How to attach binding to a quilt with a longarm quilting machine
I’ve started attaching the binding to quilts when they are still on my quilting frame! That’s right!! The longarm quilting machine I use is an APQS Lucey. I love this method of attaching binding to a quilt because it’s quick and easy… especially for large quilts! No more fussing with a huge quilt at your sewing machine trying to attach the binding!
Since I’m a longarm quilter this is a service I offer to my customers when they send their quilts to me to be quilted. (click here) If you are interested in my quilting services. This beautiful quilt is made by my customer Diane Johnson (Instagram @dj_an_orig_ca_girl). She used All Hallows Eve from Moda Fabric to make her quilt.
List of items that come in handy when attaching the binding with a longarm quilting machine:
Disappearing ink pen
A scrap piece of fabric
Longarm quilting ruler (for stitching along the top of the quilt)
Base expander/ruler base (this is a extra accessory for your machine)
A lot of longarm machines should have a list of extra accessories you can purchase for your machine. I highly recommend using a base expander or ruler base.
The base slides onto your machine and allows you to quilt with rulers. The base comes in handy when you attach your binding. (be sure to check out the binding video at the bottom of this post)
Here is a picture of the ruler base made for my APQS machine it’s called a Hartley Base Expander.
Always start on the right side of the quilt. I start by attach the binding roughly 12-15 inches up from the bottom of the quilt, then start stitching down to the bottom of the quilt. You want to leave at least a 7-8 tail of binding when you start. I line the binding up to the edge of the quilt and use my hopping foot as a guide. When it comes to the corners, I treat them the same way I would on my regular sewing machine.
Once you sew the binding around the quilt leave at least a 10 inch gap when it’s time to attach the ends. (this gap is 14 inches)
When I’m attaching the binding to the top part of the quilt I do use a longarm quilting ruler to help guide my stitching.
Since my binding is 2 ½ inches I lay my binding pieces on top of each other and cut so they overlap by 2 ½ inches. This is the distance I know that I need to join the two ends. I release some slack from the quilt frame. Then I use a clip or 2 to bundle some of the quilt, so it's out of my way. With right sides of the fabric together, I draw a diagonal line with my disappearing ink pen. This will be the line that I sew on. I use my scrap piece of fabric to get the machine started and bring up my bottom thread. It’s a little tricky and WILL TAKE PRACTICE...I sew on the diagonal line that I drew to attach my binding strips together. I then tighten the quilt back up on the rollers and make sure my binding will fit!
If all is good I cut the extra fabric from joining the two ends together. I finger press the seam and finish sewing the binding to the quilt.
Check out the video I created to hopefully answer any questions you may have. Remember this can be a little tricky and will need some practice!
This quilt was made by my customer Diane Johnson (Instagram @dj_an_orig_ca_girl)
Reach out to me if you have any questions!