The Best Tool for (near) Perfect Quilt Binding

Kimberlee Tanner

When finishing our quilts, we usually bind them using our sewing machine. This method is quick and efficient, but it also means all your stitches are going to show! Since we look at the binding as a final frame around the outside of our quilt, we want it to look good. Luckily, we've found a tool to help get nice even stitch lines that look awesome!


 What is Machine Binding?

When we talk about machine binding, we simply mean attaching the binding using our sewing machine to both sides of the quilt. First, we take our binding, fold it in half and attach it to the back of the quilt. Then, we fold it around to the front and stitch along the edge to secure it to the front of the quilt.

How to Bind a Quilt

We walk you through the basics in this video, but if you want even more information on preparing and attaching your binding, check out this tutorial:

Machine Binding a Quilt for Beginners

The Stitch in the Ditch Foot

Lots of quilters use a stitch in the ditch foot for quilting. It has a little guide right in front of the needle that makes in really easy to line up and see exactly where your stitches are going. While we don't do a lot of stitch in the ditch quilting, we do love using this foot for binding!

By using the stitch in the ditch foot, we can get a very even line of stitches right next to the edge of the binding. It helps keep this line consistent and the same distance from the edge of our binding throughout. No more worrying about missing the binding completely, or having a large gap in places.

What Tools do I need?

For this method of binding, you are going to need two things:

  1. A Stitch in the Ditch Foot
  2. A machine that allows you to move the needle position left and right

If you aren't sure if you have these options available, check your manual. While most modern machines have these features, not all of them will. 

How to Use the Stitch in the Ditch Foot for Quilt Binding

You will attach your binding the same way you normally do. Use whichever method you prefer. When doing machine binding, we always attach the binding to the back first. Miter your corners, then pull it around to the front. You can secure it in the front using pins, glue, or clips. 

Now that you are ready to sew, switch out your foot for a Stitch in the Ditch foot. Don't start sewing yet though! Right now, your needle is positioned directly behind that guide. We actually want to move it a little bit. Use your needle position buttons to move it a couple notches to the right. This way, your needle will be just inside of your stitch in the ditch guide.

When lining up your quilt binding under the needle, you are going to put your guide right along the edge of your binding. This will mean that your needle is just inside the edge of the binding and will consistently stitch the same distance from the edge all around the quilt top! Sew around the quilt, pivoting around the corners, making sure to simply keep the guide of your foot right along the edge of your binding. You'll be able to quickly and accurately attach your binding and it will look perfect (okay, near perfect). 

If you have any questions, let us know!

Happy Quilting,

Kimie and Missy

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