More Binding Info

Eventually there had to be a top where the thread would show.  The blacks and dark browns I’ve been working with, the thread just didn’t photograph well.  Here’s one I did where you can see the stitching better.

In this first photo, you can see how closely I pin.


The pins I love are the Clover Fine (.4 mm) pins.


This picture shows the front where you can see the stitching.  Please click on it to enlarge it enough to see better.


This is the back side.


A reader had mentioned that with the Bernina walking foot, if you move the needle all the way to the right, you’re stitching in the ditch in the exact same spot as where the inside edge of the right portion of the foot lines up.


But, for stitching down the binding, if I leave my needle in the center position, and have the presser foot over to the right a bit, where that right arm of the presser foot rides along the binding kinda mashes it down, and causes the section of the binding near the stitching line to puff up a little, making it real easy for me to stitch right in that ditch.


That’s the beauty of quilting .. what works perfectly for one might not work so great for another but what doesn’t work for me, might work perfectly for you!  Don’t be afraid to try something that maybe isn’t according to the manual.  As my success with machine stitching the binding shows, don’t be afraid to re-try something that you tried before and felt it didn’t work.  I never thought I’d try maching finishing my binding and now I may never do it by hand again.  In fact, this quilt shown in these pictures had half the binding already sewn down by hand and I picked it out and did it all by machine.  That’s how much I like the look of the machine finished binding!

For those who have tried doing the binding the way I’ve shown, please let me know how yours turns out.



  1. 2

    Sandy says

    Your stitching looks perfect! I like this look even better than handsewing the binding . Also, I think it would hold up alot better with being sewn on the machine. Great job, Judy and thanks for explaining it to us. I have definately got to try this.

  2. 3

    Bobbie says

    I’ve already messed up–every now and again, the binding isn’t catching in the stitching on the back so I’m having to go back and stitch that again–not much maybe 1/2 in . or so, somtimes a 1 1/2. This is making me agverated because I love the fast and nice way this machine stitch binding looks and its no fun to turn it over a see this. The only thing I can think of is either I’m not pinning close enough together or maybe need to slow down some, although I am not going fast. Help?? Hugs, Bobbie

  3. 4


    It’s also a lot of fun on some quilts to use the decorative stitches in your machine for the binding, I really like that effect on baby quilts, the serpentine stitch with a variegated thread looks so cool!

  4. 5

    Judy in Michigan says

    I’m confused a little – (nothing unusual about that) – is your needle centered or all the way to the right?? Thanks for the info on the pins – I love sharp pins!!

  5. 6

    lesthook says

    I used your machine method last night and had the same problem as Bobbie,probably for the same reason,LOL! I ended up going over it all again with a decorative stitch. It is a baby quilt. I will keep tryig though!

  6. 7


    I’m so glad you showed this method and made a video. Several people have told me about sewing bindings on the machine, but without actually seeing it done, I never considered trying it. I wish I had something ready to bind… Maybe I’ll make up some quick placemats so I can try it out (and bust some stash in the process)!

  7. 8

    Terry says


    Thanks so much for the instructions. I really like the part where you tell how you trim the quilt.

    I put off binding for so long because it takes so long, now I have no excuse : )

  8. 9


    I’d say that 99% of my bindings are done on the machine and mine don’t look this good. I’m obviously going to have to practice. — Of course that means I actually get one of my numerous tops quilted…..

  9. 10


    I did my first one today. I was consistently in the ditch on the front and most of the time it looks even and good on the back. There were areas that I missed a little bit and that the binding was a larger overhang. I think that had more to do with my accuracy sewing onto the front and the ironed fold in my binding not being quite perfect. I will be more careful at all stages from now on because I intend to do it this way too. I’ve always hated the hand turning part of binding. Thanks again for giving us the tutorial and all the tips. Yours looks great!

  10. 11

    Linda H says

    Judy, I had just started this machine binding when you first blogged about it. I really like doing it by machine, too. I have found that I must, must pin closely, or I will run off/or too wide on the back. I use my walk foot to sew the first seam, then I change to my zipper foot for the stitch in the ditch. There are all kinds of zipper feet, but mine has one prong with a little half moon for the needle. I move my needle right inside that moon and position the foot against the binding fold. It looks really good on the front, and it is looking better on the back as I practice. Another sewing friend told me that she uses her stitch in the ditch foot. I don’t remember what brand machine she uses. Those who don’t have the walk foot, might want to check their accessory box to see what they have. Maybe even a top stitch foot? Different machines have different feet. I just have to say that I am really motivated to make this work and work nicely because my senior hands do not like to do the hand sewing any more.

  11. 12


    I believe my problem is that I’m still not cutting/stitching exact enough. I do my bindings by hand but note that even with a lot of care, there are still slight inaccurasies. When I get everything cut and sewn perfectly, maybe I can try this machine method.

    Thanks for the lessons and suggestions.

  12. 13

    Norma Bourgeois says

    Wow Judy! That looks great. I have been machine stitching my binding for quite some time because my hands hurt so much. But I’m going to try your method because I like yours better. The majority of my quilts are for babies/kids and get lots of usage so I’ve never minded the machine sewn look because I know it is sturdier. I have yet to make a quilt show worthy quilt that would be judged. But I don’t see how a judge could fault your method.
    Norma in BR

  13. 14

    Linda H says

    This is a P.S. to my above comment…
    I’ve been thinking about bindings ever since I made that comment. It just occurred to me that using a double prong foot, such as the walking foot, would probably give better control of the back binding edge…better than my single prong zipper foot. I’m going to try using the walking foot on the next binding.

  14. 15

    Becky I says

    You have taught me a thing or two about binding. I’m gonna try next time to use the in the ditch method instead of decorative stitches. We’ll see what happens and I’ll let you know. Thanks!

  15. 16

    Beryl says

    Judy I’ve been sewing binding on by machine for 40 years, I’ve never been good an hand work and now it hurts my fingers plus my eyes are bad. One new trick I use is to put invisible thread in the bobbin, Yours looks great and I’m so glad you are loving it.