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Sewing Machine Binding Techniques for Quilts Step-by-Step Full Guide of 2024

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As you lovingly stitch the binding, enjoy this final act of quiltmaking.

We’ll review essential techniques like:

  • attaching binding strips
  • perfectly mitering corners
  • joining ends
  • stitching to encase raw edges with a clean finish.

With care and attention, the binding becomes a decorative frame, completing your labor of love.

Now take a deep breath and let’s sew.

Key Takeaways

  • Measure quilt perimeter plus 10 inches to determine total binding length needed.
  • Cut binding fabric strips to desired width.
  • Divide total binding length by cut binding width to get number of binding strips needed.
  • Choose stitching method: straight stitch, decorative stitch, or hand sewing.

Why Machine Bind a Quilt?

Why Machine Bind a Quilt
When binding a quilt, going the machine route offers some nice perks.

Using a sewing machine leads to faster completion times compared to binding by hand, and the technique allows for very uniform, tidy results once you get the hang of it.

Proper machine binding also attaches the binding more securely to the quilt than hand sewing typically can.

Setting Up Your Sewing Machine

Before stitching up your binding, you’ll want to dial in your sewing machine by adjusting the thread color to match your quilting stitches and setting the stitch length to align with the quilting so the binding blends right in.

  • Use a walking foot for smooth, even stitching
  • Match thread color to quilt backing
  • Set stitch length between 2-3 mm
  • Clean out lint and change needle
  • Check machine tension and presser foot pressure

Making the Quilt Binding

When making the quilt binding, you’ll want to begin by setting up your sewing machine properly for the task at hand.

Consider choosing batting and thread that match or coordinate with your quilt colors for a cohesive look.

Assembling the binding can pose some creative challenges like mitering corners or deciding between hand vs machine finishing.

With practice though, you can achieve beautiful edges – maybe experiment with decorative stitches or try your hand at innovative shapes.

Just take it step-by-step, don’t be afraid to get creative, and remember the binding is the final flourish that completes your quilted masterpiece.

Machine Binding Tutorial in Steps

Machine Binding Tutorial in Steps
Next, we cover a step-by-step tutorial for machine quilt binding.

You’ll attach the binding first to the quilt back, miter corners neatly with a special technique, then join binding strips for invisible seaming.

Finally, use your sewing machine to stitch the binding evenly onto the quilt front along all edges.

Attach Binding to Quilt Back

You’ll start your machine binding by pinning the prepared binding strip to the back of your finished quilt, aligning the raw edges.

Secure the binding with pins every few inches, keeping the binding taut against the quilt backing as you work your way around.

Stitch close to the binding’s inner edge using a 1⁄4 seam allowance and remove the pins as you progress.

Take care to maintain even seam allowances for a tidy edge finish.

When you reach a corner, miter the binding before stitching onward.

Mitered Corner Technique

Attachment of the binding enables proceeding to mitering the corners for a neat finish.

Precision folding and pressing creates crisp 90-degree angles.

Align binding strips precisely, pinning two adjoining sides.

Sew to corner, stop, rotate work.

Fold second side strip up, nestling inside prior strip, pinning for seamless corner perfection.

Remove pins.

Check corners.

Adjust machine settings as needed, using walking foot for edge stitching.

Backstitching challenges may arise initially.

Practice yields expertise in executing flawless mitered quilt corners by machine.

Join Binding Strips

The binding strips need joining with a 1/4 seam allowance before machine stitching them onto the quilt front for a tidy finish.

Align strip ends precisely then stitch together using your machine’s straight stitch.

Check strips lie flat once seamed and press any uneven sections for a seamless binding that neatly frames your quilt.

Master proper alignment now for beautifully finished quilts.

Machine Stitch Binding to Quilt Front

Machine Stitch Binding to Quilt Front
You attach the binding to the quilt front using your sewing machine.

Match the thread color to your quilt top and backing for near invisible stitches.

Set your machine to a 2.5 stitch length and standard pressure foot to prevent tunneling.

Begin 1⁄2 inch from the mitered corner, gently easing the layers through as you sew.

Check corner precision by finger pressing at each one.

Continue stitching the length of the binding, pivoting at corners. Pausing with the needle down lets you readjust layers.

Check binding attachment on the quilt back—occasional stitches might stray off but practice helps.

When machine stitching the binding, take your time for consistency along the edges in both technique and finished appearance.

Achieving Perfectly Mitered Corners

Achieving Perfectly Mitered Corners
After machine stitching the binding to the quilt front, it’s time to master perfectly mitered corners for a polished finish.

Precisely folding the binding at a 45 degree angle and carefully aligning the corners are vital.

When joining binding strips, match the fabric grain and create seamless joins to prevent uneven corners.

For visual impact, choose threads matching the quilt’s colors.

Use quilting clips to hold binding corners in exact alignment as you sew.

Take your time, follow binding strip grain, mind the folding angles, and align joined corners for crisply professional results.

With practice, you’ll create neat 45 degree binding corners enhancing your quilt’s beauty.

Finished Binding Back Appearance

Finished Binding Back Appearance
Stitches might stray off the binding initially, but you’ll attain more uniformity with practice.

When machine sewing the binding to the quilt back, aim for a tidy, consistent line of stitches.

Though the first few inches of stitching may seem erratic, relax and let experience guide your technique. Proper tension and sewing motion leads to precise seam lines along the binding edge.

Scrappy quilt bindings pair well with decorative stitch finishes full of texture and character. For a modern quilt with straight clean lines, select a solid binding color and opt for the clean look of straight stitching.

Either way, with care and patience, you’ll achieve a polished binding that wears beautifully on the quilt back over time.

Benefits of Machine Binding

Benefits of Machine Binding
Opting to machine bind your quilt offers faster completion compared to hand binding methods.

The sewing machine technique also provides increased durability, perfect for quilts receiving heavy use.

Finally, machine binding is an efficient finishing method you can hone over time for a tidy, consistent finish with minimal effort.

Faster Completion Than Hand

One benefit of machine binding over hand binding is you’re able to complete the quilting process much faster.

By using a sewing machine, you can attach the binding and neatly stitch it down in far less time than binding an entire quilt by hand.

This efficient method allows for a tidy, consistent finish with minimal effort compared to slower hand-binding techniques.

With practice, machine binding leads to secure attachment along the edges and precise seam lines in the corners.

Increased Durability For Use

Machine binding’s durability lets you use your quilts often without worry. This reinforced finishing creates quilts sturdy enough for frequent handling or heavy use over time.

With machine binding, the long-lasting edges withstand regular loving wear.

Durable binding in funky folds or contrasting fabrics keeps quilts safe when curved edges meet eager hands.

You can trust machine bindings to preserve your quilt’s beauty despite repeated snuggles.

Efficient Finishing Method

You’ll routinely complete the binding process faster with machine quilting instead of slower hand-binding methods.

Perfect the efficient method by adjusting your walking foot, binding strips, and stitch length for mitered corners.

With practice, you’ll machine stitch precise lines along the quilt’s edges to achieve a tidy binding back.

Quilt Binding Tips

Quilt Binding Tips
When machine binding, double-check your stitch length matches the quilt’s top stitching for a cohesive finish.

Press seams open before folding binding strips for a flatter finish.

Use fusible web on the binding folds for easier handling.

Hand sew binding ends together, not overlapped, for invisible joins.

Binding clips temporarily hold folded edges while machine sewing.

Calculate binding width using quilt thickness; thinner battings need narrower strips.

Practice consistent seam allowances along the binding edge.

Unfold pressed folds to check alignment before final pressing.

Adjust machine tension so binding stitches don’t pucker.

Move slowly and pivot at corners.

Check binding width fits quilt back when joining ends.

Binding success takes patience and precision.

Binding Supplies Needed

Binding Supplies Needed
Four essential supplies you’ll need for machine binding a quilt are a rotary cutter, self-healing cutting mat, acrylic ruler, and quilting clips. These tools allow you to accurately measure, cut, and piece together fabric strips to create a neat quilt binding that fits perfectly.

Using a rotary cutter paired with an acrylic quilting ruler guarantees nicely cut 2 1⁄2 inch binding strips. Cut the fabric strips atop a self-healing mat to protect your work surface and rotary blade.

Then, employ quilting clips, rather than straight pins, to attach the folded binding to your quilt.

Consider a walking foot for your sewing machine to feed the bulky quilt layers and binding evenly under the presser foot for smooth stitching. With the right fundamental supplies in hand, you’ll be in a great position to machine sew flawless quilt binding.

Calculate Fabric Binding Requirements

Calculate Fabric Binding Requirements
Several formulas can help you calculate the fabric needed for binding your quilt.

Start by measuring the perimeter of your quilt in inches, being sure to account for curves and corners. A standard 2 1⁄2 inch finished binding width works well for most quilts. Add about 10 inches to allow for mitering corners and joining binding ends.

Next, decide on the width of your binding fabric strip. Common widths are 2 1⁄2 or 3 inches. Divide your total binding length by the cut width of your strip to determine how many strips you need.

For example, if your binding length is 320 inches and your strip width is 3 inches, you’d need 320/3 = 107 inches of strip.

Don’t forget to add seam allowances when cutting and joining your strips.

Binding Stitch Options

Binding Stitch Options
When machine sewing the binding to your quilt, you have a choice between a basic straight stitch finish or using decorative stitches for additional flair. Both options provide durability, but the decorative stitches add visual interest along the binding edge.

Take care to select a stitch style and length that aligns cleanly with your existing quilting stitches.

Straight Stitch Finish

Upon calculating the fabric binding requirements, you’re ready to consider the straight stitch as a simple yet attractive finish for attaching the binding to your quilt.

  • Achieves a tidy, durable edge using basic machine settings
  • Allows matching thread color to quilt for subtle blending
  • Gives control over stitch length to align with quilt stitches

The straight stitch offers a classic look that neatly finishes quilts while allowing flexibility in setup. Experiment with thread colors and stitch lengths until you achieve the desired neatness on both the quilt front and binding back.

Decorative Stitch Finish

Some quilters elect to sew a fancier stitch along the binding for additional flair. Consider using a zigzag stitch, blanket stitch, french knot, or buttonhole stitch for decorative accents. Experiment with different thread colors and stitch widths for personalized texture.

First, test chosen stitches on binding fabric scraps to preview the aesthetic. Then simply select your machine’s decorative stitch setting and sew as desired once binding is attached. A mix of stitches creates depth and dimension. The satin stitch’s closely spaced zigzags neatly covers binding’s raw edges too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I join binding strips that are cut on the bias?

Carefully line up binding strip ends at a right angle.

Sew together diagonally from corner to corner with 1⁄4 seam allowance to join.

Press seam open.

Fold in half lengthwise.

Trim strip after completing four miters for smooth connection at corners.

What type of thread should I use when attaching the binding by machine?

Use all-purpose polyester or cotton thread that matches the binding or quilt back.

I want to hand sew the binding down on the back. What kind of needle should I use?

For hand sewing the binding, use a sharp needle with a small eye to easily pull the thread through the layers.

Can I use ready-made binding strips instead of cutting and joining my own?

Yes, you can certainly use ready-made binding strips instead of cutting and joining your own.

Simply pin the pre-made strips to your quilt’s edges, mitering the corners neatly.

Then sew into place along the edges using a 1/4 seam allowance for a tidy finish.


As your needle dances along, delight in seeing your vision emerging through stitches – binding fabrics fused by hours of diligent labor.

Your aching fingers grasp destiny as you maneuver this final flourish for a resilient testament handcrafted by persevering focus with patient purpose.

Now caress those soft bindings, run your hands along each edge…savor your accomplishment before gifting its warmth.

You did it!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.