Making quilt binding with a serger
In this sewing tutorial I want to show you how to make quilt binding. I know there are many posts on making quilt binding but I am doing it a little bit differently than what I have seen. I bind a quilt with my serger and it’s really fast, easy and accurate.
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Do you happen to know how to bind a quilt with mitered corners by serger?
If you answered NO … read on.
If you answered YES … Nice! Read on.
I strongly advise you to practice on scrap fabric before trying it with your project. It’s very fast and easy but you need to practice.
I guess you know what is binding? Binding is the finished edge of a quilt that covers raw edges with a strip of fabric.
Get more info on sergers here
SINGER Serger 2-3-4 Thread Capability Overlock with Blind, Rolled Hems and Flatlocking, Take Your Creations to The Next Level, White
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Brother Serger, ST4031HD, Strong and Tough Serger, Durable Metal Frame Construction, Large Extension Table, 1,300 Stitches Per Minute
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Janome 7933 Horizon Serger with Exclusive Bonus Bundle
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Juki Pearl Line MO-654DE 2/3/4 Thread Serger with BONUS I WANT IT ALL PACKAGE! Includes: 8 Piece Foot Kit, Serger Tote, 8 Thread Cones, 50 Needles, Electronic Workbook, Instructional DVD!
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- Snap-On Presser Feet
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- 2/3/4 Thread options | Micro Safety Switch
- Sewing Guage built-in for accurate seams
- Bonus Pack Includes: Juki MO-654DE 2/3/4 Thread Overlock Serger, Juki Serger Electronic Workbook CD, Juki Serger Instructional DVD Video, 8 Foot Kit , 50 Needles, 8 Cones of MaxiLock Thread & Serger Tote Bag
Janome Magnolia 7034D Serger Sewing Machine w/2-Piece
- 3, 4 thread convertible
- Maximum speed: 1,300 spm
- Rolled hem change over device incorporated
- Adjustable foot pressure: Yes (adjusting screw)
- Snap on presser feet
Prepare your quilt for sewing binding
I have here a reversible quilt. It’s a reversible placemat: one side is for Thanksgiving and the other side is for Christmas.
I attached my 2 quilted sides with straight pins, they are going to hold my quilt sandwich together and prevent it from shifting.
You have to trim all edges of your quilt cutting with a rotary cutter through all layers as straight as possible.
Prepare a long strip of fabric for making quilt binding
Make sure your binding strip is long enough for your quilt.
How wide to cut quilt binding?
I made my binding 2 ¼ in wide but I think a good width would be from 2 in to 2 ½ in. Of course, quilt binding can be wider but we are making quilt binding with a serger so don’t cut the binding strip wider than 2 1/2 in.
I made my binding with the ends at 45 degree angles. If you have straight edges you need to cut it at a 45 degree angle. Then fold the edge in ¼ in and press. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press with an iron.
Prepare a serger
Change the needle – a dull needle is no good for stitching over a few layers of fabric and batting.
I used just a regular 1 needle 3 thread overlock stitch. But I used the left needle – in the most left position because in my case the stitch width is 1/4 in. You need to make a stitch width as wide as possible, but not necessary ¼ in.
Serger stitches are excellent in preventing bunching or folding of the quilt layers.
Buy serger threads and needles here
ThreadNanny 4_White_3k 4 Cones of Polyester Threads for Sewing Quilting Serger, White, 3000 yd, Large
- 4 Cones of Polyester Threads for Sewing Quilting Serger White Color as shown.
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16 Assorted Colors of Serger Quilting Embroidery Overlock Thread Cones by 2-Beez - 1500M
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American & Efird 524 Maxi-Lock All Purpose Value (4 Pack), Light Grey
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Schmetz ELX705 Serger Needles, Size 12/80 5/Pkg
- This package contains five 80/12 needles
- Consistent quality that produces the perfect stitch every time
- This needle was designed for use in electronic multi-purpose sergers that do the overlock, cover, safety and mock safety stitches
- Not suitable for use in normal home sewing machines or embroidery machines
- Machines should specify ELX705 system
50 Schmetz ELx705 Sewing Machine Needles - size 90/14 - Box of 10 cards
- System Elx705
- Fits all "household" sewing machines - Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Elna, Janome, Kenmore, Necchi, Pfaff, Simplicity, Singer, Viking, White and many others
- 50 Schmetz ELx705 needles - 10 cards of 5 needles each
- Regular point.
- This needle is designed for use in electronic multi-purpose sergers that do the overlock, cover, safety, and mock safety stitches. Not suitable for use in normal home sewing machines or embroidery machines. Machines should specify ELX705 system.
Euro-Notions ELX705 Serger Needles -Size 14/90 5/Pkg (74063)
- Fringe Trims
Start sewing binding
Start sewing binding on a side, somewhere in the middle of one side, never start in a corner.
You can begin binding anywhere along the edge of the quilt except in a corner. Allow approximately 4 in of the binding to be free (without stitching). But it’s also better not to start sewing close to the corners because it may be a little difficult to join the quilt ends near the corners.
After you have decided where to start, run the binding strip around the edges of the project to make certain that the binding seams don’t fall into corners. If you see it happens readjust your starting point until there are no seams near the corners.
Place the folded binding strip on the quilt matching raw edges. The raw edges of the binding are placed against the raw edge of the quilt.
I have a reversible quilt so I don’t have the front and the back of my quilt – both sides are the quilt top.
I put a few pins to secure the binding in place from the beginning. But with a serger you don’t need to pin the binding around the entire quilt. Just align the raw edges by hand.
When sewing, place the serger’s knife along the edge of the quilt – don’t cut any fabric from the quilt edge, just go with the knife along the edge.
Mitered corners quilt binding
You have to stop sewing before you reach the corner.
So, when to stop? The distance to the quilt edge is equal to the width of the seam allowances. In my case the seam allowances are ¼ inch, so I should stop ¼ in from the edge.
If you are not sure where to stop make a mark on the quilt. It’s better to stop before the ¼ in point (even if you stop a few millimeters before) then to sew over it. If you sew past this point your corners will never look right.
Put the needle and the presser foot in the up position and remove the project from under the presser foot. Run the serger without the project and make a thread tail around 3 in.
Fold the binding strip up diagonally to form 45 degree angle at the crease as shown in the image below (45 degree angle). The binding strip should be exactly perpendicular to the quilt side you just sewed and the raw edge of the binding strip is exactly parallel to the other side of the quilt.
Fold the strip down, so that fold is even with the top edge and the raw edges are lined up with the raw edges of the quilt again.
Start stitching again from the very edge of the quilt.
Continue around entire quilt, repeating this procedure at each corner.
Quilt binding joining ends
Stop approximately 8 in from the beginning.
Overlap the edges of the binding strip to enclose raw edges. Slip the end of the binding strip into the starting end.
Stitch the final section of binding to the project trimming any access.
Finishing the quilt binding
That’s how the binding looks like after stitching with the serger. I need to cut thread tails and to remove the pins that was holding my quilt layers together.
Flip the binding over and form the corners. You can see that the corners are perfectly mitered on this side.
On the other side, you just need to fold them properly – and this is so easy to do.
I like to use Wonder clips to hold the binding in place. They are very helpful and well, wonderful!
Work your way around the quilt.
I want my binding to be perfectly even so I decided to baste the binding in place before final stitching. I also pressed the binding after basting. It really helps to make a crisp nice finish of the quilt.
Get more info on Wonder clips here
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CLOVER 3183 50-Piece Wonder Clips, Assorted Colors
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Clover Wonder Clips, Red, 50-Pack
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- Sewing must have
There are many different ways to sew the folded edge down. You can sew it by hand, you can stitch in the ditch. But I decided to use a decorative stitch of my Janome sewing machine. So, I put this stitch along the edge of the binding.
Sew carefully, use caution, because it must look good on both sides of the quilt.
I think I like the clean finish on the front and back.
If you want a video sewing tutorial on making quilt binding here is the link to my YouTube video.
Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to this tutorial later when making quilt binding and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration!
Want to easily bind a quilt with perfect mitered corners always? Well, I put these 7 steps together into one printable simple cheat sheet (PDF) that you can use when binding your next perfect quilt.
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