Friday, July 26, 2013

Machine binding and the finished baby quilt

I did it!  I finally finished a whole quilt all by myself!  While it's not perfect, it is done.  I did not expect perfect for my first quilt, anyway. 

Here are links to a few things that helped me:

Machine binding tutorial at Cluck Cluck Sew
Tutorial for Baby Lattice Quilt Top

I also watched a free class on Craftsy from Elizabeth Hartman on creative quilt backs.  :)

Lessons learned: don't machine quilt without the right presser foot.  I'm both too broke, and unsure of where to buy the right foot.  I'm uneasy buying one online because I can't find one that has my machine's model number specifically listed.  So, until I can catch Wait's open, and I have the money for the walking foot, and darning/free-motion (still don't think I have the guts for that..), it looks like I'll be trying my hand at hand-quilting for the next one.  I'll show you why in a minute... 

The machine quilting/binding process I went through -


I decided to grid my quilt top.  Using the regular straight stitch presser foot both cause bubbling in my fabric when stitches crossed and it caused a lot of shifting in the quilt top.
So before I machine quilt another quilt, I'll be getting the proper equipment.  Other than that... it wasn't bad!


I am so not used to taking pictures during any of my processes.. but I did manage to remember to take a few. :)  If you want to know where I got the original tutorial that I read for machine binding it can be found here.

First, I started with the typical strips of fabric used for binding.  I needed 5 strips joined to complete my quilt.   I chose to use the same baby footprint fabric that is featured on my quilt back in the pieced strips and squares. 

After squaring my quilt and trimming the excess back/batting, I pinned my binding strips to the edge and took it to my machine. 
I was a little nervous about going over or under on my seam allowance on this.  Though in hindsight, I shouldn't have been.  I had plenty of room once I turned my binding to the back.  I'll show you what I mean:
The stitch line on the top is after binding the back of the quilt.  There's a good 1/4" - 3/8" difference there.  Granted, this was my first corner, and I did improve as I went on, but still, good to know :)

Anyway, back to the process:

As you continue binding on the front side of the quilt and approach a corner, simply stitch to right before the end, and turn your fabric, as shown:
Start stitching at the very end again.  I did a couple back-stitches since I know baby quilts go through the wash quite a bit. 

After you finish binding the front turn the binding to the back and pin in place, especially around the mitered corners. :)

The tutorial says to stitch the back just to the left of the original stitch showing on the back from the front side.  Since I don't have a walking foot, and I was fighting to keep everything lined up and feeding through my machine properly, I didn't manage this so well at the start.  Again, after I got the feel for it, I improved. 

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the finished baby quilt:

Full Quilt Top
Back detail and front corner turned.
Front detail and back corner turned.
Final dimensions are 45" x 37"

Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for finish it up Friday!  Hope to have another next week :)

- Cassie


  1. Congrats on finishing your first quilt! Yes, having the right tools can make all the difference.

  2. Your quilt is still lovely - no one will see what you can see. But you will love a walking foot. I hesitated for too long because I could not see how it would fit the machine, but had no problems in the end.

    1. Thank you for your kind words :)

      I have really been looking for the walking foot online, searching for my specific model number, but with no luck (for less than $130. I think I need to find one for my model specifically, since the standard low-shank 1/4" presser foot didn't fit. I might have to bite the bullet and shell out the cash.