Big Stitch Binding Tutorial & March Binding Challenge Winner


At the beginning of the month, we announced the AQS March Binding Challenge Giveaway. It’s a four week challenge and giveaway. For every quilt bound and submitted, entrants get their name put in the pot. We draw a random winner each Tuesday of the challenge, empty the pot, and start again. This week, we’re announcing the third winner and sharing a tutorial for big stitch binding.

The winner of the third week giveaway is DeeDee Isaacs!

Sending you warm, spring thoughts and glad you have a newly finished quilt for cuddling up through the last bit of snow, DeeDee!

DeeDee won a digital copy of Borders & Finishing Touches 2 by Bonnie Browning.

big stitch binding

If you want to finish some quilts and possibly win the last weekly giveaway of the challenge, there are two ways to enter. Either email a photo of your bound quilt to with the subject “Binding Challenge” or post the photo in the AQS Project Parade Facebook Group and mention the binding challenge.

One entry per quilt.

Weekly winner chosen at random.

march binding challenge

There’s one week left and you could win the Borders & Finishing Touches iquilt Class (3/27). So get to work for a great chance of learning Bonnie’s tricks for finishing quilts, like her tips on mitered binding.

This content promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Facebook.

Learn more about the AQS March Binding Challenge by clicking here.

While sorting through my pile of projects and quilts in need of binding, I found a rustic table runner that has patiently waited about ten years for a nice binding to come along. Today was its day! I know I’ll only use this table runner seasonally and it won’t be machine washed ever, so it really deserves and can handle a binding with some personality: Big Stitch Binding.

Here’s how to sew Big Stitch Binding.

Begin by sewing your binding on as you usually would with a machine, but sew it to the back of the quilt so the binding rolls to the front of the quilt.

Thread a length of perle cotton in a coordinating color and tie a knot at the end. (I used size 5 perle cotton and a size 7 embroidery needle, but choose a weight and needle that works for your project.)

big stitch binding

  1. From the back of the binding, bring the needle up between the binding layers and through the folded edge at a 45-degree angle that backtracks from where you plan to begin.
  2. Pull through as shown. Stitch should not show on the front of the binding.
  3. Bring the needle down into the first layer of the quilt and batting even to where the thread comes out of the binding right at or just inside of the folded edge. Bring the needle up through the quilt and binding about 1/8th from the folded binding edge. Pull until small stitch isn’t visible. Stitch should not show on the back of the quilt.
  4. Take a running stitch the size you’d like (mine were about 3/8″) through the binding, the quilt top and batting. You can create different effects by taking even stitches, long stitches with small gaps and so on. Repeat this step as desired.

big stitch binding

  1. If you’d like to add a decorative knot every so often to break up the line of stitches, tie an overhand knot, place the needle into the loop right over where the thread comes out of the binding. While holding the needle secure with one hand, slowly pull the knot tight until it is tight around the needle. Remove the needle.
  2. Bring the needle down in the same spot it came up to make the knot and begin stitching again. I made a knot every five big stitches to add interest to my binding.

big stitch binding

  1. At the corners, take a tiny stitch through the fold of the mitered corner top. You can do this even closer to the inner corner than I did here.
  2. Bring the needle down through mitered corner bottom at the same point and out a stitch length away.

big stitch binding

  1. To tie off, finish a big stitch into the quilt, but don’t bring the needle back up into the binding.
  2. Tie off using your preferred method, the important thing is to do it to the inside of the binding. Tie off method shown here is accomplished by taking a small stitch and putting the thread through the loop to create a knot, and repeated once for security.

big stitch binding

  1. To start a new length of thread after tying off, start as we began, but place the knot next to the tie off.
  2. Take the small invisible stitch inside the “gap” between stitches, and pay attention to where you bring the needle up to take the first big stitch so the line of stitches look uninterrupted. Repeat until the quilt or project is bound!

Brush up on all things binding…

Struggle to remember how to join binding? Bonnie has the perfect tip!

Looking for that perfect miter? Take a look at these tricks for a crisp mitered binding.

Binding curved edges? Cindy Seitz-Krug has help for you!

Looking for a fancy finish? Try decorative stitch binding on your machine.

Binding odd angles? Brush up on how to create a mitered binding for 120-degree corners.

Join us next Tuesday when we announce the last giveaway winner, and remember, every bound quilt is a victory!

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