To slip stitch a quilt binding the right way is very important if you want it to look neat and clean. I’ve been working on finishing a quilt this week. Slip stitching the binding was the last step, and I can finally hang the quilt on my little girl’s wall!
While stitching, I started thinking about the different methods I’ve seen quilters use for finishing binding. I like the way my mother and I were taught, and thought I would share it. In my opinion, it’s the neatest, cleanest and prettiest way to finish off a quilt. Teeny tiny, barely visible slip stitches.
I’ve noticed some examples lately that I consider to be bad methods. The quilt below is an example of binding sewn down with a sewing machine. That’s too messy. The sewing machine does make finishing the binding faster, but after putting so much work into the quilt top, do you really want to give it such a messy finish?
Finishing the right way is very worth every bit of the effort! Let me show you what we do with the stitching. It’s very simple. We will have more on making your own binding and attaching in a future post. 🙂
Tips Before You Start
– Always use a good cotton thread, that matches the binding not the backing of the quilt. If the thread matches both, great – but it’s more important that the thread match the binding.
– Use a single thread, not a double thread.
– Whenever you insert your needle into the quilt back, always make sure you don’t push the needle through to the front of the quilt. You only want to catch the back layer of fabric! Otherwise, you will find a lot of little stitches on the front of your quilt.
When you start, you need to secure the thread under the binding. Thread your needle with a single thread, and knot the end. Bring the needle through the quilt edge, on the outside of the seam, as shown. Don’t poke through to the front!
Pull through. Now, this part is optional, just a little something I like to do to make the knot extra secure so it doesn’t pull through. Insert the needle again, like so… but as the little loop starts to close…
Fold your binding over, making sure it’s even, and hold in place with your thumb.
Now, your first stitch. NOTE: Do you see how the thread is way off from where I’m starting? It doesn’t matter, because when you make your first stitch, the whole thread is going to disappear right under the binding.
Insert the needle just at the edge of the binding, as close as you can get to it. Now slide the needle about 1/4″ down, and come through the binding, just on the edge of the binding… just like this.
Insert your needle directly UNDER where the thread is coming out of the binding from your last stitch. This is the secret to getting tiny, you-can-barely-see-them, stitches!
See? Right underneath… slide the needle over and bring out through the edge of the binding. Are you checking to make sure you haven’t poked through to the front?