt: A neatly applied binding not only adds durability but also enhances the overall appearance, turning your quilted masterpiece into a true work of art. Machine sewing binding on a quilt may seem daunting at first, but fear not! With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll master this technique in no time. This comprehensive guide will walk you through each step, providing clear instructions and helpful tips to ensure a successful outcome.
Before diving into the sewing process, let’s understand what binding is and why it’s important. Binding is a fabric strip that covers the raw edges of a quilt, enclosing the layers securely. Not only does it prevent fraying, but it also gives your quilt a polished and professional look. There are various binding styles to choose from, such as single-fold, double-fold, or bias binding, each offering unique characteristics to suit your quilt’s design.
In this tutorial, we will focus on machine-sewn double-fold binding, a popular and efficient method. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from calculating the binding length to attaching it with precision. Additionally, we’ll explore essential tools, such as a sewing machine, rotary cutter, ruler, and iron, to make the process smoother and enjoyable.
So, gather your quilting supplies, set up your sewing machine, and let’s embark on this rewarding quilting journey together. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the skills and confidence to machine sew binding on your quilt, adding that final touch of charm that will leave you beaming with pride.
Can you machine stitch quilt binding?
Most of the time, quilters prefer to bind their quilts using a combination and machine and hand stitching. The binding strips are cut and sewn together, then machine sewn to the front of the quilt top. The binding is then folded to the back of the quilt, where it is hand-stitched down.
Yes, you can absolutely machine stitch quilt binding. Machine stitching quilt binding is a popular and efficient method for attaching the binding to the quilt’s edges. It involves using a sewing machine to sew the binding strip to the quilt on the front side and then folding it over to the back to be stitched down again, securing the raw edges neatly.
Here’s a basic overview of the steps involved in machine stitching quilt binding:
Prepare the binding: Cut your binding fabric into strips, usually 2.5 inches wide, and join them to create a continuous strip long enough to go around the entire quilt perimeter.
Attach the binding to the quilt front: Starting somewhere in the middle of one side, align the raw edges of the binding strip with the raw edge of the quilt’s front side. Use a ¼ inch seam allowance and sew the binding strip in place, stopping a few inches away from the first corner.
Miter the corners: When you reach a corner, fold the binding strip up, away from the quilt, creating a diagonal fold. Then, fold it back down, aligning the fold with the adjacent side’s raw edge. This creates a mitered corner. Continue sewing from the corner, repeating the process for each corner.
Join the ends: When you reach the starting point, trim the excess binding strip, and overlap the ends. Sew them together with a straight seam, and then complete sewing the binding to the quilt.
Fold the binding to the back: Flip the quilt over to the back side and fold the binding over the raw edges. Secure the binding to the back of the quilt by either hand-stitching it down or using a decorative machine stitch.
Machine stitching quilt binding is a faster option compared to hand-sewing, and it can provide a secure and clean finish to your quilt. However, some quilters prefer hand-sewing the binding for a more traditional or decorative touch. The choice between machine stitching and hand-sewing the binding ultimately comes down to personal preference and the style of the quilt you want to achieve.
What size needle for machine binding a quilt?
An 80/12 needle is a standard size that works well on piecing and general sewing. When a sturdier needle is needed for machine binding or sewing through several layers, the 90/14 is a good option.
When machine binding a quilt, it is generally recommended to use a sewing machine needle with a size and type suitable for the thickness of the quilt layers and the fabric used in the binding. The needle size can vary based on the weight of the fabrics and batting you have in your quilt. Here are some guidelines to consider:
Needle Size: For most quilting projects, a universal sewing machine needle in size 80/12 or 90/14 is commonly used. The size 80/12 is suitable for medium-weight fabrics and quilt layers, while the size 90/14 is better for thicker or denser fabrics and quilts.
Quilt Thickness: If you are working with a particularly thick quilt, like one with multiple layers or heavy batting, you might want to consider using a larger needle size, such as 100/16. This larger needle can handle the extra thickness more easily.
Thread Weight: The thickness of the thread you’re using can also influence the needle size selection. If you’re using a thicker thread for quilting or binding, you may want to use a slightly larger needle to accommodate it.
Always consider testing on a scrap piece of fabric and batting similar to your quilt before starting the actual binding. This way, you can ensure that the needle you choose works well with your specific quilt’s thickness and fabrics.
Ensure that your sewing machine is well-maintained and the needle is in good condition. A dull or damaged needle can lead to skipped stitches or other sewing issues, so it’s essential to replace the needle regularly, especially when starting a new project like machine binding a quilt.
How long does it take to machine bind a quilt?
The time it takes to machine bind a quilt can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the quilt, the complexity of the binding technique, your sewing experience, and your sewing speed. Generally, machine binding a quilt is faster than hand-sewing the binding, but it still requires some time and attention to achieve a clean and professional finish.
While binding does take some time, it’s significantly faster when you’re using your sewing machine. For these numbers, I’m factoring in the time it will take to square your quilt, make the binding and attach the binding. Machine binding a baby quilt (40” x 45”) will take anywhere from 1-3 hours.
Here are some general estimates for how long it might take to machine bind a quilt based on the quilt size:
Small Quilt: For a small quilt, such as a baby quilt or wall hanging, machine binding could take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.
Lap Quilt: A lap-sized quilt typically takes around 2 to 3 hours to machine bind.
Twin/Full Quilt: For a twin or full-sized quilt, machine binding may take around 3 to 4 hours.
Queen/King Quilt: Larger quilts like queen or king-sized ones can take 4 to 6 hours or more to machine bind.
Remember that these time estimates are approximate and can vary based on your individual sewing speed and familiarity with the process. Additionally, if you’re using more intricate binding techniques, like adding decorative stitches or creating a flanged binding, it may take a bit longer.
It’s essential to allow yourself enough time and work at a comfortable pace to ensure accuracy and a polished result. Machine binding can be a rewarding process, and with practice, you’ll likely become more efficient and confident in completing the task. Enjoy the journey of finishing your quilt and creating a beautiful and functional piece of art!
What is the best binding method for quilts?
Straight-of-grain binding is the easiest to make. For quilts with curved edges, you should make bias binding instead. Continuous binding can be machine-sewn to the front side of the quilt and hand-stitched to the back, but I prefer to attach it to the back side of the quilt with no hand sewing.
The best binding method for quilts largely depends on personal preference and the desired final look of the quilt. There are several common binding techniques, each with its own advantages and characteristics.
Double-fold straight-grain binding: This is a popular method where the binding is made by folding the fabric strip in half and then attaching it to the quilt. It provides a clean and durable edge, suitable for most quilts.
Bias binding: Bias binding is cut on a 45-degree angle from the fabric grain, allowing it to stretch around curves and rounded edges. It is ideal for quilts with irregular shapes or scalloped borders.
Machine binding: If efficiency is a priority, machine binding may be the best option. It involves sewing the binding to the front of the quilt and then stitching it down on the back by machine.
Hand-sewn binding: For a more traditional and polished look, hand-sewn binding is preferred. It involves sewing the binding to the front of the quilt and then hand-stitching it to the back. While time-consuming, it offers a charming, handmade finish.
Ultimately, the best binding method depends on the quilter’s skill level, time constraints, and aesthetic preferences. Whichever method is chosen, a well-executed binding will add the finishing touch to a beautiful and long-lasting quilt.
What size sewing machine needle is recommended for machine sewing quilt binding?
For machine sewing quilt binding, it is generally recommended to use a sewing machine needle in the size range of 80/12 to 90/14. These needle sizes are suitable for most quilting projects and work well with the thickness of quilt layers and binding fabrics.
Size 80/12: This needle size is ideal for medium-weight fabrics and quilts. If your quilt has standard cotton fabric and batting, a size 80/12 needle should work well for machine binding.
Size 90/14: If you are working with thicker fabrics or multiple layers in your quilt, such as flannel or heavily quilted projects, using a size 90/14 needle is a better option. It can handle the extra thickness and provide smoother sewing.
The choice between these needle sizes depends on the specific thickness and weight of your quilt layers. If you’re uncertain, it’s a good idea to test both needle sizes on a scrap piece of fabric and batting similar to your quilt to see which one gives you the best results. Always ensure your sewing machine needle is in good condition and replace it as needed, as a dull or damaged needle can affect the quality of your machine sewing.
What is the purpose of binding in quilting, and why is it important to secure the raw edges?
The purpose of binding in quilting is to enclose and secure the raw edges of the quilt’s three layers – the quilt top, batting (or wadding), and backing fabric. Binding serves several essential functions and plays a crucial role in the overall construction and longevity of a quilt.
Protection and Durability: By sewing binding around the quilt’s edges, you create a protective barrier that prevents the raw fabric edges from fraying and becoming damaged over time. This reinforcement adds durability to the quilt, ensuring that it can withstand regular use, washing, and handling without falling apart.
Aesthetics and Finish: Binding gives a polished and professional appearance to the quilt, enhancing its overall look and presentation. It frames the quilt, creating a neat border that complements the design and completes the quilt’s visual appeal.
Handling and Comfort: The binding provides a finished edge that is easy to hold and handle. It prevents the quilt’s layers from separating and shifting during use, making it more comfortable to wrap around oneself or drape on a bed or sofa.
Preservation: Binding helps preserve the quilt’s integrity over time. By securing the raw edges, it helps maintain the shape and structure of the quilt, preventing the layers from shifting or coming apart, even after repeated use and washing.
Securing the raw edges of a quilt is essential because it prevents fraying and unravelling of the fabric layers. Without binding, the raw edges would be exposed to wear and tear, leading to the gradual degradation of the quilt. Additionally, binding keeps the layers firmly in place, ensuring the quilt remains intact and functional for generations to come.
Binding can be applied using various techniques, including hand-sewing or machine sewing, depending on personal preference and the desired look of the finished quilt. Regardless of the method, the binding process is a crucial final step in quilt making that adds both functional and aesthetic value to the quilt.
Can you miter the corners when machine sewing quilt binding, and if so, how is it done?
Yes, you can miter the corners when machine sewing quilt binding. Mitering the corners gives a clean and professional finish to the binding, creating diagonal folds that neatly meet at the corner. Here’s how to miter the corners when machine sewing quilt binding:
1.As you approach the corner while sewing the binding to the quilt, stop stitching a quarter-inch away from the corner, leaving the needle in the down position.
2.Lift the presser foot and pivot the quilt 45 degrees to the right. The binding strip should now be pointing up, away from the quilt, and creating a diagonal fold at the corner.
3.Fold the binding strip back down, aligning it with the next edge of the quilt. The fold should be flush with the edge, creating a neat mitered corner.
4.Hold the fold in place and lower the presser foot.
5.Continue stitching along the next edge, starting from the corner, and repeat the same process for all four corners of the quilt.
When you reach the starting point of the binding, overlap the ends, and sew them together to create a continuous binding. Then, fold the binding over to the back of the quilt and secure it in place with either hand stitching or a decorative machine stitch.
Mitering the corners can take a bit of practice, but with some patience, you can achieve sharp and crisp corners that enhance the overall appearance of your quilt. It’s a small detail that makes a significant difference in the final presentation of your quilted project.
How do you finish the machine-sewn quilt binding neatly on the backside of the quilt?
Finishing the machine-sewn quilt binding neatly on the backside of the quilt is an important step to ensure a professional and polished look. There are two common methods to finish the binding on the backside of the quilt: hand-stitching and machine-stitching.
a. Fold the binding over to the back of the quilt, covering the raw edges.
b. Secure the folded binding in place with clips or pins to hold it while you work.
c. Thread a hand-sewing needle with a matching thread color.
d. Starting at any point along the binding edge, insert the needle from the backside of the quilt and pull it out through the folded binding, creating a hidden stitch.
e. Continue sewing along the binding, taking small, even stitches through the binding and the backing fabric. Make sure the stitches are not visible from the front of the quilt.
f. When you reach a corner, fold the binding neatly around the corner, creating a mitered fold, and continue stitching along the next edge.
g. Repeat this process for all sides of the quilt until the binding is securely attached to the backside.
h. Knot the thread and bury the end of the thread between the layers to secure it.
a. After machine sewing the binding to the front of the quilt, fold it over to the backside.
b. Use clips or pins to hold the folded binding in place.
c. Set your sewing machine to a decorative or zigzag stitch (optional) that catches the folded edge of the binding on the back.
d. Starting from one corner or side, carefully stitch along the folded binding, making sure the stitching catches the binding on the backside securely.
e. When you reach a corner, pivot the quilt and continue stitching along the next edge.
f. Repeat this process for all sides of the quilt until the binding is securely attached to the backside.
g. Trim any excess binding if necessary.
Both methods can yield great results, and the choice between hand-stitching and machine-stitching the binding on the back depends on your preference and the overall style of the quilt. Hand-stitching gives a traditional and nearly invisible finish, while machine-stitching can add a decorative touch if you choose a contrasting thread color or decorative stitch. In either case, take your time and ensure the binding is securely attached for a beautiful and long-lasting finish.
You’ve now learned the art of machine sewing binding on a quilt. With each stitch, you’ve added both durability and beauty to your quilt, turning it into a cherished masterpiece. Embrace the satisfaction of completing this final step, knowing that your hard work has paid off in creating a quilt that will stand the test of time.
As you admire your finished quilt, take pride in the neatly mitered corners and the secure binding that hugs the edges. The professional touch you’ve achieved elevates your quilt from a simple project to a true work of art, ready to be cherished and treasured for years to come. Practice makes perfect, so keep experimenting with different fabrics, colors, and binding techniques to discover your unique quilting style.
Whether you choose to hand-stitch or machine-stitch the binding on your future quilts, your newfound skill will undoubtedly lead to even more stunning creations. Now, wrap yourself in the warmth of accomplishment and share your beautiful quilt with loved ones or display it proudly in your home.