My favorite method for adding binding to a quilt is to machine stitch it to the front and hand stitch it to the back. I love that last little bit of time to connect with the quilt. If it’s a gift, I send a lot of positive thoughts and love while I’m stitching; if the quilt is for a customer, I think about where the quilt will end up living and the person who finally gives the quilt its permanent home.
But I love quilting, and the binding is the last time I will work on a quilt before it’s time to move on to the next one.
Anyway………all this to say that while stitching binding the other day I snapped some quick pics with my phone. I thought it might be useful to someone to see the stitches I use to attach the binding to the back of my quilts. Be advised – these are indoor phone pics on a very grey and cloudy day. But we’ll make them work!
After sewing the binding to the front, I fold it over and clip it in place on the back. I knot the thread in place under the binding and bring the needle through the binding fabric from the back to the front.
Now, insert the needle in the top layer only of the backing fabric, as shown below:
Now, slide the needle under the top layer only about a quarter of an inch and bring the needle to the top of the fabric:
I keep my middle finger under the quilt so I can feel if the needle comes through to the front of the quilt. (It will happen once in a while – just take the stitch out and start again.)
At the point where the needle comes out of the fabric, insert it into the binding fabric. Keep the needle in the fabric and move it forward about a quarter of an inch, then bring the needle to the outside of the binding right where the fold is.
The picture below shows exactly how the needle goes under the backing fabric, into the binding fabric, and then out of the binding fabric. Go ahead and pull the needle all the way through and gently pull the thread tight.
Now you are ready to repeat these steps for the next stitch. So, put your needle into the top layer only of the backing fabric right under where it came out of the binding and repeat the stitch.
What you end up with are hidden stitches and a smooth, professional looking finish on your binding:
Once you get used to the movement, you’ll find that you can move along quite quickly and before you know it, the binding is all finished on your quilt!
If you struggle with hand stitching the binding on your quilts, I hope this mini lesson helps. 🙂