Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial
|by Jessee Maloney|

Hello! Jessee here from an Art School Dropout’s life to share with you the way that I use my sewing machine to attach binding to a quilt. Just like all of my other projects, this is just one way of doing this out of the many other ways all over the internet.It’s the way that works for me, and hopefully you too!

There is a lot to cover here, so instead of a nice little backstory I’m going to just jump right in…

Supplies
What is an Interchangeable Dual Feed?

OK, an Interchangeable Dual Feed, or sometimes called just a Dual Feed or a Walking Foot, is a handy little contraption that attaches to your sewing machine to help you feed multiple layers of fabric, or finicky fabric, through with ease. It’s pretty much a necessity when it comes to quilting your own quilts. The Dual Feed has a second set of feed dogs on either side of the presser foot that sync up with the feed dogs under the fabric so everything gets pulled through at the same rate. It helps eliminate puckers or slipped fabrics. It’s just pure magic.

Husqvarna Viking’s description is:

“The Dual Feed Foot with changeable presser feet is designed to feed layers of fabric and/or batting evenly. It is perfect for quilting, sewing velvet, stretch fabrics, imitation leathers and fabrics need precise pattern matching”

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Most Dual Feeds don’t have removable presser feet, which is what makes this piece extra special and why I am centering this entire blog post and process around it.

When you buy the Dual Feed, you will receive the Straight Stitch Foot and the Zig Zag Foot in the case. As you can see above, I have the Zig Zag Foot on my Dual Feed and my Straight Stitch foot is shown to the far left. Pretty much most of these snap on feet have awesome red guides on them. I will explain more about those later, but just know that they are indeed awesome.

In addition to the feet that come with it, I suggest purchasing two more very useful pieces.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

The Changeable 1/4” Guide Foot and the Changeable Quilter’s Guide Foot. They appear very similar when you look at them quickly, but once you get up close and personal, they aren’t.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

The Changeable 1/4” Guide Foot is shown here on the left. It has a metal guide that is 1/4″ from the center of the foot or 1/4″ away from the needle when the needle is centered. This is great for piecing stretching fabrics, or quilts with bulking seams. It’s also great for attaching binding, but again, we’ll get more in to that in a bit.

The foot on the right is the Changeable Quilter’s Guide Foot, or Stitch in the Ditch Foot. Its metal guide is directly in the middle and is centered with the needle. This foot is mostly used to quilt directly on top of your seams for an invisible quilted look. I have another use for it too.

How to attach your Interchangeable Dual Feed

To attach your Interchangeable Dual Feed, you will need to undo the screw on the left side of your needle assembly. As shown above. As you can see, I had been doing some embroidery beforehand so I still have that foot attached. You will then remove the entire white piece, with foot and store it accordingly. You won’t be needing it for the rest of this tutorial.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Then you will place the Dual Feed on and have it hug that metal bar in the middle. While you are at, make sure the white lever on the right of the machine is hugging the needle screw. As shown above. If it isn’t hugging that screw, it won’t know when to move and things will get messy.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Once everything is hugging all the right parts, screw it in to place.

If you would like to change the presser foot at this point, just unsnap whatever is on there and snap a new one in place. make sure it’s snapped in to both sides.

Now you are ready to go!

Now How do I Use My Dual Feed to Bind Quilts?

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

I won’t get in to the “how to make a piece and quilt it” in this post, but I do recommend checking out Christopher’s posts, they are super informative.

To keep it simple I started with a 14″x15″ mini quilt that I had put together for myself. It is heavily quilted (there is a lot of it) and I used a single layer of cotton batting, so it isn’t too thick. Something like this doesn’t require thick binding to hold everything in, so I could go super skinny if I wanted to. If you use double batting, thicker batting or thicker materials and less quilting, you may need to go slightly wider on your binding. So please keep that in mind as we continue.

First thing I do is figure out how much binding I will need to go around all four sides of my quilt, plus allow me to miter the corners and leave some room for error (always leave room for error!). To do this I first add up all four sides: 14″+14″+15″+15″=58″ , then I add 12″ to account for mitering and error which brings me to 70″. Most quilting cotton doesn’t come in 70″ wide, so I would need to do more than one cut. The fabric I chose for my binding is from a fat quarter, 18″x21″, so I will totally be doing a few cuts.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

I like to cut my quilt binding non bias, parallel with the selvage of the fabric and 2.25″ wide. If you have a curved quilt, this tutorial might not be for you. I also figure if I’m already making binding, why not cut up an entire fat quarter (or whatever I’m already using) and just make it all binding. It’s nice to have small amounts of pre-made half fold biding for small projects lying around. So that’s what I’m going to do here.

I ended up with four strips to work with.

To reduce bulk in your binding, I suggest piecing your strips at an angle. This will distribute the seam across a larger area and keep the edge of your quilt smooth.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

I proceed with this step by laying my first strip, right side on the table. I like to have the bulk of the strip to my left. I take my quilters ruler with 45 degree angle and my marking tool and I draw a line from the bottom right corner up at a 45 degree angle. I do this to all my strips except the last one.

I keep the strip in place and take one of the other strips ends, that doesn’t have markings on it, and place it right side up and the bulk of the strip hanging down underneath the first strip. I line up the corners and pin away from my marked line.

machine_binding_process_005

Once this strip is pinned, I take the end of the new strip and start the process all over until all the strips are pinned together.

I snap on my Straight Stitch Foot, set my stitch length to 2.5 and stitch over all of the lines I had drawn earlier.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Once all of the strips are stitched, I go and cut the seams down to 1/4″, sometimes smaller depending on how thick my fabric is. Thicker fabric and larger seams will equal more bulk and weight in the long run.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

I open all of my seams and press them. I also like to iron my entire pieced strip flat at this point.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Next I iron the entire strip in half, wrong sides together, making sure to keep the edges all lined up. It should look like the pile i have shown above. From here I will usually roll it up in to a roll to make sure nothing gets tangled…

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

But a roll doesn’t look as cool in photos, so for this tutorial I kept it in a messy pile.

Helpful Fact: I like to temporarily clip my binding around my quilt to make sure that none of the binding seams end up on corners. In this case they luckily didn’t, but you never know. This is also a great step to take if you want certain pieces of binding to line up with pieces of your quilt!

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Oh and the red clips are called Wonder Clips by Clover. They are super useful from here on out.

I always start sewing the binding on to a quilt on the bottom. I find the center on the bottom, and measure 3-4″ to the left. I usually eye this part. Then I snap on my Changeable 1/4” Guide Foot and lay my binding down on the edge of the quilt. Raw side touching (fold pointed towards the inside of the quilt) and make sure there is at least a 6″ tail of binding behind the starting point. Then I start sewing while keeping the edge of the quilt and the binding butted up against that 1/4″ guide.

Keep sewing in a straight line until you get to the edge. Stop sewing 1/4″ from the edge, using the red guides on your presser foot to help you. secure you stitch, cut the threads and remove the binding from under the foot.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Now is where is sounds trickier than it actually is. Take your binding and fold it at a 45 degree angle away from the quilt. the edges should now be in line with the edge of the quilt. As shown below.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Then you will flip the binding down, making sure to leave that 45 degree fold in place and line up the raw edges again. I like to use a wonder clip to hold that little corner there in place.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Then using the 1/4″ red guide on the back of the foot, I start sewing 1/4″ away from the edge, securing my threads first. Continue this for the next three corners too.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Once you get around that fourth corner, you will need to stop sewing 3″-4″ away from the center again. Secure your thread again.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Some people like a straight seam here (because its easy) and some people like an angled one that blends with the rest of the binding. I will be showing the straight line for ease today.

Take one side of your binding and fold it so the edge lines up with the center of the quilt. Finger press so you know where it is.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Do the same with the right side. Finger pressing the fabric again, so there is a crease.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Then unfold both sides, and make sure you can see the creases. line up the creases, right sides of fabric together, pin in place and then stitch across the crease.

Machine Quilt Binding TutorialMachine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Trim the excess binding away, and it should look like this!

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

I just finger press the seams open, lay the binding flat again and stitch the rest of the binding down from here.

If all goes smoothly, your quilt should look like this.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

At this point, to make things easier, I like to use a hera marker, my nail or an iron to press the binding away from the quilt.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

It kind of makes the binding stand on edge.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Now using those awesome little Wonder Clips again, you will fold the binding over the edge of the quilt and secure it on the back. For my quilt I used the clips edge as a guide as to where the binding should fall on the back.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

When I get to an edge I make sure the binding is folded at a 45 degree angle again lie shown below.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Then I just continue folding the binding down. It should automatically create a beautiful mitered corner.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

From here you could just hand stitch the binding down and call it a day, a very long day, OR you can continue reading to hear how you can quickly finish this quilt up!

To finish up my binding by machine, I use the Changeable Quilter’s Guide Foot. It will allow me to stitch in the ditch between the folded binding and the quilt!

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

I like a tiny bit of wiggle room, so I move my needle over once to the left (but be super careful it doesn’t hit the metal of the foot). I also stick with a 3.0 stitch length. Sometimes I may go up to a 4.0. It all depends on the project.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

I will usually start right after one corner. I line up the guide with edge of the binding, like shown above and I put the needle in the down position. Then I just sew! I don’t sew very quickly, because I need to remove the wonder clips as I go, and I don’t want to accidentally grab some of the binding with my needle. Slow and steady wins this race.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Corners are super easy too. Once you get to a corner, stop 1/4″ away from the edge, put your needle in the down position and your presser foot in the up position and pivot the quilt and continue on your way. It’s really THAT easy!

When you get back to your starting point, just secure your stitches, snip your threads and you are all done!!

Here is what the bottom, or back side, of your quilt will look like! I would normally suggest a coordinating thread, but I used something slightly lighter so you could see the stitches. As you can also see, the stitches didn’t go all the way to the edge. I personally like this for some quilts, mostly baby ones. If you do not like this look and you feel super confident, then just make your binding strips more narrow, maybe do 2 and 1/8th? I suggest testing it out on something small first. Maybe with that extra binding we made?

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

Oh and here’s the front too. As you can see the stitches kind of get hidden under the puffy binding. It’s a very clean look and allows for quick finishes.

Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial

So yeah, that’s it! I hope this tutorial has made you feel confident enough to try this on your own machine. I know it’s not for everyone or for every project, but there is till a comfy place for it out there in the quilting world. Check back with me next month, I’ll be back to embroidering some fun and colorful pieces

JESSEE MALONEY Art School Dropout
I have spent almost my entire adult life as an indie business owner and maker, 12 years to be exact. Most of my time was spent dabling in cast plastic jewelry, mix media accessories, 3D printing, laser cutting, embroidering and assembling vinyl pouches and much much more. It wasnt until 2014 that I decided to jump in, head first, in to quilting. Now it’s pretty much all I do!
Sewing machine: HUSQVARNA VIKING® DESIGNER TOPAZ™ 50


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