AQS March Binding Challenge: Decorative Stitch Binding


binding challenge giveaway

Last week, 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 first winner and sharing a tutorial on decorative stitch binding.

The winner of the first week giveaway is Beth G.!

binding challenge decorative stitch

binding challenge decorative stitch

Beth completed two quilts over a snowy weekend in Arizona. Congratulations on two beautiful, finished quilts and winning the first week giveaway, Beth!

Beth won a pack of Clover Wonder Clips. They’re sure to help with the six quilts in Beth’s stack left to bind.

If you want to finish some quilts and possibly win a weekly giveaway, 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

You could win one of the following!

  • 3/13 – Sasher
  • 3/20 – Borders & Finishing Touches 2 Ebook
  • 3/27 – Borders & Finishing Touches iquilt Class

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.

We’ve been doing some binding of our own recently and felt like spicing up our project. Using decorative stitches to finish binding is the perfect way to tie the proverbial bow on a quilt project.

Try decorative stitch binding!

Start by applying your binding to the back of the quilt sandwich so the finished edge of the binding pulls to the front. Once sewn on, roll the binding to the front, lightly pressing as you go, and secure in place with clips or pins.

Next, set up your machine for the decorative stitch of your choice. Use a thread in a coordinating color, install the correct foot, and test the stitch length and width on some scrap fabric and make adjustments. Stitches with a defined outer edge or center line are great for binding.

decorative stitch binding

Learn more about setting a decorative stitch on the EverSewn Sparrow 30. I love this machine for decorative stitching because it comes with over 300 stitches!

Once the machine is set, place the quilt project under the foot and bring the needle down using the hand wheel. If the stitch has an outer edge, begin with the needle in the outer position and aligned to the edge of the binding. If the stitch has a strong center line, align the binding edge to the center.

decorative stitch binding

Sew at a speed that gives you confidence. Remove clips or pins as you reach them. Keep the binding even and the foot aligned properly to the binding’s edge.

decorative stitch binding

The blanket stitch and the feather stitch are two of our favorite decorative stitches for binding. The blanket stitch has a defined outer edge that’s easy to align with the binding. The feather stitch has a center line with stitches extending to the left and right of the center, catching the binding and the quilt.

decorative stitch binding

Make a decorative stitch binding sampler!

Make a small quilt sandwich of scrap fabric, add binding, and try all your decorative stitches. Write on the quilt sandwich with a permanent marker noting the stitch number, stitch length and stitch width beside the stitched section. Use the sampler as a reference of what you like, what works best, and different moods or styles each stitch evokes.

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!

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

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Linda Heimerl

I have been using my machine’s decorative stitches for binding for a while now and I was so glad to see this article! I’ve also used the stitches for quilting!

Carol McGrath

Would have liked to see a close up picture of the winning binding. Thanks


I love using the decorative stitch in my quilts, especially baby size ones. I love doing quilt as you go technique and the last baby quilt I did I made simple squares and drew various angles in each then used a different decorative stitch in each one. I loved the way it came out and the mom and grandmother also liked it. It was easy and fun but looked difficult. The hardest part was drawing the various angels so they were not too close and were each different.