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Attaching Straight Quilt Binding
Many quilters dread the process of attaching a quilt binding. I love to attach bindings because that means the quilt is nearly finished. Here is a tutorial on how I prepare, attach and finish my bindings. The only special tool I use is a walking foot. I am happy with the look of my bindings, but if you’re looking for techniques to make bindings that win awards at shows, you’ll also get a chance to see how those are done as well.
Joining and Pressing the Strips
You will need to trim your quilt before adding the binding. In the section below titled Joining the Ends, I discuss trimming the quilt.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to have a table or other surface to the side of your machine. This holds the quilt and takes the weight off of the binding area as you work.
I recommend using a walking foot to attach the binding. The video below shows how to attach and use a walking foot.
Stitch the binding to the front side of the quilt. Leave about 8″ to 10″ un-sewn at the beginning of the binding strip. Line up the raw edges of the quilt with the raw edges of the binding. Use a regular stitch length and a 3/8″ seam allowance.
Stitch about 12″ or so then check your seam allowance. Fold the binding from front to back. The folded edge of the binding should just cover the stitching. If the fold does not cover the stitching without stretching, reduce the seam allowance slightly. Stitch a little more and check again.
As you approach each corner, place a pin about 1/4″ away from the side of the quilt as shown here.
Stitch right up to the pin and stop with the needle down. Raise the presser foot and turn the quilt towards you as shown. Stitch off the edge, making a 90 degree turn as shown here. I add a back stitch here but it isn’t needed.
Turn the quilt to stitch the next side. Fold the strip up, making a 45 degree angle as shown. This will be the miter at the corner.
Fold the binding back down along the side, keeping the miter in place beneath it. Make sure the fold is aligned with the top edge of the quilt. It is not necessary to place a pin here. This was done to take a better picture.
Start stitching at the folded edge as shown. I backstitch here. Continue until re reach the next corner and repeat with each corner and side. Stop when you are about 12″ to 18″ away from your starting point.