Machine Binding Game Changer!

Amongst quilters, one of the highly debated topics is if you hand stitch your binding down or do so by machine. I largely hand stitch mine for a couple reasons. I love the invisible look and I love an excuse to sit in front of the TV for a couple hours stitching my heart out.

There was a year where I did commit to machine stitching all of my bindings down. I tried various techniques and tools and my skill did improve, but I just never absolutely loved the look. After the year was up, I went back to hand stitching. Today that has changed!

I was given the new Janome Bi-Level Foot for all 9mm machines (and 2 more new feet!) to try out. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it for binding.

There are so many options for binding already (you can see some here) but having another option is always great. This foot features (as the name suggests) a bottom with 2 different levels. The thicker lower level to the right of the needle allows the foot to hug any bulky sections of fabric like a hem, or a piece of thick material you are appliquéing, or in my case, my double folded binding on my quilt. It then glides along this edge keeping everything very straight and your stitching is precise.

The Janome Bi-Level Foot features a wide opening so you can choose a variety of stitches or needle positions. This makes the foot so versatile! I’m sure I will come up with many other projects with which to use it.

For attaching my binding, I first sewed my binding to the front of my quilt like I normally do. I then spent a time folding my binding over the edge of the quilt and pressed it in place. I wanted to make sure my binding would behave nicely. I then tried both clipping my binding in place and using a glue stick (any washable glue stick works). Since I was going to be stitching from the top of the quilt, I wouldn’t be able to see what was happening on the back, so I wanted to ensure my binding would stay so the folded edge would extend past the line of stitching made while stitching the binding to the front.

A little prep work goes a long way!

I attached my Janome Bi-Level Foot to my Janome Continental M7; moved the needle as far to the right as it would go; placed the foot right beside the binding and started sewing. This sunk my stitches perfectly beside the binding and caught the folded binding on the back. How perfect this looked blew my mind!

I was a little nervous about the corners, but I soon discovered I really didn’t need to be. I sunk a stitch as close to the corner as I could, pivoted and kept going. It was practically perfect!

I couldn’t believe how amazing my binding looked and at a fraction of the time it would have taken me to hand sew it. I really think I may be on the Machine Stitching side of the binding debate from now on.

What side of the binding debate are you on? Tell us below and if you think this foot would be a game changer for your binding game? The Janome Bi-Level Foot is in stock in our Janome Canada warehouse, so contact your Janome Canada Dealer for details.

Stitch on!

AmandaBee

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47 Responses to Machine Binding Game Changer!

  1. DonnaM says:

    Does a lovely job but you have to have the bulk of the quilt to the right of the needle. Lets suggest that there be another bi-level foot, opposite to the new one!

    Like

    • janomeman says:

      HI Donna, that’s a great suggestion! We’ll pass that feedback onto head office. This Bi-Level foot was not developed to sew on binding; it’s more for edgestitching and topstitching on garments or tote bags. However, we always love to try new things and show as much diversity and versatility in our Janome products to help our fans and followers get the most from them. The foot is for 9mm machines, which generally have larger throat spaces, so maneuvering the quilt through the throat of the machine, especially the Janome Continental M7 with 13.5″ to the right of the needle was not a problem. Free motion quilters do this all the time. Folding or rolling the quilt makes it easier to handle, as well. Happy Quilting!

      Like

      • sewmuchfunbyb says:

        I LOVE that you are always so responsive to everyone. Thank you for keeping us all sewing happily!

        Like

      • janomeman says:

        Thank you SEW much! We value the feedback we get, even when it’s not so wonderful, as it lets us know what our audience; our Janome users, are thinking/ feeling/ want to see. We’re here to help! Thank you for sharing the Janome love!

        Like

  2. Maria Sooy says:

    What size binding strips do you use with this foot?

    Like

    • janomeman says:

      Hi Maria. This presser foot is not specifically intended for binding, so you may use whatever size binding strips you wish. Most quilters seem to prefer 2.25 or 2.5 wide to use with a quarter inch or 3/8″ seam allowance. Happy Quilting!

      Like

  3. Janet Ramos says:

    How do I know if my machine is 9mm? It’s a 11000, that I have had for many, many years

    Like

    • janomeman says:

      Hi Janet. There are several ways to find out, but these are the most common. Measure the width of the opening in the zig zag needle plate, or adjust your machine for the widest zig zag; stitch a small sample then measure that width; as well, your instruction manual will indicate the maximum stitch width and length capable of your machine. Happy Sewing!

      Like

  4. Pat Knight says:

    Will this foot fit my 15000?

    Like

    • janomeman says:

      Yes! The 3 new presser feet; Bi Level Foot, Lapped Seam Foot and Narrow Piping Foot will fit all 9mm machines! Happy Sewing!

      Like

  5. Tammy says:

    How do I know if this foot fits my machine??

    Like

    • AmandaBee says:

      Hi Tammy! This foot is for our 9mm machines. Asking your dealer is always key to make sure your getting the exact right accessories for your Janome.

      Like

  6. Heather says:

    I was excited to see this – I am very much in camp machine binding and always trying to find a better technique. I echo a lot of the comments – I wish this foot had been constructed in reverse- I make larger quilts and I won’t struggle with the bulk of the quilt to the right of the foot.

    Like

    • AmandaBee says:

      Absolutely would be amazing if we could get this foot in reverse. We will forward this feedback up the chain because there seems to be a ton of interest in a foot like this! The Bi-Level foot was specifically designed for top and edge stitching with thick fabrics like wool so it makes sense that it is designed like this. I just love finding new ways to use things and once I saw it I knew I had to try it for binding. Maybe if they make the foot in reverse we could have it named after all of us! lol

      Like

  7. Christinr says:

    I’m a sewing machine stitcher and have used a lot of piped binding to hide my stitching.
    I’m going to have to try this out!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane says:

    Moving the needle all the way to the right and stitching in the ditch like this- does t that mean that the bulk of the quilt is to the right of the needle? How do you manage the bulk?
    I like the idea of this foot, though

    Liked by 1 person

    • janomeman says:

      Hi Jane. Yes, the quilt was fed through the throat space of the machine, which wasn’t a problem with the 13.5″ throat space of the Janome Continental M7. Other 9mm machines like the Horizon line (MC15000, MC12000, MC8900, MC8200) have 11″ throat space. The Skyline series has approximately 9″ throat, so it’s easy to either roll up the quilt to pass it through, or just push it along while sewing. It’s the same as when free motion quilting. Everyone will find the techniques which work best for them as they play around with and learn about this fabulous new presser foot! Happy Sewing!

      Like

    • AmandaBee says:

      Since I was sewing on my Continental M7 it was nice and easy. There is so much throat space! This was a generous full sized quilt but I think I would have been struggling more with a King Sized quilt. When limited on throat space this may not be the tool for the job but I will for sure be using it on projects that do fit!

      Like

  9. PAT LONGORDO says:

    Beautiful. I have one on back order here in the USA. Cannot wait for it to get here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janomeman says:

      Yay! Great to hear, Pat. This is proving to be such a versatile presser foot, it’s been sew much fun playing around trying different techniques. You’ll definitely be soon sharing in the fun! Happy Sewing!

      Like

  10. Anne says:

    I am definitely a hand binder. I don’t like seeing the thread on the back of the quilt because, well, quilts are two sided! I have been trying machine binding for some wall hangings I made to decorate my studio though, since no one will ever see the back. This foot does sound helpful for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janomeman says:

      HI Anne, thank you for your feedback. Yes, this technique would be great for small projects; placemats, table runners, wall hangings – sew many possibilities. Happy Sewing!

      Like

    • AmandaBee says:

      I hear you! That is exactly why I tend to stick with hand binding. Wall hangings for practice is a great idea!

      Like

  11. bfindlay@eastlink.ca says:

    I have tried machine sewing binding in the past as you have. I have never been satisfied with the results. When you spend hundreds of dollars and invest the huge number of hours to make quilts, I drives me crazy to see the final step being anything but neat and perfect – which is what hand sewn binding gives me every time.

    I’m going to think on this for a bit. The posted photos were excellent quality! The only thing that could have made your vlog better would have been a short video of the foot in action 😊.

    LOVE my Janomes.

    Barb Findlay

    Halifax

    Like

  12. CherylAnn says:

    Thank you Amanda. You did an awesome explanation and why you do what you do. I’m so waiting for my new Continental M17 to come in, because my dealer has promised me those 3 wonderful feet to go with it, my M7 and my S9. I look forward to see what you do with the other 2 feet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • janomeman says:

      Yay! Congratulations on your fabulous, soon to be new machine, Cheryl, and the fun new presser feet! You’ll definitely be seeing more posts showing off the 3 new presser feet, and Celine and I will be featuring them in our respective LIVE presentations, so stay tuned. Thank you, as always, for sharing the Janome Love! Happy Sewing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • AmandaBee says:

      You’re going to love the Continental M17!!!!! I can’t wait to play around with the other two feet too! I have some ideas brewing!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Deanna Peters says:

    The whole quilt is under the harp? This looks backwards

    Liked by 1 person

    • janomeman says:

      Hi Deanna, Yes, the quilt is through the bed of the machine, which may be a different way of doing things, but that’s ok. It’s fun to try new ways of doing things, which Amanda was doing as she was experimenting with this fabulous new presser foot. 9mm machines typically have a larger throat space which can accommodate the bulk. Or, keep this technique for smaller projects like placemats and table runners. Sew many options! Happy Sewing!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Marcile Lewis says:

    Does this have all the quilt in the harp of. Machine? Does not seem efficent

    Liked by 2 people

    • janomeman says:

      Yes, the quilt in feed through the throat space of the machine. Either roll it up to keep it neat and moving easily, or just move it along as you sew. It’s not a problem, especially on a machine like the Janome CM7 with the 13.5″ throat space, or any of the Horizon machines with 11″ throat space. Fortunately, there’s sew many ways to do most things, so you’ve got lots of options to try the ones which work best for you. Happy Sewing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • AmandaBee says:

      This is a large full sized quilt and I didn’t find I was struggling with it. I did like that my quilt was contained in the harp and I wasn’t chasing it off the table. lol I don’t have much of a table on the left of my machine and sometimes that causes its own issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Barbara says:

    I am on my way to my Janome dealer. I can’t wait as machine binding is my dream as I finish my charity quilts. And one is on my table. Thank You. Barb

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Kathy Barry says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Amanda, I have to admit I too love sewing my binding to the back of my quilts the traditional way and for the same reasons. However, I too have recently been taken with the idea of machine binding and this new foot looks fabulous for the task. It makes it look so easy, and the results look great. I’m tempted now… I’m in Australia, so I’ll have a look and see if it is available here, we get things a bit later here sometimes. Thanks again

    Liked by 2 people

    • janomeman says:

      Thank you sew much for writing us, Kathy, and for following us at Janome Life! It’s sew exciting that our little Canadian blog has stretched so far in the world to share more of the Janome love! These new presser feet There’s a video on the Janome Australia You Tube channel featuring the Bi Level Foot, so check with your Janome dealers as they should indeed be getting this! https://youtu.be/sysK1q2TR1Y Happy Sewing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • AmandaBee says:

      Fingers crossed your dealers have some! Have fun with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. sewmuchfunbyb says:

    This foot intrigues me. My only concern is that the entire quilt will be on the bed of the machine. Is that awkward?

    Liked by 2 people

    • janomeman says:

      No, especially on machines with larger beds, as 9mm machines tend to have. You can roll up the quilt to keep it neater passing through the throat space. but I personally just shove it through as I sew, lol!

      Liked by 2 people

    • AmandaBee says:

      I didn’t find it awkward once I started sewing. I did have a few moments during set up where I was confused because everything was backward. We are so use to having the quilt to the left. If your quilt is massive compared to the harp on your machine then this may not be the tool for the job. It is fun finding new ways to use accessories that are meant for other things.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Adriana says:

    Morning Amanada, I am on the hand bindng debate. I actually got my mother to hand sew the bindings for me. She’s 87 and she enjoys helping me with my quilts. But now that I see this binding foot, I may have to retire her. Do you know if it will fit on the Horizon 8200MCQ?

    Liked by 2 people

    • janomeman says:

      Hello Adriana. How fabulous to have help with hand binding, but yes, the new Bi-Level foot fits all 9mm machines, including your Horizon MC8200QCP. Happy Sewing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • AmandaBee says:

      I am dying that you may “retire” your 87 year old Mother! hahaha! Please don’t completely put her out of a job, I would feel awful. I love that you two can work on projects together. That’s so special!

      Liked by 1 person

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