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T-Shirt Quilting: Warm Up With Your Life Story

Lesson 19 of 21

Attaching Your Binding Strips to Your Quilt

Diane Gilleland

T-Shirt Quilting: Warm Up With Your Life Story

Diane Gilleland

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Lesson Info

19. Attaching Your Binding Strips to Your Quilt


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
3 Building Your Quilt Skeleton Duration:25:03
4 Stabilizing Your T-Shirts Duration:22:28
5 Creating Quilt Blocks Duration:33:40
6 Quilt Design Process Duration:31:22
8 Sewing Machine Basics Duration:19:22
9 Sewing Odd-Shaped Blocks Duration:10:35
10 Sewing Your Columns Together Duration:18:52
11 Cutting Your Sashing Strips Duration:24:49
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Planning Your Backing Piece Duration:23:49
5 Tacking and Tying Duration:34:48
6 Seam Quilting Duration:30:00
7 Creating Your Binding Strips Duration:26:11
9 Finishing Your Quilt Duration:30:54
10 Hand-sewing the Opening Closed Duration:29:20

Lesson Info

Attaching Your Binding Strips to Your Quilt

We're ready to bind their quilts we're going to need to sew this nice long strip the fabric to the quilt sandwich that we've quilted up and what we're going to dio is we're going to start at the middle of one side of the quilt and then we're going to so toward the corner and go around the whole thing and then we're going to come back we want to leave a gap of about eight to ten inches in the same and we wanna have roughly six inches of binding strip hanging loose at both ends of the same so the way that looks is we're going to start right around here we're going to leave this amount of binding strip hanging free and then we're going to start sewing now this is one case that I never pin because it just becomes wasted effort it's much easier to just so the binding stripped to the quilt and keep adjusting their edges so they match as you go and also as you'll notice in a second we have to stop it every corner cut the thread and make a miter fold and so trying to pin and then do that and t...

hen reap in it's just it's too much effort for no gain so I'm going to do this pin free and I'm just going to use my quarter inch line on my walking presser foot to help me gauge where the quarter inch seam is here and I'll just so my way towards the corner I need to stop sewing one quarter of an inch away from the corner itself and so what I like to d'oh is actually grab a pin but not to pin the binding to the quilt but just to mark that little quarter inch point visually so that I can stop sewing at that point, so let me head toward that corner here getting very close to the corner if you're not aware of this, you absolutely never want to so over a pin, so as I get close to this point where the pin is, I'm just going to go ahead and pull it and keep a visual on where that spot wass you just want to get pretty close to a quarter inch away from the end and then I'll back stitch just a little to block that off and then I'm gonna go ahead and pull the whole thing out of the machine. Now we're going to make a miter fold and this is probably gonna be easiest to see in the overhead camera I'm gonna lay this out. This will be the new side that I need to sew on in a moment because I need to turn the corner and come around this way and so I'm going to take the rest of my binding strip here and the first thing I'm going to do is hold it at a forty five degree angle so that instead of going perpendicular to the edge where I need to so it's now going to match the edge where I need to so so far so good ok then I need to hold this down with my finger and I'm just going to bring the whole strip forward so that it now aligns with the new edge okay, so I'll do that a second time because it took me I dont eight or nine hundred times to get this in my head so we start off the binding is sewn in it's aiming perpendicular to the new edge where we're going to so so the first fold is a forty five degree angle fold that makes the binding strip match the edge but of course it's going the wrong direction it's going in the opposite direction than we need to so we'll just hold the whole thing down and now it's matching the new edge again so if I lift this you can still see the little miter underneath there and magically when we've sown the sun and we flip it around the quilt, it'll maintain the miter on both sides it's pretty cool okay, so I'll make my way to the next corner and I will be happy to do that fold again for anybody who's watching online that didn't catch it because I know that that little bit is sometimes hard to hard to see it took me a long time to master the miter fold like it said so I'm going to just start right at the edge again with my quarter inch and then I'll just continue sewing and I'll just align the binding in the edge of the quilt as a go it's a good moment to check in with the idea of working at full size right? So as you can imagine in a forty by forty by seventy size quilt that he seems for selling on the binding or good long scenes and you're also wrangling a little bit with the quilt being supported because you would obviously be managing a lot more bolt care than I am with my little wall hanging size sample so it's a little bit like quilting and that you want to make sure the quilt is pretty weightless and supported but instead of quilting you're actually sewing on finding strip long two and the binding strip is also really long I have been known tio tangle my binding strip up in my own chair on and of course binding strips there such awesome cat toys so a lot of times I'll be in this position right here and I'll just feel my binding being tugged and all turn around and it's it's in the middle of a huge game with my cat question from elizabeth diane she's saying have you ever used one of those gadge is that makes the binding table is that not a typical when you're well I love those things by a state makers they're often called they I'm not I've never seen one that didn't make what's called a double fold bias tape this is actually a single fold and that it's only folded the one time what the bias tape maker does is it makes a tape where the two edges air folded in and then it's folded in half like so and you can certainly use that in this context but I think it's a trickier method of installation than what we're doing here which is kind of ah wishy washy answer which I hope is ok but I do use those and other kinds of sewing and I love them I don't I don't even know how we existed without the bias take maker when we staff to press this things by hand ok, so I'm approaching the second corner and I'm going to stop once again quarter inch away from the next edge and then let's do our miter fold again just so you guys can see that one more time here so I've pivoted the quilt again and this will be the new edge I need to so finding strip is currently perpendicular to that edge we do forty five degree angle fold first and then will fold the binding stripped down over the top of that so it starts off perpendicular ends up going in the opposite direction of the edge where we need to sew, and then it comes down right along the edge where we need, too. So it's, everybody in studio feeling ok, it's, everybody on the internet feeling ok about you're free sewing here, you're not attacking this ahead of time, or you're just lining it up this several people, the chairman said they use something called a clover wonder clip. They find that everybody loves the clover want your clip, and I was so happy that clover was interested in being a sponsor of this class for this reason right here, because these little clips are so wonderful for bindings. So let me show you what it's being referred to there, because this is absolutely something that you could be doing if you wanted to. If you normally like to pin things before you sew them, these little clips air specifically designed, they're just the right size toe hold the layers together, and then they're easy to move. Is your sewing so you could do something like that, as opposed to pinning, which, if you notice, also has a tendency to distort a little more as it holds the layers together, so now I use thes in the second stage of the binding process, where we flip the binding over and we sew it to the back of the quilt that's the point where I usually clip it but we'll be getting to that in a moment so yes absolutely on the wonder clips and they come in a couple of sizes nowadays so they even have bigger ones which you're awesome and I use my wonder clips for many other crafting applications if you so on vinyl or oil class you know that you can't really put pins through that stuff because it leaves permanent holes so can use wonder clips to hold the pieces together I use wonder clips toehold pieces together when I'm gluing things together a lot of the time little little layers and they're also really great for crafts like basket weaving or sometimes hq willing or things where you need to like hold this next to this just for ten seconds while you move another piece they're terrific for things like that too and I defy anybody not to use them in gush like I have just been doing is a pretty awesome okay, so I want to make sure that we've got time for the entirety of this binding so I'm actually going to move pretty quickly from this point if there's anything going on in chat that's just general sharing of in formacion j k o this would be a great time to do this well betty was asking did you trim around the quilt I did I trimmed away the excess backing and the excess finding and in the workbook for the class is a bonus section about squaring a quilt and that's an optional step that beginners don't usually do but it might be something you want to start doing with your second quilter beyond if you remember how we were squaring up our yardage before we used it in order to get these nice straight edges you can also square up finished quilt to get nice straight edges it's just a bulk here obviously kind of squaring than you do with plain old yardage and it really just depends on the quilter if you don't square your quilt all that's gonna happen is your quilt might have away the edge or two here and there and that really doesn't hurt a thing in terms of the functionality of the quilt and many beginners do tend to find the squaring process to be a little intimidating because you are working with so many layers of fabric it wass so I tend to feel like for your first quill just trim away the edges of the backing and batting to match the quote top and you're fine and then if you you purchase any time access to the course and you want to learn more about squaring that's a great step for a later on you know skill building for down the road once you've got your first quote under your belt there's rather than a regnery kind or would it be ok to be a horrible way? Police show up the quote police are not welcome in this room know? I mean you could certainly it is not some I think they'll get better results if you use the rotary cutter but I mean before we had rotary cutters that's how people used to do it so you could certainly do it you made so yes on the overhead it looks like there's one flap is kind of not attach when you when you cut down that when you so down the side of paris a good moment to ask that because I just completed this last bit I think what you're referring to is when we fold the stripped down is that u s o right and they exactly how are you going to cut it? Well, no it's just going to tuck okay around back here. Okay. Like so so we might earn on both sides. Okay, thank the magic of it's good to origami already so I've got here the spine ding sewn all the way around the quilt. I have a nice big opening and I would say be generous about the size of this open space because that will really help you with the next part of the operation which is joining the two ends of the binding strip together so that they are the perfect length for what's left of our quote seem so what you need to dio first of all, we don't need quite this much excess here I'm just going toe trance some of that off we need these two ends of the binding strip toe overlapped by just two inches. An easy way to do that is to have one of them extending into the opening about halfway like so. And then you can simply lay your ruler right on top of this strip. And then you can lay the other strip on top of the ruler, and then it's very easy to see the two inch overlap point, because this end of the ruler is right at the edge of the underneath binding strip. And the two inch mark is right here. And so I can I want to make it super easy. Aiken, just fold the binding strip that that two inch mark and then I can lift it and trim it with my scissors. And now those two strips overlap each other two inches so far, so good. Ok, now comes the tricky fiddly bit. First of all, we need to make sure that these two strips meet each other with right sides facing so they can be sewn together. And since we have these hand decreases pressed into them, we know that the right side is the side where the creases facing out or it's what they would call a mountain folding origami as opposed to a valley fold that faces away from you I also need to orient the's things at a forty five degree angle so that I can make that same diagonal seem that I was making before to join the other ends so already we're getting as you can see a little bit we're squishing up the quilt and kind of unfolding the strips and then the third thing I want to do is give myself that nice crease mark too so upon so the way I like to do that because I have a real literal visual mind as I like to set the whole operation on my ironing board then I take a moment to get these pieces oriented the way that I need them so I unfold them and make sure that the right sides are facing each other kiss twist letter a right I get it right and then when I have them in the right orientation aiken just carefully fold the top stripped down and give it a quick press to give myself a seam guide and the reason I do it on the quilt is that way I never lose the orientation sometimes if I try to just deal with the strips and I don't see the whole context of the quilt press the wrong side or I put the wrong sides together so I find that very easy and then just put these back right sides together and in this case I like to pin because this becomes a little bit fiddly to get at the piece that you need to so what really helps you in this stage is just having a big, generous opening to work with the bigger the opening, the more room you've got to maneuver I'll just so this together and as you can see that's going to be just the right length and it's going to fit with a nice diagonal seem I do want to get rid of this bulk obviously first, so use my scissors and I'll trim that to the quarter into seem allowance and then I'll take it over here to the ironing board I'll give that seem allowance a quick press open and then I'll press the folding the binding strip just to make a nice and neat and then I can go ahead and finish off that seem so it's nice and pristine. Any questions on that? I'm curious why why you would not s o so that all of your connection if you like is in the corner why you chose to do the connection midway through that's a good question the reason I do that is because what you want to have at the corner is a might urge corner and I hope the camera can see this it's it's a nice little diagonal fold at the corner and if you had a connecting point there, you'd have a lot of bulk from seem allowances, and it be very difficult to get this nice, smooth miter that actually happens at both sides. You'll have it on the back as well as the front. So that's, why we do it, that's, why we join in a center like always like a tactic? You bet. Okay, so our time in the segments growing a tiny bit short, and I do want to make sure that we cover a little bit of howto turn and stitch the long in this segment agree need to okay, so I might I might take advantage of that was a bit of extra time, so we talked a moment ago about hand sewing, so let me talk about that while I'm getting just the last little bit of this finding stitch down, then we're going to use a very simple little hand stitch to attach the back side of the binding to the back side of the quilt on the reason that the hand sewing is so effective is that it's it's very full proof if I needed to aim a seam through all of these, quote layers and that seem needed to accurately both so the binding to the back and so through the front of the quilt, you're basically sowing blind in that case either way, no matter how you do it, if I so from this side, I can't see where the stitches air landing on this side. Fi. So from this side, I can't see where the stitches air landing on this side with the hand sewing. You never have to worry about that it's all invisible and you get a beautiful finish without needing to be a accomplished technical soloist and that's why I favor this met that so much, but whenever I teach this method, the very first question that anybody asks me is how long is that it's going to take me? Teo so I, uh, in the interest of being a good teacher once went to the trouble to time myself over making five different quotes to make sure that I would get an accurate measure of the time because I am nothing if not thorough and clocks out about four hours for a lap sais quote once again, that's the kind of thing netflix was invented for, so I find it to be very enjoyable process, but seriously, if you don't enjoy the hand selling, just stay tuned and we'll cover a method that is much more suited to in the next segment. So have the back of my quotes here. And I have my beautiful binding attached, so now I'm just going to go with my fingers wrapped that binding over to the back of the quilt, and I like to always start at the center of a side once again, so wrap that around and then I'm gonna get my wonderful wonder clips here and I'm just going to use those to anchor the binding. You can really have either side of these clips facing up, although I will say they are designed for even deeper uses than I am doing here. They actually have little measuring guides on the back sides that are designed for installing bindings by machine to help you so inaccurate seem so if you ever want to get into other binding techniques, you might find your wonder clips very useful for that kind of stuff. You can go on the clover website and they have a youtube channel where they've done a lot of demonstrating of ways that they used the's little tools so I would definitely recommend checking that out. I am going to go ahead and threat of a hand sewing needle and do a tiny bit of hand sewing here, and if any of you would like to join me in that, you sure can. Our production team has thoughtfully supplied us with needle thread hers, which for these tiny little needles is awfully great to you to bind a quilt this way you can really get away with using a variety of needle sizes excuse me there are specifically quilting needles which are nice these air these tiny little needles but they do have a tiny little eye and not everyone is into that so you can use a sharp which is a very standard type of needle with a larger eye if you prefer so with my needle threat or I'm just gonna poke that through the eye of the needle and grab some threat out I will admit to you guys that I also forgot the awesome granny glasses that I typically where for sewing you borrow mine and I'm wearing my lenses today's sorry about that I have to question from jennifer is asking is it always a two inch overlap no matter what the size of the binding that it is? Yes and that's an excellent question thank you for that. I just like to point out that I just did that unaided without my granny glasses and I'm feeling pretty chested that so I like to work with about eighteen inches of thread at a time that's the length of your ruler it's really tempting? I think when when you're new at hand sewing taiwanese like six miles a threat because you're like I never want to have to re thread my needle again but let me tell you long thread is mostly a recipe for tangled thread because threat is it passes in and out of your fabric is just getting twisted our hands naturally tend to twist the needle a tiny bit with each and every stitch and as the threat is pulled it's also twisting and un twisting and over time that's just going to lead to knots and it's just frustrating so just struck start with the shorter strand of threat and suck it up with every threading of the needle and you'll have a lot less houseful overall, I do the couple of slides because obviously looking at me hand sewing tiny little stitches is a bit challenging s o this will give you the supersized view of what we're doing. My first step is to hide the knot, and so I'm just going to take a little stitches you can see here through the seam allowance itself and that well actually allow the not to sit in between all these layers and it'll be hidden so that's my first step, the second step looks like this. What we're doing here is we're taking a little stitch right along the fold of this binding strip edge, so I am not stitching through the binding strip edge stitching along the folded edge so I will actually did my needle in and then about an eighth of an inch or so away I'll dip it right back out just like you see here and then after that I will take a tiny stitch through the quilt back and that stitch would be located right below where the threat emerges from the stitch that I took through the edge of the binding so here I don't know if you're able to get close enough to see this but right here is where my needle the threat emerges from the binding and I'm going to take a stitch through my quilt at exactly that location nice extreme close up that is some good stuff right there I would be so great if I were left handed right now then you're going to alternate these two stitches so I've just taken a stitch through the back of the quilt and now I'll take another stitch through the edge of the binding and then another stitch through the back of the quilt directly below where my threat emerged from the last stitch and as you notice, I'm also just using my seam line whereas sewed the binding to the quilt that's where I'm sewing this little hand seem I'm using this is my guideline and I'm also using this is the guideline were unfolding that finding stripped down so far so good my stitches are roughly eight inch of an eighth of an inch except when they're not so I am here to tell you having bound many many quotes that year stitches khun b radically uneven and nobody will ever know with the stitch what starts to happen is you take these stitches in their alternating spots, right? One through the binding one through the quilt is you start to form these little almost looks like a little ladder of thread, which I'll try to get my finger of under so it's easier to see, maybe not let's say just that show. Yeah, ok, when I pull that tight, what that does is draws the edges together nice and invisibly like that. So it's a it's, a tremendous little stitch and, you know, just get between an eighth of an inch and three sixteenths or something just make them small and don't even don't even make yourself crazy with aiming for specific stitch lengths, and then you just keep going on dying. Do you feel this is really not something you can do with the machine? It's best to try, follow the states the way you're doing it by hand, you know you can absolutely do it by machine. I just think this is a great way for beginners to learn the binding technique. Actually, this is a great question to throw to debbie, because I'll bet you've tried a lot of different bindings, not that you can offer us some good perspectives I had a few, yeah. I've done it this way and usually I use the hand sewing technique on my better things that are so quilts and things like that but if I'm in a hurry and I need something done by machine there are a couple ways we can do that so you could use um wonder tape oh when you fold your binding over wonder tape is of one quarter inch double sided sticky that you khun step between toe hold it down and then you can stitch it down and catch both sides with your machine so you could do it that way is accuracy challenging and that is again half of that seem is blind at least in my view I would use an edge stitch foot that has a blade down the middle so that I can put that on the edge and then I move my needle over a couple positions so that I know I'm catching the bottom side okay okay so you do fancy bernie nothing it's all right it's all in well I think most so machine companies have edge stitch feet or something similar enough that they're able to do to do the same thing excellent so you can also use a decorative stitch like a blanket stitch which is a wider stitch and it jumps left and right and that for sure catches both top and bottom uh the other option is there are binding tools so we actually have a binder attachment foot for our machines and I know other machine companies have them that actually double folds wraps so that all down all the same time and yes, it catches top and bottom yeah, I wanted bernie has like this can you put your flat strip in and it double faults and double folds and all you do is slide your quilt edge in between the blades and it snu the silk that's a pretty thing my goodness so there are lots of ways to do it you can use all kinds of decorative stitches you can I mean, there are other techniques that are longer so I won't go into this but yeah, well, thank you. Nice fall really useful. All right, well good. So I'm I've actually jumped myself ahead to be stitching nearer to a corner because the last thing I want to show you is just how we clean up this miter so I definitely need a close up of an overhead shot of this but now in the front of your quilt the corner has already might erred itself nicely. All we need to do is replicate that here on the back side. So what I usually do is I begin I saw myself to a point where I'm very near the corner and then all began folding the next side of the binding over and I'll go ahead and take a wonder clip and secure that and then I will just fiddle the pieces usually if I really take a minute and settle the new edge of binding down first then I can fold the other over it and it'll make a clean might urge corner go easier than the other because the bulk on the other side definitely yeah this is this is kind of a massage in fiddle operation I find so another thing you khun dio I have no idea in the world how to show this well but on this side if you look at this finding peace edge on like this nice you can see that the top layer is over the bottom layer on this side right here and so you can aim to fold the other side the same way so the top layer is going over the bottom layer once you have that orientation than it's just a matter of figuring out how deeply to fold this said jj under this edge so that you get a nice meeting of the layers here at the corner point like that and then all you do is you just stitch your way around the corner and you're still just taking tiny stitches like we've been doing through the edge of the binding and through the back of the quelled but if you're having some trouble getting your your miter toe lay down which I'm definitely having here the other thing you can do is just take cem little stitches into the miter itself so it's the same stitch but instead of stitching into the back of the quote, you're just stitching into both sides of the miter fold and that'll help hold that down pardon? I would do it like that I wouldn't keep the too bulky sides on the same side they do it the other way I do it so that their opposite they're not it's not so chunky on one side you can totally do it that way it's legal it's legal either way so she falters on the opposite direction that deal it once you know I just try to test drive both and I see which one feels like it wants to go under the other one better that's nice so instead of fighting with the s e c which one win I like that. So what she's talking about here is instead of folding them identically she might fold them in the opposite and from an edge on standpoint that would look more like this and it's a little a little bendy at the corner because when where I made the ties I folded up I made the taif africa and so it was super chunky, so I had to really like yeah, it's decide what actually this would be a good moment to look at that if you I'm on that part of it not quite that well no, so I would love to show that actually so is it near buyer then? Okay, we'll get there. We have a couple of questions about stitching because one of the views is asking diane, do you ever use a double threat or is a single one when house so in the binding better so glad that question came up thank you so much. Whoever asked that I am a single thread girl all the way and I'll tell you why because double thread loves to tangle ahs muchas long thread loves to tangle and so I strongly recommend never doubling for this kind of hand sewing it's also quite bulky in thes little channels that were working in between the edge of the binding and the edge of the quilt. I do yes see I do all the corners first so that the I don't know that it would wouldn't want this it was wanting to show this in the class anyway and it's such a cool example of something fun you can do with binding. So give us the story of this quote that you made a mess it's a quote for a friend of mine she lost her husband, who she adored and he is six foot seven so he had extra long ties to these air all fifty nine ties that she wore in his lifetime and wow all together and then I made a little label for the back, so she knows yeah, this really beautiful day fun things with your nice and then and then for the binding and this finding she pieced neckties together. Yeah, strip that way, which I think is so gorgeous with so I just fires. If you used the iron on fusing on a lake that touch the little strips, the ties that I had, so I lined tamala pressed him down and then where they were going to meet up they can. Then if you can see there's little green decorative stitching here behind a high benny pretty business and then I just pulled, and then you're just using the same things that we've just did, so you can really be pretty creative with these findings. You can make him out of more than just a solid strip like we've been doing this's amazing treatment, and I think this such a beautiful memorial quilt, you're scraps. You can use all your scripts and do not get rid of any scraps of those guys is they're so beautiful.

Class Description

Are the t-shirts you saved for their sentimental value starting to pile up? Making them into a t-shirt quilt is an incredible way to preserve memories of the marathons you’ve run, family reunions you’ve attended, theater productions you’ve appeared in and more. Join Diane Gilleland and learn about the coziest way to share your life story.

This course will cover everything you need to know to create a t-shirt quilt from start to finish. You'll learn three methods of simple quilting: tie quilting by hand, machine ties, and simple straight line quilting. You'll learn two methods of finishing the quilt: a sewn edge and a binding. You’ll explore the tools professional quilters use, but also learn how to incorporate the sewing materials you already have into your quilting. You’ll make accurate cuts using a ruler and a rotary cutter and construct a simple patchwork. You’ll also learn best practices for sewing straight seams and working with knits.

No matter how many t-shirts you have saved up or how much sewing experience you have you’ll leave this course with the skills you need to create a lifelong keepsake.



This was a really fabulous class with an excellent instructor. It took us from a pile of t-shirts through every step to a finished quilt. There was a lot of time spent in design which was great, since t-shirts are highly variable in color and design. The second half of the class was all about basics, including information on backing, batting, and quilt top. Then making the "sandwich" with several options on basting. And then quilting (fancy, which was discussed but not included), hand tie and a couple of machine quilting options. Then binding. Each step was explained and demonstrated. Options were very often given, with easy, non-stressful techniques encouraged. This was a excellent class and the instructor was really awesome. Questions were anticipated and thoroughly answered. The instructor was always helpful and pleasant. This course expects some basic sewing machine knowledge, but you definitely do not have to be an quilting expert to enjoy this class and end up with a wonderful quilt.

user 08dcb9

Diane Gilleland is a fantastic teacher. One of the problems I always face with quilting classes is that the teacher seems to forget that everyone is at a different ability. I love the way Diane goes slowly enough for beginners while at the same time adding tidbits of information that even an experienced quilter could appreciate. Her "laid back" approach is appealing and non-threatening, which made for a very comfortable learning experience. It is such a wonderful idea, to be able to save the memories of your t-shirts, by making them into a comfy quilt.


Diane was fantastic! I am fairly new to sewing and have taken a tee-shirt quilt class before, but Diane's class was so much more informative, helpful, easy to understand and professional. I can't say enough good things about the class and how impressed I was. This was my first visit to creativelive, you can be sure it will not be my last. Thank you