Thread Matters: Binding with a Touch (Part 2)

We’re thrilled to welcome Aggy Burczyk back to the blog for

Binding with a Touch (Part 2) – Beautifying Your Binding.

Thanks so much, Aggy!
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And here we are again! As I had promised in my last post, here is the second part of “Binding with a Touch”.

I would like to show you another “beautifying” method – but also another way of how to finish your binding when your day just does not have enough hours to finish a project and binding by hand will just not fit into your time frame.


First the “beautifying” part.

Prepare a classic quilter’s 2.5 inch binding (and please let me know in case some of you would like a little tutorial on this – I am just pretending everyone knows) and attach it with a 1/4″ seam allowance to the quilt.


And then use pins… a lot of pins (!) – the bigger your quilt, the more pins you will need!

PINS: Let me put a little interlude into this blog. I am VERY picky about the pins I use for quilting – there is a reason for certain pins. The length of the pin, but most of all the thickness of the pin will determine it’s use. In the picture you can see the different kinds I use. From left to right:


  • classic, blue flower-head pins with a good grip, a little shorter than the yellow ones, but MUCH thinner, absolutely great for pinning seam intersections that have to match perfectly when piecing
  • classic, yellow flower-head pins with a good grip, very long, rather fine – a must-have for every quilter and great for almost any piecing and pinning need
  • generic, rather short pins with a “button”head, giving a great grip for pulling out while sewing, a little shorter and thicker than the yellow flower-head pins, good for a lot of piecing situations
  • very sturdy (thick) and long pins I use for pinning fabric to the leaders on my longarm
  • special, very fine and very short pins for appliqué work

Let’s get back to the binding. For this method put the pins (I used yellow flower-head pins this time) from the front into the ditch between the quilt and the binding. You will be stitching from the front, therefore the tip of the pin has to be towards the left, pinning clockwise and starting at the top left corner.


On the back of the quilt the binding will be wider and the pin will show a good ⅛“ away from the border of the binding. The angles will fold smoothly and in a natural way, but in case you feel more comfortable, do use an additional pin here.


Now you have to stitch a straight decorative line from the front. Yes, straight! Don’t worry; this is very, very easy using a foot with a guide blade in the middle that will glide along in the ditch. On my Bernina 790 I used the edgestitch foot # 10C.


Since this foot has a wide opening, I was able to use one of the many decorative stitches of the machine – “beautifying” and finishing the binding at the same time! How cool is that!


When it comes to the corners – don’t worry. Just lift the middle guide blade a bit and sew right up to the corner of the binding. With needle position down, lift the presser foot, turn your work, lower the presser foot and on you go. I prefer to stitch two or three straight stitches to the corner and away from the corner. Using a decorative stitch, this just looks much cleaner.


This is the beautiful outcome from the front and from the back:


And last not least just one more little tip in case you cannot or do not want to use a decorative stitch. Just use a straight stitch instead.

Two things to watch:

  1. Look at the tip of the guide blade when sewing – don’t look at the needle! You will have a wonderful straight stitching line.
  2. Push the guide blade slightly against the binding so the ditch is pushed open. The stitch line will vanish completely, when the binding moves back into position.


For this method I would recommend two thread types:

  •  Aurifil 50wt in a matching color
  •  Aurifil’s clear invisible monofilament thread for light fabrics or the smoke invisible monofilament thread for darker fabrics


In case you are using the monofilament, use normal cotton 50wt in the bobbin and do not forget to lower the top tension to prevent the monofilament from stretching while sewing.

For further tips on this thread type have a look here.

There is just one more thing to add:

Thread matters! 

Con un caro CIAO e a presto,


  1. Wow!!!!! I have that same foot with my Bernina and I have never used it. Well I guess now I have found a great use for it. Thank You very much.

  2. Such an eye opening tutorial! I am sorry that I missed this post in February! Binding quilts is a nightmare for me, they always look awful on the one side where the stitches show. I am going to post this on facebook and try out a few of my fancy stitches! Thank you again and have a fantastic creative day!

  3. Thank you so much. I learned so much from you. I teach piecing and have been little help to my Studentswith binding except just the old way of handsewing the back. I can’t wait to send them your location so they can learn this, too. I hate to teach your technique without your permission.

  4. This is such a beautiful and unexpected enhanced binding. I can’t wait to try it on my next project. Ty for sharing with pix and comments

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