How To Sew Quilt Binding By Machine: Quilt binding is the finishing touch that not only adds durability to your quilt but also frames it with a beautiful edge. While hand-sewn binding has been a traditional method, machine binding offers a quicker and equally effective way to complete your quilting project. In this guide, we will delve into the art of sewing quilt binding by machine, allowing you to achieve a polished and professional look without the time-consuming effort of hand-sewing.
Machine binding can be a game-changer for both novice and experienced quilters. This technique not only saves time but also ensures that your binding is securely attached, ready to withstand the test of time. The machine-sewn binding may lack the charm of hand-stitched binding for some, but its strength and efficiency make it a go-to choice for many modern quilters.
Throughout this tutorial, we will explore the step-by-step process of attaching quilt binding using a sewing machine. We’ll cover everything from preparing your quilt for binding, selecting the right binding strips, and properly attaching them to your quilt’s edges. Additionally, we’ll discuss techniques for mitering corners and achieving clean, professional finishes.
You’ll be well-equipped to confidently and skillfully apply machine binding to your quilts, providing a professional look that complements your hard work and creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter looking to streamline your process or a beginner eager to master the art of finishing a quilt, this guide will be your go-to resource for achieving beautiful and durable machine-sewn quilt binding. So, let’s dive in and learn the art of machine-binding quilts, turning your quilting projects into true works of art.
What is used for quilt binding?
A Quilt Binding is the finished outer edges of a quilt. Bindings are most often made from cotton Quilt Fabric, sewn to the raw edges of a quilt, then folded over to the back to enclose the raw edges.
Quilt binding is typically made from strips of fabric, cut on the bias or straight grain, depending on personal preference. Many quilters prefer to use double-fold binding, which means the fabric strip is folded in half lengthwise to create a clean, finished edge.
This binding strip is then sewn to the raw edges of the quilt top, encasing the quilt’s layers and providing both decoration and durability. Quilters often choose a fabric that complements their quilt’s design, creating a harmonious border that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the quilt. The choice of binding fabric can be a creative and personal decision, allowing quilters to add their unique touch to their quilting projects.
To the choice of fabric, the width of the binding strip is also a crucial consideration. The most common binding widths are 2.25 inches or 2.5 inches when folded, but this can vary based on personal preference. Wider binding can add a bolder frame to the quilt, while narrower binding provides a more delicate finish.
Whether you opt for hand-sewn or machine-sewn binding, the choice of thread color is another important decision. Many quilters prefer to use a thread color that matches or blends with the binding fabric, ensuring a seamless and professional look.
Quilt binding is an essential element in quilting, serving both a functional and decorative purpose. It not only strengthens the quilt’s edges, ensuring longevity, but also adds a final touch of craftsmanship and style to your quilting projects, making your creations truly stand out.
Can you make a quilt without binding?
To start there is no binding on the finished piece. Instead the piece has been sewn together, all three layers then flipped so that everything is right side out and the opening that was left is sewn together by hand. Then the quilting is done. Follow these simple steps for this no binding flip and quilt technique.
Yes, it is possible to make a quilt without binding, but it involves a different technique known as a “pillowcase” or “birthing” method. Instead of attaching a separate binding, the quilt top, batting, and backing are sewn right sides together, leaving an opening. After sewing around the edges, the quilt is turned inside out through the opening.
The edges of the quilt are then topstitched to secure the layers and close the opening. This method creates a self-binding effect, with the backing fabric wrapping around to the front. While this technique can be quicker and eliminates the need for traditional binding, it may not offer the same decorative finish that binding provides. The choice between binding and binding-less quilting depends on the quilter’s preference, the intended use of the quilt, and the desired aesthetic outcome.
The binding-less method is often used for quilts that are intended to be quick, functional projects, such as baby quilts or quilts used for picnics or on the go. It provides a neat and simple finish and can be an excellent choice when time is a factor.
It helps secure the edges of the quilt, preventing fraying and wear over time. In contrast, the binding-less method may not offer the same level of edge protection. So, when deciding whether to make a quilt with or without binding, consider the quilt’s purpose, style, and longevity, and choose the method that best suits your needs and preferences.
How do you measure quilt binding?
Measure the width (A) and length (B) of your quilt; add these together, then multiply by two to find the total perimeter, Eg, 50″ + 72″ = 122″ x 2 = 244″ total perimeter (If your quilt is an odd shape, you’ll need to add together all four sides instead to get this number). Add 20″ for joining seams and corners.
Measuring quilt binding is a crucial step in the quilting process to ensure you have enough binding strips for your project. To do this, start by measuring the perimeter of your quilt. Measure all four sides and add these measurements together. Then, add a little extra (usually around 10 inches) to account for corners and seam allowances.
Once you have this total length, you can calculate the width of your binding strips. The most common width for double-fold binding is 2.25 or 2.5 inches. If you prefer a different width, you can adjust it accordingly. Finally, divide the total length by the width of your binding strips to determine how many strips you need to cut.
This measurement ensures you have enough binding to go all the way around your quilt with some extra for overlap and joining. Accurate measuring is key to achieving a neatly bound quilt without running short on binding strips, which can lead to frustrating interruptions during the final stages of your quilting project.
What fabric is used for binding?
Although in theory you could make bias binding out of most fabrics, generally they come as cotton, cotton/poly mix or satin. Commercially made bias binding is available in different widths ranging from about 1cm (1/2 inch) to about 14cms (5½ inches). Of course, if you make your own you can make any width you like.
The fabric used for quilt binding is typically chosen to complement the quilt’s design and can vary widely in terms of color, pattern, and texture. Common choices for binding fabric include quilting cotton, which is easy to work with and readily available in a vast array of colors and prints. Some quilters like to use the same fabric that is featured in the quilt top, creating a cohesive and harmonious look. Others prefer a contrasting or coordinating fabric to make the binding stand out as an additional design element.
When selecting binding fabric, it’s essential to consider the fabric’s durability and colorfastness, as it will be exposed to wear and washing over time. Many quilters prefer to prewash their binding fabric to prevent shrinkage or color bleeding, especially if they are using different types of fabric in their quilt.
The choice of binding fabric is a creative one, and it offers an opportunity for quilters to express their unique style and enhance the visual appeal of their quilts. The right binding fabric can add the finishing touch that ties the entire quilt together, making it a true work of art.
What are the key advantages of using machine binding for quilts?
Using machine binding for quilts offers several key advantages that make it a popular choice among quilters. Firstly, machine binding is significantly faster than hand-sewing, making it an excellent option for quilters looking to complete projects more efficiently. This is particularly advantageous for those working on large quilts or with time constraints.
Machine binding also provides a secure and durable finish. The machine stitching is robust, ensuring that the binding will hold up well over time, even after repeated washings. This added strength is essential for quilts that will see frequent use.
Machine binding offers a neat and consistent look. The machine-sewn lines are uniform and precise, providing a polished and professional finish. This can be especially appealing for quilters who prefer a more contemporary or crisp aesthetic.
Machine binding allows for more decorative options, such as using decorative machine stitches to add a unique touch to the binding. It also provides a level of consistency that can be challenging to achieve with hand-sewing, particularly for those who are less experienced in quilting.
Machine binding is a practical and efficient choice that doesn’t sacrifice quality, making it a valuable technique for both novice and experienced quilters alike.
What steps are involved in preparing a quilt for machine-sewn binding?
Mitering corners when sewing quilt binding by machine is an essential technique that creates clean and professional-looking edges. Here’s how to do it:
Stop Sewing Before the Corner: As you approach a corner, stop sewing approximately 1/4 inch away from the edge of the quilt.
Fold the Binding Up: Lift the binding strip vertically, creating a 45-degree angle at the corner. The raw edge of the binding should align with the raw edge of the quilt, and the folded edge of the binding should point toward the center of the quilt.
Fold the Binding Down: Next, fold the binding back down, aligning it with the next side of the quilt. The folded edge of the binding should now be flush with the top edge of the quilt, and the binding strip will form a neat mitered corner.
Secure the Corner: Hold the corner firmly in place, making sure the binding is lying flat along the quilt’s edge. You can use pins or clips to secure the mitered corner if needed.
Continue Sewing: Start sewing again from the edge of the mitered corner, continuing down the next side of the quilt. Make sure to backstitch a few stitches to secure the corner before proceeding.
Repeat for All Corners: Continue sewing and mitering all the corners in the same manner until you reach the point where you started. Remember to leave a small gap for joining the binding ends.
Mitering corners ensures that your quilt’s binding turns neatly and smoothly around the edges, creating a professional finish. With practice, you’ll achieve perfectly mitered corners that add a polished look to your quilt.
How do you miter corners when sewing quilt binding by machine?
Mitering corners when sewing quilt binding by machine is a technique that gives your quilt a polished and professional finish. Here’s how to do it:
Stop Stitching Before the Corner: As you approach a corner while sewing your binding, stop stitching a few inches before you reach the corner, leaving the needle in the down position.
Lift the Presser Foot: Lift the presser foot to free the quilt layers.
Fold the Binding: At the corner, fold the binding strip up and away from the quilt top at a 45-degree angle. This will create a diagonal fold in the binding strip, with the raw edge of the binding aligning with the raw edge of the quilt.
Lower the Presser Foot: Lower the presser foot back down to secure the folded binding.
Continue Stitching: Now, continue stitching from the corner, sewing along the next side of the quilt. Ensure the folded binding remains in the 45-degree angle and that you maintain a consistent seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam for added security.
Repeat for All Corners: Repeat this process for all corners. When you reach the final corner, sew up to the corner but don’t sew off the quilt. Lift the presser foot, fold the binding at a 45-degree angle as before, then lower the presser foot and stitch off the quilt. Backstitch to secure the end.
Mitering the corners in this manner results in crisp, clean corners with no overlapping or bulky fabric. Practice and precision will help you achieve beautifully mitered corners when sewing quilt binding by machine, adding a professional touch to your quilting projects.
Can you share any tips or tricks for achieving a polished, professional finish with machine binding?
Achieving a polished and professional finish with machine binding can be made easier with the following tips and tricks:
Use a Walking Foot: A walking foot or even-feed foot can help keep all layers of your quilt (top, batting, and backing) feeding evenly, preventing puckering and ensuring even binding.
Practice on Scrap Fabric: Before binding your actual quilt, practice on a scrap piece of fabric to get comfortable with your machine’s settings and the binding process.
Start in a Less Noticeable Area: Begin sewing the binding on a less visible section of the quilt, like the bottom edge, to get into the rhythm before tackling more noticeable areas.
Pin or Use Clips: Pin or use binding clips to secure the binding in place before stitching. This prevents shifting and maintains an even seam allowance.
Check Seam Allowance: Maintain a consistent seam allowance along the entire binding. A seam guide or a seam marking foot can help you achieve this.
Miter Corners Carefully: Take your time to miter corners neatly. The key is to fold the binding precisely at a 45-degree angle, which creates a clean and crisp corner.
Match Thread Color: Choose a thread color that matches or blends with your binding fabric. This helps any stitching imperfections blend in.
Backstitch at Corners: At corners, backstitch a few stitches to reinforce the seams for added durability.
Join Binding Ends Neatly: When joining the ends of the binding, trim them at a 45-degree angle, fold one end over the other, and stitch diagonally for a secure and inconspicuous join.
Press as You Go: Use an iron to press the binding away from the quilt top after stitching each side. This creates a crisp, flat finish.
Check for Flaws: After completing the binding, thoroughly inspect your quilt to ensure there are no gaps or missed spots in the binding stitching.
By following these tips and practicing your machine binding skills, you can consistently achieve a polished, professional finish on your quilts, giving them that extra touch of quality and craftsmanship.
Throughout this guide, we’ve walked through the essential steps, from selecting the right binding strips and preparing your quilt for binding to efficiently stitching them with your sewing machine. We’ve also explored techniques for neatly mitering corners and achieving that flawless, polished look.
By choosing machine binding, you’re not only embracing efficiency but also ensuring that your quilts are built to last. The secure attachment of binding strips is a mark of quality and durability, ensuring your quilts can withstand the test of time and daily use. While some quilters may still prefer the traditional, hand-sewn approach, machine binding offers a practical alternative that doesn’t compromise on strength or aesthetics.
This newfound skill opens up opportunities to complete your quilting projects more swiftly and efficiently. Whether you’re an experienced quilter aiming to streamline your process or a novice eager to create beautiful, professional-looking quilts, machine binding is a technique that should be in every quilter’s repertoire.
As you continue to practice and perfect your machine binding skills, you’ll find that the process becomes second nature. The satisfaction of finishing your quilts with neatly machine-sewn binding is a reward in itself. With time and patience, you’ll develop your unique style and signature touch, transforming each quilt into a work of art that reflects your creativity and dedication.
In the world of quilting, machine binding is a game-changer, offering both speed and strength without sacrificing quality. So, keep practicing, keep creating, and may your quilting journey be filled with beautifully finished masterpieces.