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Thread: Handquilters use pantographs?

  1. #1
    Senior Member NDQuilts's Avatar
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    Handquilters use pantographs?

    I have a novelty quilt to do, and the only pattern that I can find to fit the theme is a pantograph. Any handquilters use an all-over, and what was the best method for transfer? I'm considering dressmakers carbon, but open to suggestions.

    Details: This is a commissioned quilt, king sized, motorcycle tee shirts, that client is insisting gets handquilted. Thinking about allover flame pattern in multi thread, but because of density of fabrics, it will be more big stitch than my normal handquilting. Think I could get away with not interfacing the jersey to reduce bulk?

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I would never attempt to hand quilt a T-shirt quilt especially if doing an all over design. UGH. Kudos to you for taking the job on. I would have kindly declined that job. You could try not interfacing the T-shirts but I have only seen one T-shirt quilt done without interfacing and it was, quite frankly, pretty awful. Load of ripples, puckers, pleats and distortions from where the T-shirts stretched out of shape in assembly. Although some people have most likely done a better job. I think there is someone who does them on line without using the interfacing.

    Aside from an all over, I have made many Harley motorcycle T-shirt quilts. Until I got my LA I hand tied them every 3" with three strands of embroidery floss. Now I LA them. The imprints used were hard enough to get a heavy duty embroidery needle through for hand tying. Why not just quilt around the imprints to get them to pop, instead of making yourself go crazy with an all over design.

    Another thing to consider is the weight of the quilt. T-shirt quilts are heavy with or without interfacing. I would think the weight of the quilt, especially when being laundered will be very likely to break and pull out your hand quilting stitches. I think you should get your client to reconsider or get them to sign a release so they fully understand that the handquilting may not hold up due to the nature of a T-shirt quilt so they don't start bad mouthing your work around town if the quilting starts coming apart. That may just get them to change their mind on the MUST be hand quilted part.

    For transferring a design you could use Saral wax free transfer paper in white or carbon or Transdoodle transfer paper. Dressmaker's carbon may not come out as it is made to be used on the back of the fabric in dressmaking.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 06-15-2012 at 08:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    I would never attempt to hand quilt a T-shirt quilt especially if doing an all over design. UGH. Kudos to you for taking the job on. I would have kindly declined that job. You could try not interfacing the T-shirts but I have only seen one T-shirt quilt done without interfacing and it was, quite frankly, pretty awful. Load of ripples, puckers, pleats and distortions from where the T-shirts stretched out of shape in assembly. Although some people have most likely done a better job. I think there is someone who does them on line without using the interfacing.

    Aside from an all over, I have made many Harley motorcycle T-shirt quilts. Until I got my LA I hand tied them every 3" with three strands of embroidery floss. Now I LA them. The imprints used were hard enough to get a heavy duty embroidery needle through for hand tying. Why not just quilt around the imprints to get them to pop, instead of making yourself go crazy with an all over design.

    Another thing to consider is the weight of the quilt. T-shirt quilts are heavy with or without interfacing. I would think the weight of the quilt, especially when being laundered will be very likely to break and pull out your hand quilting stitches. I think you should get your client to reconsider or get them to sign a release so they fully understand that the handquilting may not hold up due to the nature of a T-shirt quilt so they don't start bad mouthing your work around town if the quilting starts coming apart. That may just get them to change their mind on the MUST be hand quilted part.

    For transferring a design you could use Saral wax free transfer paper in white or carbon or Transdoodle transfer paper. Dressmaker's carbon may not come out as it is made to be used on the back of the fabric in dressmaking.
    Great advice
    Bernie

  4. #4
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I handquilted a T-shirt quilt for my stepson. It took a while, and I had some sore fingers, but it CAN be done. I used a 1" diagonal grid pattern on the T-shirt panels and a Greek Key design in the sashings and borders. As for using pantos, I don't see why you couldn't use them. Get some thin roll paper (doctor's office table paper works great), put the paper on top of the panto and trace the design. Set up your sewing machine with a size 16 needle, NO thread and a med. to long-ish stitch length. Sew on the lines on the paper to perforate the paper. You don't need to trace the entire panto, just a few repeats of the pattern. Once you have the paper perforated with a few repeats of the pattern, lay it on top of your quilt top and use pounce powder to transfer the design to the quilt top. Since you are handquilting, I wouldn't transfer big areas all at once, as the powder will rub off with handling. when you finish quilting one section, transfer the pattern on to the next section that you will be working on and so forth. As for the interfacing, you NEED to use it. The t-shirt fabric is VERY stretchy without it and will cause you all kinds of problems. You may not be able to get tiny little stitches, but it CAN be done. There are probably other ways to do this, but this is the way that I would do it. Good Luck!
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
    Valarie

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    I would never attempt to hand quilt a T-shirt quilt especially if doing an all over design. UGH. Kudos to you for taking the job on. I would have kindly declined that job. You could try not interfacing the T-shirts but I have only seen one T-shirt quilt done without interfacing and it was, quite frankly, pretty awful. Load of ripples, puckers, pleats and distortions from where the T-shirts stretched out of shape in assembly. Although some people have most likely done a better job. I think there is someone who does them on line without using the interfacing.

    Aside from an all over, I have made many Harley motorcycle T-shirt quilts. Until I got my LA I hand tied them every 3" with three strands of embroidery floss. Now I LA them. The imprints used were hard enough to get a heavy duty embroidery needle through for hand tying. Why not just quilt around the imprints to get them to pop, instead of making yourself go crazy with an all over design.

    Another thing to consider is the weight of the quilt. T-shirt quilts are heavy with or without interfacing. I would think the weight of the quilt, especially when being laundered will be very likely to break and pull out your hand quilting stitches. I think you should get your client to reconsider or get them to sign a release so they fully understand that the handquilting may not hold up due to the nature of a T-shirt quilt so they don't start bad mouthing your work around town if the quilting starts coming apart. That may just get them to change their mind on the MUST be hand quilted part.

    For transferring a design you could use Saral wax free transfer paper in white or carbon or Transdoodle transfer paper. Dressmaker's carbon may not come out as it is made to be used on the back of the fabric in dressmaking.
    I agree--great advice! But where do you buy Saral Wax Free and Transdoodle transfer papers?? I've never heard of them! How are the transfer marks removed after quilting? Thanks for your help.

  6. #6
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    I agree--great advice! But where do you buy Saral Wax Free and Transdoodle transfer papers?? I've never heard of them! How are the transfer marks removed after quilting? Thanks for your help.
    I've seen Saral at JoAnn's and Walmart. Transdoodle is new to me.
    Bernie

  7. #7
    Senior Member NDQuilts's Avatar
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    Ah. Good thoughts. Re interfacing: I was considering just fusing it around the edges combined with assembly by serger to control stretch. Just not sure about sagging/ bagging of the block centers with use.

    I never thought about pouncing. The more I reflect, this is the ticket. Thank you. This woulid even allow me to custom size/ enlarge the design. Believe me that I will not be doing anything tight. This is not the place for 1" or stipple.

    Re: declining the job. I have tried. Even quoted 3x my normal rate because I knew this would be trouble. Client is paying, so I am quilting. Perhaps I work out all the details, write a book, amd become rich and famous! Wishful thinking on my part.

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    Sounds challenging, there is a lot of help here for you to undertake the challenge.

  9. #9
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    Re: Fusing around the edges and serging.
    If you use lightweight fusible interfacing it stabilizes it very nicely without adding too much weight. They WILL sag and bag in the centers without the fusible interfacing. Ask me how I know. Serging around the edges really won't benefit you either as it has a tendency to make the edges ripple, and the t-shirts won't fray anyway, the voice of sad experience again LOL. Another thing is that you need to make sure that the t-shirts are laundered to remove any fabric softener. The fusible interfacing will come loose and create a HUGE problem. I found this out the hard way too.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
    Valarie

  10. #10
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    I wouldn't serge around the edges as I think that will make the seams too bulky which will create more problems for you with the hand quilting..just get the lightest interfacing you can find and I think you will be happier with the results using it on the entire back of the t shirts...I hope they are paying you lots and lots of money for this as machine quilting these are complicated enough. I just longarmed my own tshirt quilt and my daughters baby tshirt quilt with a minky back with really nice results
    The Potomac Quilter
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