September 29, 2016

Sweet Stars Sew Along

Hi!! I am the last stop on the Sweet Stars Sew Along and I am going to help you get the binding on your quilt!!

This Sweet Stars Quilt was designed by the amazing Peta from She Quilts A Lot. You can find a copy of the pattern in her shop and the Fat Quarter Shop has kits available if you want everything in one neat package!!

I decided to use four of the cute blocks from Peta's pattern and make a quick table topper for the holidays!

There are an abundance of binding tutorials online. And I mean a TON!  So I’m going to show you how I machine bind my quilts to look for an almost hand sewn look. This is the way I do it and I hope you may get a few tips and tricks that will help you. I am sure as you practice this technique, you will find ways that make it easier for YOU!

I bind all my quilted projects this way and over years of practice it has almost become second nature and pretty fast for me.  Hand stitched bindings are lovely, but when making items for sale, time is of the essence and I am confident that  my machine bound quilts can withstand lots of trips through the washer and drier and use from the recipients.

First you’ll need to square up the edges of your quilt.  I cut my binding strips 2.25″ x the width of the fabric and trim off the selvages.  To figure out how many strips you’ll need, add up the length in inches of all four sides of your quilt plus 20 inches.  Next divide that number by 42″ which is generally the width of the fabric. I usually cut an extra strip as I would rather have too much than run short.

Lay your fabric strips right sides together as shown, sew a diagonal seam from corner to corner, trim the corner, and repeat until all of the binding strips are sewn together into one long strip.  Then press that whole long strip in half, wrong sides together.

Using a walking foot, sew the binding onto the quilt FRONT first. Pin  the binding to a side of the quilt, matching the raw edges and leaving about a 10″ tail. I use Clover Wonder Clips instead of pins and it is so much easier!  Start sewing using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Keep sewing until you reach a corner, and stop stitching and back stitch 1/4″ before the corner/next side of the quilt…it’s important to get that 1/4″ of  space at the end!  Lift the binding strip up as shown making  a diagonal fold, then placel the binding strip back down creating a fold at the top and pin.   Start sewing down the next side.

When you get back to the beginning, stop sewing about 10″ from where you started, leaving a  tail. Fold the bindings to meet in the middle and finger press to leave a crease.  Open the strips, and match the crease marks and pin the strips right sides together.  Sew down the crease marks, trim after you've made sure it's sewn correctly, and press the seam.  Place the strip back on the quilt and finish sewing.

Next turn the quilt over and we’re going to stitch the binding down onto the BACK of the quilt.
Choose a place to start, and fold the binding strip over until it’s PAST the 1/4″ seam line and pin.  This part is super important!!!! If you don’t pull the binding edge past that seam line you will get stitches in your binding on the front and we want to avoid that at all costs!!I use my iron and press the binding away from the quilt and over to the front side. Then I use my wonder clips to hold everything in place.

Sew right along the edge of the binding on the back making sure you are sewing to the left of the seam line.  Just make sure that you have pulled the binding well past the seam line and stay really close to the edge as you stitch.

Keep sewing until you reach a corner, stop 6″ before the corner, fold the bottom edge up, then the side edge over creating a nice mitered corner and pin.  Sew to the corner, leave your needle down and turn to sew down the other side. 

Keep on sewing until you’re back at the start and you’re done! If you did it right your binding will look amazing!! All you will see is a nice straight line of stitches in the quilt, and it blends with your quilting.

Doesn't the binding look ALMOST handstitched from the front?? I hope you'll give this a try when you have a stack of projects to bind and a short amount of time!! It works well on mini quilts and pillows too!

Happy sewing!


  1. I still struggle with the binding once I flip it over. I never get my lines straight so it never turns out as nice and pretty as I want it to so I've been hand stitching when I turn it over. I will try this and see if I like it better. Thanks for your helpful tips.

  2. Deb,
    Very Nice tutorial! Your quilts and patchwork are always amazing! So Happy to see a Blog Post! I've been an admirer of your work for quite sometime and don't always get to drop in here or IG as much as I would like to. Your work has made my eyes pop out of my head ( Halloween is nearing) Such fun Sews! Good Luck with your New Shop!


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