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Attaching binding with your longarm

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I've been watching some YouTube videos recently about the various ways to attach binding to a quilt using the longarm.  I've been quilting on a longarm for several years and have never tried this before so I wanted to ask a couple questions to those of you that have done this either for your own quilts or for customers.


1.  What technique do you use to attach binding with your longarm?  Do you use a ruler or stitch straight reference lines to align the binding or some other technique?

2.  Are there quilts you won't use the longarm to stitch the binding on?  Lot's of points along the edges?  Very uneven borders?  Competition or heirloom quilts?

3.  Any "gotchas" to watch out for?


I'm always open to learning and trying something new so any and all comments would be greatly appreciated!



APQS Freedom & IQ 


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I have stitched down binding while doing the quilting on my Millie.  I find the half way point in the binding and center it on the top of the quilt after I have secured the top to the batting and backing.  I use the channel locks to make sure the stitching is straight and the binding goes on evenly.


When I get to the bottom of the quilt, I use my regular sewing machine to join the edges.  I like a bias join, but it you overlap the ends, you could complete that part while it is on the longarm.  I do miter my corners with the batting and have no problem doing it with the longarm.


I don't always stitch down the binding this way.  If I have a custom quilt, I usually put the binding on with my sewing machine, but utility quilts, I stitch it down with the longarm.

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Like you, I started off watching YouTube videos on how to sew my binding on with the LA.  Seemed like way too much work.  I was pretty fast with my regular machine.  I realized the most time consuming part of it was using the ruler (and yes I bought the ruler).  It was so fussy.  I remembered my hopping foot was ¼" from needle to outside edge and that's all I needed.  I can sew a straight line easily.  Took off trying it my way and was successful with it so never looked back.


I stitch all of my quilt bindings on with my LA.  I start on the bottom when I am finished with the quilt.  My binding is 2½" strips joined together.  I fold in half (do not iron).  I like to roll my binding after folding it onto a rolling lint catcher.  It works so well to keep the binding easy to manage.  When I start, I leave the strip unfolded...fold the end over to form a 45 degree angle...stitch one side of the binding down to the quilt for about 3-4"...sew off the quilt...then fold the other side over sew back up onto the binding and continue sewing to the left bottom corner.  I use a ¼" seam allowance using my sewing foot to gauge it.  I don't use any rulers because they get in the way and aren't necessary.  When I get to the corner I stop ¼" from the end and sew off towards corner at a 45 degree angle just like you do for mitered corners on your regular machine.  I work myself up the left side rolling the quilt when I need to.  Left side is the hardest.  When I get to the top of the quilt I miter that corner then start across the top.  Easy peasy from then on.  I miter the right hand top corner and start back down rolling the quilt as I need.  When I get to the bottom right hand side I miter that corner and come across to where I started.  I lay the remaining binding inside where I started.  Cut off excess.  Bring the top part of the binding you didn't sew in the beginning down over it.  Line everything up and sew across that section making sure your 45 degree angle is kept.  After doing this numerous times it becomes second nature and very easy.  I hand stitch both sides of the 45 degree angle so it's not left loose like you do if  you tack your mitered corners down. 


Sometimes I will shoot a laser beam across the edges before starting just to make sure I'm square.  This system works for me and is so quick and easy.  Some quilts I hand sew the other side down, but most quilts I do it with my regular machine. 

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Sewing binding with the longarm is very quick and easy. I charge a flat $30 for everything up to a Queen. A bit more for a King. It usually takes me a half-hour to do it so it's good money. I use regular folded binding and a C-shaped template Dennis made for me. The hopping foot sits inside the C and the two sides keep the edge flat and aligned no matter which side you're stitching. I start at the middle of the right side because I stitch the classic invisible join---also while it's loaded--and need access to the ends. It comes off the frame completed. No finishing the join on my domestic. I think I've shared that technique before if you want to do a search.

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