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Tips about Binding on the Longarm

Attaching Binding on the Quilting Machine

The method described here was done with and is illustrated using a Gammill quilting machine. The standard presser foot for these machines has a raised edge on the sides and back. This allows the presser foot to slide along a straight edge to produce a stitch along a desired path.

Also when this foot is placed against a straight edge and a line of stitching is completed, the line of stitching is approximately 1/4" from the straight edge.

The quilting has been completed. During the quilting process, the outside edges were basted. This quilt was attached to the frame using the "Floating the Top" method. With this method, the quilt top is not pinned to the take up roller along with the batting and backing. Instead, the top is basted flat. This provides a smooth, flat surface allowing the quilter to stitch right off the edge if needed. Also using this method, only the backing fabric is clamped leaving the top and batting to lie flat along the sides as well.

Instructions for Floating the Top can be purchased here along with flat T-pins. Check out the Notions page.

Find the center of the prepared binding and place it at the center of the quilt top. Lay the binding along the edge of the quilt top and from one end to the other. Place a straight edge over the binding to hold it in place. We use the Diagonal/Diamond Ruler because it is longer and the first marking from the edge gives an accurate 1/4" seam allowance when placed on the fold of the binding. However, any straight edge designed for your machine will work.

This picture shows the hopping foot against the ruler. The top edge of the hopping foot is even with the outside edge of the quilt top. Starting from the left edge, stitch to the right across the top of the quilt. Check the position of the binding as you go.

Stop stitching when the right edge of the presser foot just touches the right edge of the quilt top. Next you will stitch a miter in the corner.

This shows the step just before the miter is stitched in the bottom left corner. The method is the same for each corner.

Stop stitching when the edge of the hopping foot just touches the edge of the quilt top. Here we have placed the Diagonal/Diamond Ruler against the foot, lining up the 45 degree angle with the edge of the quilt top. This gives a straight edge angled at 45 degrees so that a line of stitching can be placed from the location of the needle as shown above into the outside corner of the quilt top.

Back stitch to secure the threads and remove the machine away from this area of the quilt.

This picture shows (barely!) the miter that has been stitched into the corner of the quilt.

Now take the binding and fold it along the miter stitched in the previous step.

Now fold the binding back over itself so that the unfinished edge of the binding is again along the edge of the quilt top. Start at the point shown at left and backstitch to the left edge of the quilt.

Continue stitching until the edge of the presser foot just touches the next side of the quilt top.

Stitch another miter as before

Continue stitching in this manner down the sides and across the bottom of the quilt. Stop stitching when you have 12-15 inches remaining to be stitched.

At this point stitching will need to be completed at the regular sewing machine.

.......NO it doesn't!!! Here is how someone advised me to complete the stitching on the quilting machine.

  • Before you start, take the end of the binding you will attach first and do the following:
    • Cut a 45 degree angle on the end.
    • Along this 45 degree cut you will tun under about 1/2" of fabric making a small hem.
    • Press this hem.
  • Stitch the binding as described above. When you reach the beginning, you will cut the end of the binding with enough left over to insert the end into the beginning. Complete the stitching.
  • Now you can remove the quilt from the machine. When hand stitching the binding, the starting hem that was previously pressed will be stitched closed.