Machine Stitch a Quilt Binding

90% of the time I prefer to hand stitch my bindings, but there’s some quilts that require a machine stitched quilt binding. This is how I machine stitch a quilt binding:

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

First you need to attach your binding to the quilt back, when hand stitching I attach it to the front, but to machine stitch I like to see exactly where I am putting my needle as I stitch.

Take the quilt to the ironing board, and press the binding away from the back, so that you can easily fold it over to the front.

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

At the machine, test the stitches that you would like to use. It can be decorative, or utilitarian. It will depend on your machine entirely, as to the stitches that work best. I usually fold a small piece of fabric a few times to emulate the edge of binding on a quilt and test the width and length of the stitches that look like a good fit. I have found a X-blanket stitch that works well for me.


Start on one of the sides of your quilt, away from the corners. Stop as often as needed to make sure that you are covering your seam line with the binding.

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

As you arrive at a corner, stop and fold the corner. Secure it with a few pins, and find a stiletto if you have one. It’s a handy pointy tool that extends the reach of your fingers in these tight spots!

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

Stitch all the way into the corner, allowing the needle to catch as much of the binding fabric as possible. Then with your needle down, pivot. When your binding is complete, I suggest revisiting the corners and whip stitching them if necessary.

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

Continue on your way, removing the pin once you’ve stitched a couple of  stitches to keep things in place.

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

You will continue around in the same manner at each corner until your quilt is complete.  An example of my stitches:

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

The finished quilt, ready for snuggles on the couch, or in a stroller!

Machine Stitching a Quilt Binding -

Do you have a favorite way to bind a quilt? I’d love to learn more about it in the comments!

Happy Quilting –


By |2017-02-06T09:17:45-06:00February 2nd, 2016|Tutorial|11 Comments


  1. Dawn February 2, 2016 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Amy, my experience with machine-stitched bindings is that they look great from the front but not from the back, because the line of stitching rarely lines up with the seam where the binding was attached to the back. How do you deal with that?

    • Amy February 2, 2016 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Hi Dawn! I have this problem sometimes, using the smaller binding (2 1/4″) helps me to line things up a little better, and using a busy backing fabric can mask the oops when needed. :) As with most things, practice helps!

  2. Lisa C in Dallas February 2, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I agree with Dawn. Unless the binding and the thread and probably the backing are all the same color, it just rarely seems to look as nice on the back as it does on the front. Also, do you use the same size binding you do if you hand bind it?

    • Amy February 2, 2016 at 10:37 am - Reply

      Hi Lisa! I use the same size for both methods (2 1/4″) and I think it helps to have things line up better eventually too. A busy backing fabric can mask the oops when needed, but like I said at the the top, 90% of the time I do prefer to hand stitch my bindings :)

  3. Maeve February 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I think this is a really great method of binding a small quilt – and baby quilts do get a lot of washing! Thanks for sharing your way of binding. I have never thought about sewing it from the front of the quilt and this makes a lot of sense. Not so important how it looks on the back as on the front. By the way, such a beautiful quilt you used as an example!

  4. Karen February 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much, Amy! As a beginning quilter, I really appreciate both the photos and written details–it makes everything so much clearer. I think I’ll spend some time tomorrow playing with stitches that my loyal Kenmore does:)

  5. Lora Douglas February 3, 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Ooooh! I love that X blanket stitch. I wonder if my Bernina has that stitch, I have never seen it before. Thanks for the tutorial. I machine bind my quilts the same way, but I usually attach a flange or piping so I can stitch in the ditch. The stitching barely shows on the front.

  6. Emily February 5, 2016 at 3:23 am - Reply

    If anyone knows the setting for the X blanket stitch for the Bernina please share.

    Lori, I think the X blanket stitch looks great for a kid’s quilt. I’m going to try it today if both grandkids nap!
    Thanks. Emilt

  7. Tracey M February 23, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I love the stitch you chose. I have put off doing the binding on my first real quilt and after watching this video and the one on how to attach it without ironing, it looks much easier. Plus a lot less time consuming.

  8. Liz Dyer August 31, 2016 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Amy, I would love to see how you join the ends of the binding. That is the part I struggle with. Mine always ends up lumpy at the ends where the binding begin and ensds. Thanks!

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