How to Finish a Quilt with Wavy Binding

Do all of your comforters have traditional mitre-corner binding? Are you ready to try a new quilt-tying technique? This wavy quilting tutorial is a simple and quick way to finish a quilt.

Key to this technique is the BERNINA Binder Attachment for Unfolded Bias Tape #88. I’ll show you how to use this accessory and why it’s such an impressive and must-have part of your sewing accessory. I recommend reading this entire tutorial first, then practicing some sewing experiences. This technique is not speed sewing, and you will need to be vigilant. But no matter how slow sewing is, this method is still much faster than manual binding, and it’s a fun alternative!

machine setup

Materials to finish quilting with wavy binding

Preparing the duvet cover for binding

The first thing we have to do is mark the top of the quilt with wavy lines. I’m using the Scallops, Vines & Waves template by Quilt in a Day. To keep everything nicely arranged, mark a line parallel to the raw edge of the quilt. The distance from the edge will depend on the wave size you select in the template. Follow the directions that came with your template to mark your wavy lines and draw the corners.

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Once the outline is drawn, we need to sew a straight stitch along the wavy lines. This is when Reverse Pattern Foot with Clear Sole #34/34C/34D comes in very handy. Foot visibility and a central red mark on the foot aid sewing along the marked line. Using a contrasting thread will make cutting in the next step easier.

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Now, cut next to the sewn line taking care not to cut the stitches. Remove the excess cloth.

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The last step, before adding the jacket, is to sew a zigzag stitch along the raw edge. This step is optional, but I find it makes a huge difference when sewing the jacket to the raw edge. Select Zigzag Stitch #2, increase the stitch length to 2.5 mm and move the needle position to -3. Place the comforter under the reverse style foot with a sheer sole so that the initial edge aligns with the center mark on the foot. The left swing of the stitch will descend into the fabric and the right swing of the stitch will fall off the edge. Depending on how close you are to the stitch line, you may need to adjust the position of the needle.

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Binder – Attachment No. 88 and Bias Binding

Binder Attachment #88 is available in three sizes – 28mm, 32mm and 38mm. The size corresponds to the width of the tape you feed into the binder. We will be using a 32mm size, which means we want the strapping bar to be 32mm or 1 1/4″ wide. Binding length is quilt circumference plus 20 inches. for this technique, Bias fabric is a must So be sure to cut your strips of fabric on the bias.

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To use Binder Attachment #88, we need Binder Foot #95/95C. The difference between #95 and #95C is the maximum stitch width. Casing attachment size is 95 #5.5 mm and #95 #9 mm. If your machine allows a maximum stitch width of 9mm, choose #95C. You will have more choices with needlepoint and decorative stitches. Yes, you can play with decorative stitches too, but here’s another tutorial!

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Secure the Binder attachment to your device with the black screw (attach to the device bed below). It helps swing the pivot arm out of the way. Before fully tightening the bolt, lower the #95/95C locking pedal and position the side guide so it rests on the right side of the foot. Now, swing the pivot arm in front of the foot. The end of the fabric duct should be in front of the right toe. When positioned correctly, tighten the silver screw. (Full instructions will come with purchase of the binder.)

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Add Binding to Binder – Attachment #88

To get started, rotate the pivot arm outward to get a better view of the Binder Attachment Channel. Cut a corner at one end of the bias hook tape and insert it into the channel. Push through the canal using a dagger or tweezers.

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When you reach the bottom of the duct or “V,” slowly pull through allowing the fabric to fold at the raw edges and fold in half.

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Position the swingarm back under the foot with the foot up. Now pull the folded bias tape toward the back about 3″. Lower the foot.

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Move the needle position to 3 and stitch a few inches. Check the position of the stitches on the front and back of the binding.

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quilt binding stitch

Here is the amazing part! Lay the raw edge of the quilt into the letter “V” of the Binder attachment. Using your stiletto, slowly stitch the raw edge of the quilt into a “V” so that the jacket surrounds the raw edge. The key to this technique is to ensure that the raw edge is raised against the “V”. Use your stiletto to keep the raw edge in place before feeding under the foot. Check the quilt front and back every 12 inches or so. This is where you have to be vigilant.

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Here’s a close-up of how I used the stiletto to keep the raw edge up against my binder elbow while feeding it underfoot.

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binding end

Stop about 5 inches from the starting point. Cut the binding 1″ from the end of the Binder Attachment duct.

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Fold over the end of the binding 3/8″ and glue in place. Cut off the excess binding from the starting point. We are now ready to sew the remaining binding in place. Slowly begin making sure that the folded end does not open when it goes into the channel of the Binder Attachment. You will sew the folded end over the point the beginning.

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beautiful! 32mm binder attachment creates 8mm (5/16″) final binding. If you want to create a smaller 1/4″ final binding, use a 28mm fold size and if you want a wider binding, try the 38mm size ending at 11mm (7/16″). (Note: The 95/95C foot will work with all three volumes!) Enjoy the finished quilt!

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