Here is a short little lesson on how to apply binding to a quilt with your longarm machine.
We do this for lots of clients. They like it because they don’t have to struggle with the bulk and weight of the quilt while feeding it through their domestic machine.
Usually the client brings binding already made. In this case, she brought the fabric, I cut the strips at 3″, sewed them together and pressed in half lengthwise. The binding was ready to apply.
After you have quilted the quilt (Steve did this one) leave the quilt on the machine, just where you finished. We always start on the bottom edge of the quilt, approximately 10-12″ from the right corner….as it looks on the machine from the front. Pin the binding at the starting point. (shown below) Start sewing the binding on with the longarm, about 4″ from the pin. This leaves a place unsewn where you will tuck in the tail as your last step. You can use a ruler if you like, but we dont. You will be sewing from right to left across the bottom, all the way to the corner. Stop about 1/4″ from the corner. We use the hopping foot as a guide along the edge of the quilt and binding.
Note: This is the ONLY time we ever use our needle down feature on our Gammill. With needle down, it holds the binding in place while adjusting the next section you will sew. It also allows you to put on the entire binding with only one start and stop.
Turn the corner by mitering, just as you do when you apply binding on your domestic machine. If you dont know how to do this well, I suggest you look in the general instructions in the back of most Leisure Arts quilting books.
Now you will be going up the left hand side of the quilt from bottom to top.
I usually have the whole long binding dragging on the floor at this point, off to my left. Be careful…..
Or OOPS! it will get run over by your wheels. (wish I had a dollar for every time I have done that!)
Continue sewing until you are to the take up roller. Leaving needle down, carefully release the take up roller and position machine toward front of machine so you are ready to continue up the left side. Keep repeating until you are to the top and turn the left top corner, mitering as usual.
Continue to apply binding across the top edge of the quilt.
Sometimes, a corner isn’t very square. I like to “fix” that for the client by applying the binding squarely, even though that corner was not square when the client made the top. If you look carefully, you can see below how I did that.
Continue sewing the binding on the right side of the quilt. Again, you will use needle down position for each time you need to roll the quilt to the next section. At the bottom right hand corner, turn and miter the corner. You should be close to where you started now, and will usually have a long tail of binding left.
I cut this off at an angle, so that the pointy end sticks down into the first part of the binding and makes an overlap of several inches.
Tuck in that excess, hold it flat and stitch the remaining few inches.
And now you are done! Wasn’t that easy?
This entire process took a half hour (including stopping to take photos!) on this queen size quilt. Usually it is about a 20 minute job.
A good money maker, easy for the client…… WIN-WIN!
Hope that helps someone…. happy binding!