Monday, November 16, 2015

Machine Binding Technique

It's that time of year to make gifts!  I have always liked to get handmade gifts from my relatives and friends.  When I know that other people also enjoy handmade gifts, I relish the chance to make something for them.  I'm passing along the torch of my grandmothers, mother and friends.

This year I decided to make some holiday placements.  There are so many fun and modern holiday prints and I found one with owls that I thought was just the ticket.  Its got lime green, turquoise and red colors, which are all my favorites.   I decided to use a red fabric for the flip side that can be used for Valentine's.  So two holiday seasons worth of placements!

I've written this blog about the machine binding for these placements.  I made 8 of them, 14" x 20", which meant that I needed 45 ft of binding.  The thought of handing stitching down this much binding on the back side just wasn't appealing.  So I thought about and remembered a technique that one of my fellow Clark County Quilters uses on all of her quit bindings.  It uses two passes with the machine. One to attach the binding and the second one to finish to top.

Finished binding on the top
Finished binding on the back
I used a french binding, which just means that you double your fabric, stitch the raw edged side, flip it over the edge, and stitch the folded edge.  This gives you double binding throughout.  I cut the fabric strips at 2-1/4" wide and stitched all of my pieces together in a bias seam to reduce bulk.  On my quilts, I stitch on the top side and then hand slip stitch the back side.  But for these placements, I stitched the binding on the back side first with a 1/4" seam and the walking foot.

1/4" seam sewn on the back side

The binding was then flipped to the front, and the corners were all pinned in place.

Corners pinned in place

The stitch that I used was on the Bernina 440, and is #45.  I reset the stitch to 2.9 W, 2.7 L, and hit the reverse key.  Here is the screen showing the stitch.

The alignment of the walking foot

I used the walking foot due to the bulk of the seams and lined up the outer edge of the binding with the inner edge of the foot.  This put the seam right inside the edge of the binding and pretty close to right on top of the seam underneath.

Alignment of the binding on top of the seam

I hope you can use the machine binding technique.


  1. I hope to get better at this technique because like you sometimes I'm just not "in" for sewing many feet of binding!! Yours looks great!!--Terry

  2. I so want to improve my machine bindings. I don't do many quilts that warrant all the hand sewing, most are utilitary. Thanks for the tips!