Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on April 17th, 2014

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Types of Bindings Used on T-shirt Quilts

Comparing T-shirt Quilts

On a quilt, a binding is used to cover the raw edges of the quilt’s three layers. There are three typical types of bindings used on T-shirt quilts; no binding, half binding, and strip binding. Not all bindings are equal and if you are looking for a high quality T-shirt quilt, you need to know what’s good, bad and just ugly!

No Binding

No Binding methodThe ugly method is a birthing or inside out method. What the quilter does is lay the front of the quilt face down onto the good side of the backing material. The front and back are then sewn together around the outside edge of the material. A 4 to 8 inch wide hole is left unsewn so that the quilt can be turned right side out. After the quilt is turned right side out, the opening is stitched closed.

A quilt or blanket made this way will not be quilted because the quilting would deform the shape of the quilt. So a quilter will either use a decorative stitch, embroidery floss ties, or buttons to attach the front of the quilt to the back. If you are looking for a very cheap solution, look for T-shirt blanket makers that don’t connect the front of the blanket to the back of the blanket.

Advantages

    • Doesn’t require a skilled quilter
    • No additional fabric is needed
    • No blind stitching is required

 Disadvantages 

    • The binding is not actually a binding
    • You cannot have a contrasting binding color
    • The quilting cannot be done if this style of binding is used

This type of binding is great for teaching second grader how to make a blanket because they can do it themselves.

Half Binding

half bindingThis method of binding brings excess backing material to the front of the quilt. A quilter cuts the backing fabric a few inches larger than the face of the quilt on all four sides of the quilt. This fabric is then folded around to the front of the quilt and then stitched down.

Advantages 

    • Fast and doesn’t require a lot of skill
    • No additional fabric is needed
    • No blind stitching is required

Disadvantages

    • The binding is only one layer thick
    • You cannot have a contrasting binding color
    • The quilting cannot extend on to the edge of the quilt.

This type of binding is great for teaching middle school students because it is relatively easy to do.


Discover more about having a quilt made with your T-shirts. Consider downloading our T-shirt Quilt Buyers Guide.
It's will help you know what you want your quilt to look like and what to look for in a quilt maker. 

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


Strip Binding or a Full Binding

Strip bindingThis is the most sophisticated style of binding. This binding is sewn onto the quilt in two steps. A strip of binding is cut and then folded in half. It is first sewn on the quilt from the topside of the quilt. In the second step, the binding is folded over to the back of the quilt and then sewn down in one of two ways. The first way is to sew the strip down onto the back of the quilt by hand. Working from the back, the chief difficulty is neat and even hand sewn stitches. The other method is to sew the strip to the back by sewing from the front of the quilt. This is a blind seam and takes years of practice to do perfectly.

Advantages

    • The binding is two layers thick
    • You can have a contrasting binding color
    • The quilting can extend on to the edge of the quilt 

Disadvantages

    • It’s slow and requires a practice and skill
    • If the binding is hand sewn to the back of the quilt, if not well done, the stitches may not hold over time

t-shirt quilt bindingThis is the type of binding that skilled quilters use.

If you are looking to have a high quality T-shirt quilt made with your T-shirts be sure to look at how a quilter binds his or her quilts. If they are not strip binding their quilts, they are either not skilled quilters or they are trying to save time so they have a higher profit margin.

Here at Too Cool T-shirt Quilts, all our quilts are bound using the strip binding method by highly skilled and experienced quilters.

 

 


Discover more about having a quilt made with your T-shirts. Consider downloading our T-shirt Quilt Buyers Guide. 
It's will help you know what you want your quilt to look like and what to look for in a quilt maker. 

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


Back to: Making Your Own T-shirt Quilt

Here's a comparison of a full binding on the left with a half binding on the right.

compare a full binding with a half binding. 

About Andrea Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.