I love having choices. Yes, there are times when blind-stitching the binding by hand is the way to go. But since I developed my method
for a professional-looking machine topstitched binding, I find that most of my
quilts can be finished this way.
The secret to my method is hand basting along the fold of
the binding (on the back of the quilt). This gives you
flip the quilt to the front where the basting line shows you exactly where the
edge of the binding is on the back. This means you can topstitch the binding
from the front of the quilt!
Wait a minute—how does this save time? I’ll be
honest—I’m slow (but precise) with my hand blind-stitching; also, pinching the
needle with my thumb and finger aggravates my arthritis. But I’m very fast with
a big basting stitch, and these irregular quick stitches don’t hurt my hand as
Try it for yourself—you might want to add the option of the machine topstitched binding to your quilter's tool box!
1. Adapt your method for making double French-fold bindings for this technique. Cut the binding wide enough so that when folded and sewn
right sides together with the quilt top, the binding will fold over to the back
and overlap the stitching line by about 1/8".
2. Use your methods to prepare the binding, sew the binding
to the quilt (mitering the corners), and pin or clip in place just as you would
to prepare for hand blind-stitching.
3. Start by hand blind-stitching the four mitered corners,
stitching about 1" in each direction from the corner. This won’t take long, and
your mitered corners will stay put during the topstitching for a professional
4. Now the x-ray vision trick: from the quilt back, hand
baste a long running stitch along the very edge of the binding. I use a long
needle and basting thread. The stitch length doesn’t matter, but sewing
consistently along the fold does.
5. Turn the quilt over to the front to see your stitching
line on the front. This line shows you where the edge of the binding is on the
Machine topstitch (using a walking foot) to the right
of the basting line, knowing you are also stitching along the edge of the
binding on the back. Backstitch or run the thread tails through the batting. Note: match the bobbin thread with the binding
and the top thread with the quilt front.
6. Check the machine topstitching on the edge of the binding
on the quilt back for accuracy. Pull out the basting thread, and
the binding is finished, and it looks great on both sides!
Find out more about me and my quilts at wendyhill.net.
Follow me on Instagram @wendyquilter. See what I’m up to at wendyhill.net/blog.
My latest book with C&T Publishing,
Creative Quilt Challenges, with Pat Pease, features 7 quilt challenges and a special
techniques chapter. This is one of my favorite techniques among many featured
in the book. You can enter to win an ebook copy of my book right here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway. Plus, check out all 5 of my books with C&T Publishing.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin