How to Machine Bind a Quilt

By Alanda / September 16, 2015


Binding adds the finishing touch to your quilt, especially if you have completed a quilt as you go project. In this case its essential to bind your quilt to cover the raw edges and give your quilt some stability on those edges.

Neither of us are keen on hand sewing so we sew the binding to our quilts using a sewing machine. So  our video is all about How to Machine Bind a Quilt.

What you need

So before you start you will want to do a quick calculation to make sure you have enough fabric to go around the outside of your quilt. We lay our quilt out and roughly measure all around the outside edge of the quilt. And remember it’s always better to have more binding than less.

  • We make our bindings 2½” wide.
  • For this baby quilt we cut 5  x 2½” strips across the width of the fabric.

Please Note: Please note that the information below is just a basic outline. Please refer to the video tutorial for step by step instructions.

Binding StripsSew the strips together with a 45º angle from one ‘V’ to the other. You can see the sewing  line drawn on the fabric. This reduces bulk on the seam lines and spreads the bulk out.

Fold the Binding in Half
Once you have your long strip of binding, fold it in half and give it a good press to get a nice crisp fold.

Now it needs to be attached to the edge of the quilt. Lay the raw edges of the binding to the raw edge of the quilt.

Start on one of the long edges.

Binding a Quilt

Leave a tail piece of about 4″- 5″, which we don’t sew to the quilt.  Now sew down the edge with a ¼” seam and stop ¼” from the corner.

Take the quilt out of the machine.

Binding a Quilt

Fold the binding back at a 45º angle so that the binding runs parallel with the quilt.

Binding a Quilt

Fold the binding back so that the folded edge is parallel with the side you have just sewn and is now laying along the edge of the quilt that is to be sewn next.  Sew from the folded edge, along the edge of the quilt and again, stop ¼” from the next edge.  Repeat the previous step until all four corners have been sewn.

On the last edge stop about 10″ from the loose tail piece that we left un-sewn at the start.

Binding a Quilt

Cut a piece about 2″ from the end of the binding. You are going to use this as a measure. Lay this piece on top of the tail piece keeping the edge straight.  Lay the other piece of binding that has yet to be sewn down flat over the tail piece and the measuring strip. You are now going to cut the top piece of binding only, along the edge of the measuring strip.

The purpose of cutting this piece from the end of the quilt is so that your overlap is the exact same size as your binding strip.

Binding a Quilt

Join the two binding pieces together the same as you joined the binding at the start. Lay the two pieces one on top of the other, pin and check that the binding isn’t twisted, and sew from ‘V’ to ‘V’ on a 45º angle.

Trim the binding

Trim the excess fabric, lay the edges together and finish sewing the binding to the quilt.

Binding a quilt

The pieces should fit nicely and the binding should lay flat. Stitch to finish.

Fold the binding to the quilt front and pin in place. Sew the binding in place trying to match it to the seam line on the back. But don’t stress if this seems too hard. Simply sew the binding with a cotton that matches your backing.

As you get to the corners, fold in the excess to form a nice neat miter.

Remember to watch the video for in-depth step by step instructions.


  • Linda says:

    Great video, very clear. I HATE hand sewing, yet my marching binding leaves a lot to be desired. I saw a video using a fell foot. What do u think of that? I don’t have that foot, so I haven’t been able to try it. Something HAS to be better then what I turn out. I have quilts that are not finished because of my dilemma. I’m at my wits end. I may have to just bite the bullet and hand sew it if your technique doesn’t work any better then what I’m doing. One more thing…if I used my walking foot, would the results be better? Maybe?

    • Alanda says:

      I’m also not a fan of hand sewing, Linda, that’s why I machine sew my binding. I think you will find this technique is simple to do. Just take your time and your binding should turn out fine every time. A walking foot helps because of the bulk that you are sewing. I haven’t ever used a flat felled foot on my quilts so I have no idea if it would work. Another way to finish your quilts is to use our no binding technique. Here is a link to the video on how to do that Hopefully you will get those quilts finished using one of these methods. Good luck

      • Linda says:

        Hi Alanda, thanks for your quick reply. I’m going to try your method of binding first. See if I get better results. I’ll go very slow, that might help too.
        I did watch your recommended video on No Binding method. A very good idea, but I really prefer binding, I think it gives it a more finished or polished result. More like a quilt should appear.
        I’ll let you know how the quilt comes out. Like I said before, if I have to hand sew, then that’s what I’ll do. Really appreciate your assistance.
        Thanks again.

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