Hand Stitching Binding

March 19, 2009

Beth of The Jury is Still Out asked about how others hand stitch the binding on their quilts. So I thought I would share how I do mine. I used to hate doing binding but since I learned this method I don’t mind doing the binding at all.

First I machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt. I won’t go into details on that since Beth was mainly asking about the final hand stitching. After the binding is stitched to the front, I put a thin line of Elmer’s Washable School Glue along the edge of the back where the binding will be, pull the binding to the back and press the binding in place. The heat is used to set the glue. That way the glue holds the binding in place while I stitch and I don’t have to worry about pins or clips and I know that the binding is exactly where I want it to be.

And now for the stitching. For the initial stitch I bury the knot under the binding and come up through the binding right at the edge of the binding, as close to the fold as possible. Then I will go down into the quilt right next to where the thread comes out of the binding-maybe even a little underneath the binding- and then push the needle one stitch length and come up through the binding again at the edge of the binding. Hopefully this picture will explain better than my writing.

Sometimes I have to play around with the thread color to see which color blends the best. I often get a few stitches in place and decide it is not working and rip it out. Also I find cotton threads are easier to use with hand stitching than polyester threads.

After it is all done I wash the quilt and all of the glue comes out.

There are other good ways of stitching binding too but this is what works best for me. Good luck to you Beth and anyone else stitching a binding on their quilt!



  1. EXACTLY how I do mine!

  2. That is such a good idea! The most time-consuming part for me is constantly checking that I’m sewing it evenly all the way around.

  3. Thanks, Deb! I appreciate the help!

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