How to Bind Your Quilt With Big Stitch Binding

Ever wondered how to bind a quilt with big stitch binding? Read on and I'll tell you how.

This month's Aurifil challenge was to use a 12wt thread in a slow stitching project. 12wt is something I usually only use for hand quilting but since I had already hand-quilted my New Moon quilt with a 28wt I only had the binding left to do!

I love hand binding my quilts - I only ever machine bind when I am in a hurry - and those last moments with my quilt before it is finished is another gentle reminder to slow down. So that's how I cam to try big stitch binding. And here's what I thought...

I am completely won over by the big stitch technique, it is so fast! And even though I love the clean look of the invisible slip stitch of my usual method, the big stitching adds a touch of home made to charm to something that might otherwise be completely machine pieced and quilted.


And hand holding a large spool of Aurifil 12wt thread with a needle



  • Thread - I used Aurifil 12wt cotton thread in 2310, Light Beige becuase it gives a substantial but not too chunky look. You could also use a Cotton Perle thread in a 12 or 8 or even a Floss.
  • Needle - You'll want a needle with a large eye to accomodate your thread. I recommend a long rigid needle to help you get through the layers.
  • Scissors or snips
  • Thimble - I prefer not to use a thimble in general but if you like to use one then you'll definitely want one for this job.

Binding Steps:

1. Firstly attach the binding to your quilt as normal. I used a machine to attach mine to the front so that my big stitches would be on the back but you could attach it to the back so that you have your big stitch detail on the front of your quilt.

2. Press the binding away from the quilt.

3. Cut an arms span's width of thread and knot one end.

4. Insert your needle into the seam allowance of your binding and pull through so that the knot will be hidden when you fold over your binding.


A needle poking through the binin of a quilt


5. Fold over your binding so that it hides the stich line and use a running stitch to stitch it down to the body of the quilt. You'll want to stitch through the backing fabric (or the quilt top if you are doing your big stitching on the front) and it's okay to go through your batting but make sure you don't go right through to the other side of your quilt.

My top three tips for big stitch binding:

Turn over your quilt to check you haven't gone through to the front every now and again. 

Position your stitches closer to the edge of the binding and under good tension so that your binding lies really flat.

Keep your stitch length even and between a quarter to three eighths of an inch long.


The uderside of the quilt showing some big stitch binding and a spool of thread.


6. When you near the end of your thread tie it off so that the knot and the end of the threa are hidden under the binding.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have competed your bining.

8. Now go enjoy your handiwork and snuggle up in your quilt.

 And here's the finsihed New Moon quilt!


A odern scrappy quilt on display in a garden.


Patchwork and poodles has a great video tutorial. It's fairly long at thirty minutes but you it's great if you want some visual pointers.


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