Hi! Today is part 1 of a highly requested tutorial – Machine Binding! And not just any machine binding… The BEST machine binding method and my favorite way to teach you how to bind a quilt.
I have another binding video tutorial that I taught in my classes, but I never loved that method, even though it’s a standard way of doing it. It was good enough and I wanted to share it with my students, but I always went back to hand binding. That method was sew to the front and then flip the binding around and sew from the front again in the “ditch” hoping a praying you catch the binding on the backside.
The reason is because I don’t like to sew blind… ever. Maybe that makes me a control freak, but I’m sorry – after spending hours on a quilt I don’t want to last step to be a meh result. I want to be excited about it!
If you already know how to make quilting binding with a bias join, you can jump to Part 2 which is here ;).
How to Bind a Quilt
This method gets me excited… because look at that stitch 😉 It’s so pretty… and straight! And not hard… there’s a trick!
How to Calculate How Much Binding
The first thing I want to cover in how to bind a quilt is how to calculate your fabric requirements for your quilt binding. If you are following a pattern, this was done for you, but I want to go over the math really quick.
Add up all 4 sides of your quilt
Once your quilt is squared, measure all 4 sides and add them all together. Mine was 216 inches and will use that number for our example. For machine binding you need to do a bias join.
Take total + 10 and then divide by wof = # of strips
Take your total inches (216) and add 10 inches for the corners and the join (226). Divide by width of fabric (wof). I use the number 38 (bias join) or 40 (straight join). Some wof is 42 and some is 44 so these numbers work for either size.
226/38 = 5.95 Round up, so the number is 6.
# of strips x 2.5 = how much yardage
We need 6 strips of fabric, no multiply that number by how wide you want your binding to be. 2.5 inches is a good number.
*Note: Quilts with curved corners, scallops etc. need binding that is cut on the bias, not just a bias join. That is a whole different thing. This tutorial is for square or rectangular quilts.
6 x 2.5 = 15 inches of fabric. So you need 6 strips cut from 15 inches, a half yard cut (18 inches) is great so you have a little wiggle room.
Robert Kaufman also has a great online calculator.
Which quilt binding fabric should I choose?
My Mom, affectionately called Mama Lisa, wrote a little post about that!
Prepare your binding Strip
Video Part 1 goes over all of these steps in detail 😉
- Cut 6 strips, 2.5 inches wide
- Join with the bias join (2:40 mark of video) or below
- Starch your strip and press wrong sides together, seams pressed open (5:40)
- Zig Zag outer edge of quilt to flatten all those layers and prep for sewing the binding on. (7:04)
- Clip binding strip to the back of your quilt making sure there are no seams landing at the corners (8:10)
Here’s the how to bind a quilt by machine video tutorial! Part 2 coming in a few days!