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Thread: needed- instructions/advice on making Tshirt quilts

  1. #1

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    I so was hoping to avoid this type of quilt but here I am faced with not 1 but up to 8 to do- an amazing heartfelt story of a former client of mines passing and me accidently being there when the topic of 'quilts from mom's clothes' came up---my mouth was way ahead of my brain- I now have 8 garbage bags of clothing to choose from....yikes. Thanks in advance for your help! Deb

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I don't have any advice on the quilt making process...

    but...

    wanted to say I think it's wonderful of you to take on such a task.

  3. #3
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I seen it done but never done it. I know that you need a good stabilizer, cut the fronts or backs (wherever the logos are) out a lot bigger than what you want. Iron on fusible stabilizer, then trim them down to the size you want. Since tshirts are heavier than regular cotton and you have the added wieght of the stabilizer, 20 is the max that you should go in one quilt. More than that will make it too heavy. After you get the stabilizer ironed on, the blocks cut to size then it's just a matter of how you want to put it together. The prettiest ones I've seen have used cornerstones and sashing. Then just sandwich and quilt. Your location says in hiding but if you're anywhere near Danville, Il., go to Threads of Time on a Monday or Tuesday, they have a T-shirt quilt expert that works there on those days. Call first, she's leaving on vacation soon.
    http://www.threadsoftimefab.com

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have put together instructions for making Harley T-shirt quilts that can easily be adapted to any T-shirt quilt. If you would like me to PM them to you please let me know. I have made about 8 of them myself but not at one shot. They are really very easy to do.

  5. #5
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have made 4 t-shirt quilts, i think they are fun to make. i use a lightweight woven fusable interfacing (from Joanne's but probably available most anywhere) to stablize the t-shirt stretch. the harley quilt i made had something like 54 logos on it (and it was not any heavier than any other quilt i've made)i used a low-loft poly batting because i didn't want any shrinkage from the batting, the t-shirts had all been washed 100's of times, so they were not going to shrink any. i made sure the cottons i used were pre-washed and dried (hot) so they would not shrink either.
    some of the smaller pictures i framed with other fabrics, the big ones held their own didn't need framing. but i put it together on a design wall with all different size blocks; filling in where needed with checkerboards and other blocks and strips.

  6. #6
    montanablu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    I seen it done but never done it. I know that you need a good stabilizer, cut the fronts or backs (wherever the logos are) out a lot bigger than what you want. Iron on fusible stabilizer, then trim them down to the size you want. Since tshirts are heavier than regular cotton and you have the added wieght of the stabilizer, 20 is the max that you should go in one quilt. More than that will make it too heavy. After you get the stabilizer ironed on, the blocks cut to size then it's just a matter of how you want to put it together. The prettiest ones I've seen have used cornerstones and sashing. Then just sandwich and quilt. Your location says in hiding but if you're anywhere near Danville, Il., go to Threads of Time on a Monday or Tuesday, they have a T-shirt quilt expert that works there on those days. Call first, she's leaving on vacation soon.
    http://www.threadsoftimefab.com
    I have made over dozen - & I don't envy you the 8! They're OK to do, just not my fav. Hopefully you are machine quilting them, handquilting thro Tshirts + stabilizer is definitely hard on the fingers!!
    RaptureReady's advice is straight on. Pick the lightest weight stabilizer you can - you only need something to keep the Tshirt fabric from stretching while you work on it. Making your first cut from the shirt larger than intended for the block is also good advice. Try not to press from the front while sewing seams tog too often, some shirts the logos are not conducive to a hot iron :)
    Weight is a huge factor here - I know people put flannel on the back for comfy-ness but try to turn over in bed underneath one of those & you'll get the work out of your dreams!! I prefer to use cotton to help keep the weight down.
    Be sure you consider your math on this one- they tend to get very large very quickly!! Also, I don't prewash (unless you're not sure they're clean to begin with). I figure a loved shirt has probably been washed so many times aready there's no way it will bleed or shrink anymore:)
    Good luck!! And when you get discouraged, or just plain tired of Tshirts, do yourself a favor & switch over to a fav project for awhile!
    *And please tell me you aren't doing 8 of these for free!

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I made one and vowed never again. Just remember how much they will be appreciated.

  8. #8
    Super Member jetnica's Avatar
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    montanablu has it down with the thinnest interfacing possible! I got some SUPER cheap SUPER thin stuff at JoAnn's and it's perfect for T-shirt quilts.

    I usually cut the shirt in half (up the sides and across the shoulders) so I can then play with the pieces on the floor to help determine my layout. This also helps me to see how gi-huge-ic the quilt is going to be, and helps me determine how small I'm cutting down the blocks, what size sashing, borders, etc.

    As for backing/weight: I've done it a few ways. The DZ one is a "rag style" - I sewed strips to each shirt to make the same size as the "back piece" quilted front to back, then sewed the squares together The black star one has two layers of batting, the brown & gold one has none. The red/black one has no batting, just fleece as the backing. Do what you like. =) If I can help, just pm me!
    Attached Images Attached Images        

  9. #9
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    About half way down on this thread is instructions on making a T shirt quilt that is a little different than the ones with fusible..
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-10033-1.htm

  10. #10
    Member SewingBee's Avatar
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    There was a recent show on Sewing with Sue Hausmann. I haven't done one myself, but it looks like it might be easier if you use stabilizer with a grid (I purchased mine at JoAnn's). I plan to do one too (but not 8!), so I hope this helps!

    http://usaapp.husqvarnaviking.com/ed...n/pdf/2902.pdf

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