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.
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.
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.
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.
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.