Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers
Hand Stitching Binding
A nice way to finish of your quilt is by hand stitching your binding to the back of your quilt.
Please, please, please do not fear the hand-stitching!
I used to run away and bury my head when I saw the words "hand-stitch". In fact on the first 6 quilts I made, I stitched the binding on by machine (that is a lesson for another day).
Later, I had been looking at other quilts and just loved how nice the binding looked. I found out they were stitched to the back of the quilt by hand. So I got brave and on my 7th quilt I stitched the back by hand.
Honestly though, I had no idea how to bind the back of my quilt! I finished 5 feet of one side, then took it all out. It did not look beautiful like the binding I saw on all the other quilts. So, I started again. By the time I finished binding that quilt, I had the method down pat.
It is really quite easy and soothing to hand stitch the binding, especially when you see how to do it before you start! :)
1. Fold the binding down around the back of the quilt and press.
2. Get your hand sewing needle. I recommend using a needle that is a bit shorter in length.
(Longer needles will make it easier to make your stitches too long.)
3. Thread your needle. Use 40" of thread folded in half so that you have a double strand of thread 20" long. Tie a knot at the end.
4. You can start binding your quilt anywhere you would like.
At your starting point, fold back one part of the binding and poke your needle through the side the binding is attached to. This will easily hide your knot.
Pull needle and thread all the way through, just until the knot catches on the quilt. Then put the needle through a small bit of fabric and and tie a french knot.
5. With the binding slightly unfolded, slip the needle in between the two layers of binding (the thread should not show through either side of the binding), straight up at a 90 degree to the edge of the quilt.
The needle should come out through the edge of the binding, straight through the fold.
Pull the needle and thread all the way through.
6. Fold the binding back over the back. Directly under the spot where your needle came through the binding, push the needle through the back layer of the quilt only, parallel to the edge of the quilt.
7. Pull the needle and thread through.
8. Poke the needle into the edge of the binding along the fold and then back out again.
9. Repeat steps 5 - 7 until you get to a corner.
10. Using the same method for stitching on the binding, stitch the mitered corners closed.
11. When you get to the end tie a French knot and slip the needle under the binding pulling the knot under. Tie one more knot and pull it through again. Trim close to the fabric.