Glue Basting Binding

I was feeling all crazy yesterday and decided to try a new to me technique: glue basting on a quilt binding.  I know, I know.  I’m probably WAY behind the times on this one.  But just in case you are like me and haven’t given this a whirl yet, I thought I’d share what I did.

First off, I used good old fashioned washable Elmer’s school glue.  Right now is a GREAT time to buy it because it’s super cheap for back to school.  I have some special tips to help you get a really fine line, but I didn’t bother with those.  I just used a steady hand and squeeze to push out a VERY small amount onto the fabric.

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Then you heat set the glue with your iron. I kept mine at the same heat that I normally have it for pressing.  It only takes a couple of seconds to dry the glue in place.

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I’ll admit that I couldn’t figure out how to turn the binding under without getting glue on my left thumb, but I was just careful with how I used it.  I made sure that I didn’t touch anything else with that finger and all was fine.

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I experimented with this technique on a smaller quilt so that if I hated it, then I wasn’t over committed.  I think I’m getting smarter in my old age.  Normally I would have said “new technique?  Let’s make the biggest possible project we can think of!” But this was a very manageable size baby quilt and the pressing and gluing did not take much time.

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I was impressed with how well it worked on my corners.  I was most worried about those.  But there were no problems.  I was using a pretty fine weave fabric (an organic cotton by Birch) but it ironed flat and in place no problem.

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Once the whole thing was ironed down, I decided to machine stitch the binding (another thing I am experimenting with….normally I’m a die hard hand binder).  This is a baby quilt and I’m finding that things that get laundered A LOT might be better served with a machine binding.  Machine binding literally took me about 5 minutes to sew.  Crazy fast.

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I opted to sew from the front of the quilt to the back.  I sewed directly on the binding, though ideally I think I would like to get it so that I am stitching in the ditch next to the binding from the front…that way you really on see the stitches on the back.  Overall I was pleased with how it turned out and I will definitely be trying this again.  Essentially I skipped the step where I would put Clover Wonder Clips normally…AND I was able to sew quickly because there was nothing to remove as I was sewing.

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What about you?  Have you done glue basting on your binding before?  Any tips?

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17 thoughts on “Glue Basting Binding

  1. Wow – I think I'll try it!! I recently used Elmer's glue with some hexies – it's brilliant. Your explanation of how to apply it to binding is so clear that I know I'll be successful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Just make sure that you pull your binding over the line made from sewing it to the front. Then when you stitch in the ditch you will always catch the binding on the back. I've been glueing for a while now and I love it!

  3. I was wondering how you sewed your "stitched with love" label on the back of your quilt without showing your stitching lines on the front of the quilt. Or do the stitching lines show up on the front and you just don't mind?

  4. I've seen that used a few times lately, but I'm wondering, do you know what the long term effects are on the fabric? does it was out totally? Just wondering if you'd seen anything about that. Your binding looks great, by the way! Would love to see the whole quilt (hint, hint!) Hugs, H

  5. I use glue in sewing apparel. To make a very delicate line, I take a VERY sharp knife, and cut a tip at an angle. I had purchased an empty bottle that had several very fine tips made of metal. The metal rusted quickly. I have also used regular glue sticks, but to control the size of swipe, I put masking tape over the top to allow a 1/4" wide opening. I then used my iron to set. I did this will bias strip binding, patch pockets, and best of all, zippers.

  6. Last three quilts I have bound were all done using a glue basting method. It's the bomb! Two of the quilts I stitched with my machine….. some thing I've never done before with binding. I still like hand stitched bindings best but these quilts were for the grandkids and needed to get done fast. I stitched from the front, in the ditch.

  7. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! To be honest, I despise binding. I'll only do it by machine, never by hand. Can you say boring? Moments ago I finished binding a quilt using your method. Hot dog! I might even learn to like binding!

    1. oh Yay!! I'm so glad that you found it helpful. And that you've gained a bit more joy in one part of quilting. Even if it is just that you can finish faster. We love good tips like that!

    1. Just use the littlest amount of glue and do a bit at a time. The good thing about the glue is that it is washable. So if is does get everywhere you can just wash it off. Or use a tip that limits the amount that will come out. Or even try a glue stick instead!

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