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Thread: Need Advice - assisting Nephew with t-shirt quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
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    Need Advice - assisting Nephew with t-shirt quilt

    My nephew decided to make a quilt out of all the t-shirts he's collected will in the National Guard. Of course he has zero sewing experience and started cutting out shirts before he called me. I'm pretty sure he wants me to just take over, which I won't do and I could use some thoughts on how he can proceed given the point he is at.

    Numerous t-shirts already cut into squares of various sizes. Wants to "put" them on a solid piece of fabric he bought and use fleece for the back - also already purchased.

    My thought is this is going to have to be applique of some type. Maybe use elmers glue to attached each square to the solid piece of fabric and then sew around the edges. Options might be to zigzag the edges or to sew a straight line about 1/4 to 1/3 inch inside the edge to give a raw edge that can be snipped and kind of looks like a rag quilt.

    That way he can do all of the gluing and ironing and after I show him one and then with a little demo from me he can do the sewing on the top as well.

    Open to any other suggestions out there. Based on his use of my scissors and rotary cutter his skill level is going to be very very beginner.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    If he has enough make a small block to see if he likes the look of what your suggesting. He can use the T parts that he didn't want to use on this practice. If the parts that he wants to use are big he should use some iron on stabilizer to keep it from stretching

  3. #3
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    I specialize in making t-shirt quilts. I use Pellon lightweight or woven fusible to stabilize the t-shirt first. Then I cut out the size of square I want. This will make your t-shirt square/block much easier to use!
    Sandy
    thequiltinmum.com

  4. #4
    Jim
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    Quote Originally Posted by thequiltinmum View Post
    I specialize in making t-shirt quilts. I use Pellon lightweight or woven fusible to stabilize the t-shirt first. Then I cut out the size of square I want. This will make your t-shirt square/block much easier to use!
    Sandy
    thequiltinmum.com
    Thats totally the correct way to make a t shirt quilt correctly..."you need to stabilize it first".....some do it without the stabilizers but I can guarantee it won't hold up as well when completed or be as easy to assemble
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort :lol:

  5. #5
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    My son did the same thing with his T-shirts before I got them. I added iron on lightweight interfacing and squared them up. I took several of the smaller patches and sashed (sometimes on angles) until i got a usable size block. I often put four logos together in a block. I used all red scraps. Then i put together as usual. With a black sashing red/black school colors Think of this as a bonding lesson. You will be his favorite aunt.

  6. #6
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    since ironing the decals on the shirts can create a huge mess- i would (slow-down)
    he should first stablize the squares he has cut out- with a lightweight stablizer applied to the back of each one- measure the largest square- decide if it's the size he wants- or if he wants it a bit larger- add sashing strips to make it the size wanted- then add sashings to each smaller square to bring them up to the size of the first square- (using the background fabric) fill in with additional squares/rectangles of background fabric where needed to create the layout wanted- bring it to the size wanted-
    sew together in rows- then into the top ... the fleece backing is great- adding the backing can be (pillowcase style) or by regular quilt sandwich-- then the quilt can be tied- or stitch in the ditch-ed around the squares- great beginner project!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #7
    dd
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    First thing you have to realize is that as National Guard, he can do anything! Sometimes his aunt, the Colonel, might have to set him straight first.hehe He can do it both ways. If he stabilizes the squares he has already cut, he can then applique them to the fabric he bought. If you want the edges to curl, don't stabilize to the edges. I think he will want to use like steamaseam so it's permanently adhered to the fabric. I think he has a good idea but yes, he should have asked first. I saw one once where there was a shadow fabric under the tshirt square. It was a black square the same shape as the tshirt square, off set a little to look like a shadow, so it can be any shape. I thought that looked very nice. Wouldn't know what to call it to look it up but I'm sure it's on the web somewhere. He can do this. Army trains them for adverse conditions. Just wish they trained the parents as well.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thequiltinmum View Post
    I specialize in making t-shirt quilts. I use Pellon lightweight or woven fusible to stabilize the t-shirt first. Then I cut out the size of square I want. This will make your t-shirt square/block much easier to use!
    Sandy
    thequiltinmum.com
    I am starting one soon and have made them before. Ditto on this. Makes it much easier. Just be sure to tell him NOT to iron on the side with the print. It will smear.

  9. #9
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    Since he is part of the new army and wants fleece as the backing, I doubt very much if he wants a traditional top with blocks and sashing. Why not a whole top, the shadow block as suggested appliqued (glued) his t-shirt emblems glued on, all set somewhat wonky so the size absolutely won't matter? Then stitched down.The edges can curl or fray as he wishes. This is probably going to get rolled up and put in a duffel bag and he will love it - and you.

    The only way I'll drop 10 pounds is to go shopping in England. - Maxine-

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