A Bit More About Binding

To answer some questions:

  1. When I take a quilt off the longarm, I trim it before adding the binding.  I usually trim to near the edge of the quilt top, leaving just a smidgen of backing/batting.  My main goal is to be sure everything is straight.  If my outer border was cut 3-1/2″ wide, in theory, it should now be 3-1/4″ wide because I’ve used 1/4″ in the seam attaching the border to the top but the other 1/4″ seam allowance hasn’t been used yet.  I’ll line up my ruler with the 3-1/4″ mark on the seam where the border is attached to the top.  The edge is never perfect but that’s where I trim, leaving just a bit of extra batting and backing there.
  2. My binding is cut 2-1/2″, folded in half and pressed.  When I don’t press is after attaching it to the front of the quilt.
  3. I attach the binding with the walking foot.  My machine is old and my walking foot is big and clunky.  I line up the right side of the walking foot with the edge of the binding/quilt sandwich, then move my needle all the way to the right.  That gives me about a 3/8″ seam allowance.  I never feel like 1/4″ is enough for attaching binding but there’s surely nothing wrong with using 1/4″ if you’re comfortable with that.  If using a 1/4″ seam, you’d get about the same result I get if you cut your binding strips 2-1/4″ (because my seam allowance is 1/8″ wider and my binding strip is folded in half . . 2 x 1/8″ = 1/4″ . . take the 1/4″ off the 2-1/2″ strips I cut and you get 2-1/4″ strips).
  4. When I get to the corners, I do snip a bit of the corner off (this is the corner that gets tucked into the miter.  I’m very careful not to cut into the binding that’s going to be flipped over.
  5. I use the walking foot for doing the SID on the front when finishing the binding.

Here are some pictures of a top I did where the last border is red and the binding is black.  I used red Superior Bottom Line thread on top and black Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin.  Nowhere do I see pokies of red or black thread.  That’s one reason I love this old Bernina!  If you have problems with pokies showing through and it bothers you, mess with the tension til you get it right.

I’m just going to throw in some pictures.  You can click on them if you’d like and see how it all looks.   I tried to take several shots of the same area, just to see if the stitching would show up.  The black thread is hard to see on the black fabric and it’s almost impossible to see the red stitching.  It’s buried underneath the little “fluffy edge” from the binding where I hadn’t pressed it down.  I’m so thrilled with the results.



Guess I could’ve taken the picture on a corner that didn’t have a seam right there at the edge! 🙁  Oh well . . that’s how it happened!







  1. 1

    quilterbee says

    Your bindings turn out beautifully.

    Now you can meet your deadlines without so much stress.

    You are such an inspiration to me.

    Thanks for showing me how to do this. I am going to try this on my next small project.


  2. 2

    Carol Kimble says

    Thank you, Judy! I have never tried the machine sewn bindings because I don’t usually like the way they finish when I haven’t “caught” the back side in a place or two. And I don’t like to work with the glue – just a personal phobia I think. I can pin like crazy and your video has inspired me to do just that and give it another try a try on a QOV I have ready to go. Thank you so much!

  3. 4


    Thanks for the information, Judy. When I use my Viking, I use the walking foot but when I use my Babylock, it has something similar to the Pfaff IDT so I drop that down and don’t need a walking foot.

    Are you going to do another BOM or Quilt for an Hour any time soon?

  4. 6

    Kathy C says

    Thanks Judy. I always forget to use different threads in the machine and the bobbin when I sew bindings on. It makes so much sense.
    I have a Pfaff with the IDT so it is really easy to sew layers of fabric without having to take attachments off and on.
    I LOVE the video too.

  5. 7


    Those bindings look great. Thanks for all your good information about your techniques. I use my big bulky walking foot too, but because I usually attach my binding to the back and bring it to the front, I sew a basting line around the quilt 1/4″ from the edge of my border as a guideline. Then I sew on the binding at about 3/8″, like you, and lastly I trim the quilt sandwich. I like my binding to be “full” to the fold so it works for me to wait til then to trim. So far I have not had a problem with wavy borders but I do not have the public examining my quilts so don’t have to be perfect :)!

  6. 8

    Evelyn says

    I love how you really can’t see the stitching at all! My method – you do see the stitching. I am going to try this – I have a baby quilt almost all quilted… hopefully will do the binding this week. How fun to try new things. Thanks for sharing your discovery and how it works with you – with all the nitty gritty how-to details so we too can get such great results! Cheers!

  7. 9


    That’s EXACTLY how I do my bindings Judy, I probably have the same walking foot as you do, and they turn out really nice. I’ve never hand sewn a binding!