*TUTORIAL* Perfect Every Time Quilt Binding

by Kelsey Norwood

in Quilting,Tutorials


I’ve tried lots of times to bind a quilt with my sewing machine and it never looked as good as I wanted it to. For years I’ve been hand sewing my bindings, and although I enjoy hand sewing occasionally, I really don’t have the time to do it for every quilt! And I worry about how well it will hold up over time, etc.

Cluck Cluck Sew is one of the few blogs I read. I love her and her blog and her quilts and now her new fabric line! She shared a machine binding tutorial a few months ago that was just what I was looking for. I added one step that helped me get it just right.

perfect machine binding

Cut the binding strips 2.5″ wide, sew together end to end to make a super long strip, press in half, line up the raw edges with the raw edge of the quilt and sew at exactly 1/4″.

This is the step I added to her otherwise perfect tutorial:
how to bind a quilt

Mark a line 1/8″ away from the stitching line.
sew a quilt binding

Fold the binding over the raw edge and match it up with the line you just drew. I use these little clips instead of pins, they work so much better to keep the fabric just where I want it.

Finish sewing the binding to the quilt now with the back of the quilt facing up. Sew right along the edge of the binding.



Drawing that line makes the binding straight on the back side and the stitching line completely straight and parallel to the edge of the binding on the front side. My stitching line used to be all over the place and ended up on top of the binding in spots. It looked terrible!

My one extra step made this tutorial perfect for me, and NEVER AGAIN will I have to hand sew a binding again! Unless I want to…


1 April Fulk April 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Thank you for this wonderful tutorial.

2 Natalie July 21, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I’ve yet to try machine sewing my bindings! I like the idea of drawing the line. However, how do you sew the binding on with those clips attached??…
Cheers. :)

3 Kelsey Norwood July 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm

You have to take them off a little earlier than pins, but it’s not too bad. I find they hold the fabric together without shifting.

4 Lynna January 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

This technique is used in the making of clothing a LOT. Not only on bindings-but waist bands, plackets, shirt cuffs… AND-the closer you can get to the binding with your stitching, the less the stitching will show. It’s called “stitching in the ditch”. One way to get closer is to gently pull the binding to the left (away from the needle) and place the needle as close to the binding fabric as you’re comfortable (with practice, you can get right up against it without stitching through the top binding itself). After you’ve stitched-when you let the binding relax back into its original position-it should cover your stitches! :)

5 esk December 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Love this idea…where did you get the clips…always looking for something to make things easier.

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