I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to bindings, so here’s my quick tutorial for hand stitching the binding down to the back of the quilt. When I bind my quilts, I use a French- or double-fold binding. For a medium size quilt with a 3/8″ binding, I cut strips 2¼” wide, stitch them together with diagonal seams end to end, then fold the binding in half as I put it on the quilt, not beforehand with the iron. It really does fold over the edge of the quilt better if you don’t iron the binding in half before sewing it to the edge of the quilt.
I adjust the seam allowance when I sew the binding down with the machine so that when the binding is flipped to the back of the quilt, the folded edge just barely covers the bobbin thread, and the edge of the quilt fills the binding nicely without being bunched up and lumpy inside. I adjust the seam allowance, sew for 3-4″ and then flip it and check it on every single quilt because this setting can vary so much depending on the fabrics in the quilt and the binding and the batting used in the quilt. Even the weight of the thread can cause a variance in this setting from quilt to quilt.
Once you’ve sewn the binding all the way around the quilt, flip the binding to the back of the quilt and secure temporarily with binding clips. The binding clips really do make the hand sewing easier. Thread your needle and knot the end of the thread; use a single thread, not a doubled thread. Secure the end of the thread under the binding in the edge of the back of the quilt where it won’t be seen. Continue reading