A lesson in binding….

I’m going to tell you a little story about binding the quilt I showed you yesterday….

First let me say, I am not a purist.  I sew my binding down by machine….The first quilts I made I sewed the binding down by hand but after stitches came loose a couple times I decided to use my sewing machine to tackle binding jobs.

Typically, I sew the binding to the back, bring it around and sew it down on the front.  I know my quilts end up “looking different” but I don’t mind or care.  Last week, I wanted to get a binding finished before I went to bed so I sat down and QUICKLY sewed it on.  I was tired and didn’t realize that I had sewn the binding to the front!  Now what?  I didn’t want to hand sew it down.  Then I remembered a tutorial I had seen from Patchwork Times, showing how to machine bind….. I decided to try it.

Here is the binding sewn down on the front.


Here is how I pinned it down.


Yes, the pins are on the back, and yes, you do run over the pins as you sew.  You are sewing VERY slowly so it isn’t a big deal though.

I sewed “in the ditch” on the front side of the quilt.


Sew VERY slowly…..all the way around.  I thought the corners would be tricky but I managed them just fine!

Here is what it looks like from the front and back.


My biggest fear in trying this method was that I wouldn’t catch the binding on the back side….but No Fear….I caught it all the way around….even the corners.

I think I am a convert.  I think this is the method I will be using to sew my bindings on from now on.

13 thoughts on “A lesson in binding….”

  1. Jo I don’t hand bind my quilts either. I almost always sew them to the back and bring them to the front and do a decorative stitch to sew the binding down. I too would be afraid that sewing them to the front would miss stitches in the back. Yours looks great!

  2. I’ve used this technique for years but I use a decorative stitch. Figure since everything else is done by the machine, the binding won’t mind being sewn on by my Bernina either!

  3. Jo, I usually bind my quilts by hand – but depending on the usage I will also so by machine. The latest technique I’ve used is to sew the first seam with the binding on the back rather than the front. This way I can be assured that I’m catching the binding including the mitered corners and I don’t even pin. I believe Pat Sloan has a video on YouTube using this technique.

  4. I have seen Judy’s tutorial before on her binding method – but your pictures have helped immensely. I will have to try it out soon. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow – nice job! I tried this method once with dismal results, I ended up picking it out and sewing it down by hand. I should give it another try.

    Pamela in SOMD

  6. I’ve always “thought” about machine stitching my binding but I just love sitting in the evenings and doing that part with TV. :-) Seeing your quilt again makes me want circle die all the more!!!

  7. I love your bubble quilt. I have a stack of GO circles that have been collecting for just such a quilt. You may have inspired me to move it up on the list. I’ve tried the binding my machine but ended up missing the back. Maybe I just need to go slower.

  8. That looks really nice!! I can’t bring myself to stitch over pins though. I will walk my machine over them using the hand wheel but I’ve actually broken needles stitching over pins when I used to sew garments. And let me tell ya, that’s a scary moment.

  9. Isn’t it amazing? I do pin mine opposite (so the heads are sticking out) and I pull them out before I get to them (sometimes). Some machines actually seem top sew over pins better than others. My Berninas never notice them. My Babylock clunks and usually dulls a needle (or worse) with each pin.

  10. It came out just lovely! I sew my bindings to the front and hand stitch them to the back. I enjoy the handwork. I make my quilts to be used, and I have never had anyone get back to me later that the stitching let loose. When I think about all the old, hand sewn quilts that have survived through the years to bring us joy today, I figure if you do a good job, the purpose of the quilt won’t be compromised. Key words: enjoy handwork. If I didn’t, I’d find an alternative way, like you did. As a matter of fact, I think that your idea might be best with baby quilts because I hope they are being used and washed and dried often.~karen

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