Binding Your Quilt – Quilting Tips & Tricks


Welcome to Missouri Star Quilt Company’s tips and tricks tutorials. Today we’re going to show you how to bind. On an earlier tutorial we showed you how to trim and now we’re going to show you how to bind.

The first thing you do – and this is really a preference – but I prefer a 2½ inch strip to do my binding. So you’ll cut enough to go all the way around your quilt and then you’ll seam them together, removing your salvages. So if you’ll come with me over to the iron I’ll show you the next step.

You’re going to fold this piece of binding right in half and you’re going to iron it in half. Now for this ironing I am using this Best Press by Mary Allen. Now we were not really sold on this pressing fabric but it is amazing and we really like it. It’s available here in the store, too, and we really do like it.

So now we’ll just keep pressing this until the entire piece – 2½ inch strip of binding is completely pressed.

Now here we are pressing. And I like a little steam in my iron. There we go, right down to the end. There we go! Alright, so now we’re going to attach the binding to the quilt.

You attach the binding to the table runner. It’s pressed in half and we’re going to turn an edge of it up and we’re going to make the seam on the end of the table runner.

You can see there’s a little fold on here, and we’re going to sew the binding on, and we’ll do that a quarter inch from the edge. We’ll stay really nice. Normally, you would use a dark thread on this. I’m using white so that you’re able to see it a little better. So let’s scoot along here. Now when you get about a quarter of an inch from the corner you’re going to stop. So we’re going to slow down… You’re going to put your needle down, you’re going to turn it, and you’ll move the whole binding out. And what you’ll do is put your thumb under the edge of the binding and lay it back like that. This will give you a perfect mitered corner.

And then you’ll start sewing from the fold and you’ll go all the way down and keep doing that on every corner. I’ll get down and show you it again because it’s such a good trick.

Here we are at the corner. So we’ll sew until we get a quarter of an inch. Turn your quilt. Lift up your needle and move your quilt away from the needle bar. Then, put your thumb under there and pull it back to the edge of the fabric and sew right over that fold. And you have another perfect mitered corner.

Now we’ve finished sewing the binding on and this is how it looks form the front. And from the back, all you have is a little seam. To stitch this binding I’m going to show you a special binding stitch that makes all of your bindings lay so flat and look so pretty, but I’m going to use a John James needle. And the reason I use John James – I don’t know if I’m a really strong quilter or what, but I tend to break needles a lot, and these just hold up so well.

The other thing I’m going to show you is this miraculous needle threader. They’re actually $14, which I think is kind of high, but I have spent so much time as I get older and older – I know there’s a hole in that needle, but I can see it less and less! These things are like little gifts from heaven!

Just stick your needle in the little whole in the top, lay your thread across here and hold it down on one side. Then you just push this button and voila! Your needle is threaded. Every single time! I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted trying to thread a needle through a hole I can’t even see.

Anyway, now let’s get on with this stitch, this marvelous stitch I’ve been telling you about. What you’re going to do next is pull your binding from the front to the back like this.

Always bind with the same color thread as your binding, not the back, but the binding. And then your stitches won’t show. So you pull your knot through and you come out. I hope you can see that right there. The thread is black and the binding is black. Now wherever your thread comes out you’re going to go straight down with your needle and catch that, and come up about a quarter of an inch away. And then the only thing that shows is that tiny little stitch there, which as you go and catch in the fold you won’t even see. Now remember, wherever you come out of you go straight down and come out about a quarter of an inch over. That will just make your binding lay so flat. You can’t even see those little stitches I’ve been taking. And hand-sewn binding is so much preferable to a machine – not that I haven’t done machine. I have – But I really like the looks of the hand-sewn binding.

So as you go along you can turn it over and you can see that it just leaves a nice folded edge that looks perfect.

So that is how you sew a binding. Thank you for joining us at Missouri Star Quilt Company’s tutorials. I hope you have a wonderful day. Happy quilting!

posted: All, Basic Skills & Techniques, Beginner Quilting Tutorials, Binding | tagged: , , , , , ,
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  • Kay

    How do you bind a corner?

  • Debbie Weishaar

    Great tips that helped me to get my binding on without having to keep getting up from the machine and my corners are perfect. I’m a beginner and was taught that you sew 1/4″ from end, back stitch, remove from machine, cut threads, then take binding up and back down to form the mitered corner. Your video instructions were easy to understand and saved me lots of time. Thanks for the great video tutorials!!!