T-Shirt Quilt Sew Along Part 7: The Binding

 This is the best part.

Because when you’re done, you’re done…

I had a plan for this one…and I made the mistake of working when I should have been sleeping. Don’t do that…but it worked out…and I think I like what I ended up with better than what I planned…

So, what I intended to do was make some diagonal strips with all of my leftover t-shirts in no particular pattern – just randomly picked up and cut into strips and sewn together…so I would have some white, grey, black, and gold in there.  Then, somewhere in the process, I would add some of those thin t-shirt pieces that I took of sleeves and shirts with smaller wording and images on them into the long strip of binding. That was the plan…

HOWEVER…due to my poor sleep habits, I somewhere came up with the idea just to do black and gold and work the t-shirt strips in…so I worked on that for a bit...hated it….went to bed. Almost in tears. It wasn’t hard…it was just…you know…unproductive….

This is what I ended up with when I stopped…adorable…if you want to make a bumble bee quilt or some caution tape…

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So, if you want to do this, or something similar, just cut strips the same width. If you don’t want them to be the same size, cut them different widths.  They don’t have to match up in length.  Then, sew them together on the long cut edges.  If you want them to be straight, line them up straight, if you want them cut on a diagnoal, line them up with about a 1-2 inch overhang on each progressive strip.  I neglected to that on the one shown…but it will save you waste when you cut it for the binding.  Use your binding ruler, and cut it to the width you need.  I cut mine about 2.5″.  

And then threw it all in the scrap pile. Because maybe some day I’ll do a construction quilt or make a bumble be costume?  I’ll happily take a custom order for something of the sort… Sigh.  Moving on…


Here’s what I ended up doing in the end –

I cut some strips out of my leftover t-shirts, and my random skinny pieces from the shirts, cut those all the same height, and didn’t worry about the length.

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I sewed them together as if I were making a long strip of bias tape (great tutorial for that over at sew4home.com – just scroll down about to the middle of the post if you are starting with strips already).  Basically, your are going to lay the strips on top of each other at a right angle, right sides together, and then sew a diagonal line…make sure that when you open it, they form a continous strip (sounds simple, right? It is, really, I PROMISE…just do practice first if you haven’t done it before…) IMG_3399 I didn’t make a full continuous length yet – I took a few long pieces and pinned them to quilt edges to see how I liked the placement with the t-shirt pieces…

And then pinned it around in a few places and made some adjustments…I ended up working on one edge at a time…this made my life easier. Because IMG_3404making my life easier is very important sometimes. This will work on a t-shirt quilt – probably not so much on a traditional one….

I picked an edge and started sewing. I did the sides first, then let the top and bottom binding overlap that.  I stitched over those once finished to make sure they were closed and wouldn’t get snagged…sorry, I didn’t get a picture of that – were at “go time” by now…I’ll try to get one later if you’d like to see it. You may be able to zoom in to the picture at the bottom of the post and see that?

All I did was fold it over, pin it in place and sew a straight stitch – I did not do the pressing, ironing folding over (I did press as I added the strips together). So, you I have a raw edge. It is not folded under and it is only sewn once…instead of attaching the binding, folding over and then stitching on again.  I just didn’t see that going well with t-shirt fabric…and I like the look of the raw edges.

Anyway, there’s the binding…all it’s finished glory. You’ll have to wait for the next post for the big reveal and full shot of the entire quilt…because I have to tell you the story of the man behind the quilt and why I enjoyed this project so very much. So, get sewing and I’ll get that last post up soon! In that post, I’ll also share some links to helpful tutorials and tips and some final thoughts on the process.  In the meantime, I’ll bask in the glory of having actually finished this project and loving it.  It’s a a beautiful moment…

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