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Thread: T-Shirt Quilts and Stabilizer

  1. #1
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    T-Shirt Quilts and Stabilizer

    I am about to start a t-shirt/memory quilt for a friend and am not sure about a couple things. I know that each shirt piece needs some type of stabilizer, but I don't know what kind....tear away, wash away, iron-on, stitch-on. I also don't know about quilting once all the pieces are stitched into the top. Do you quilt around the design on each piece?, or just around the edges? I want to frame each t-shirt piece with sashing, but not sure if there is a better choice in fabrics...a basic cotton?....something a bit heavier? Or is it all personal choice? I also would be greatly in your debt if you would share any hints/tips. TIA, Rose

  2. #2
    Senior Member newestnana's Avatar
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    I used iron-on stabilizer on the t-shirt quilt I made, and I think it was the right choice.

    Quilting is another story. As I recall, I did SITD along the sashings, but really struggled with the t-shirt pieces themselves. I was using big blocks (because the t-shirts I was using had really big designs) and was not satisfied with the results. I sort of tried to go around the design with some meander in the blank areas. Definitely not my best work. Oh, I used regular cotton fabric for the sashing and borders.

    Good luck! Chances are it will be loved, no matter how you make it.
    marcia

    To be a good sewer, you have to be a good ripper.

  3. #3
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    Iron on Pellon works well, it doesn't need to be expensive. Cotton for sashing, borders and binding.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    I have used pellon iron on (forgot which one though) for the two I have done I did SITD with no sashings. Both turned out good.
    Sabrina
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  5. #5
    Junior Member linbails's Avatar
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    I used lightweight iron on interfacing. It was joanne brand for about 99 cents a yard. I had it quilted with stipple or meander all over. My husband loves it. Haven't taken a picture of it completed yet .

  6. #6
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    I used light weight pellon iron on interfacing for the backs of my shirts, it was .99/yd at Joann's and it worked awesome...I have made 2 super queen size t-shirt quilts so far...I did an all over meandering pattern for the quilting, I went over the sashing and all, my sashing was just regular cotton...I also just meandered all over my logos although if you chose to do that just go slow so you don't break your needle...because sometimes it wants to stick a tiny bit...I pre washed and shrank everything before I started because I didn't want much shrinkage after it was all done...My border, I used part of the black material from my backing, so thats why I bought and extra big piece of backing so I could use some of it for my border I bought my backing 108" wide (@Joann's on sale 6.99/yd) I used Warm n Natural packaged batting on sale for 19.99....On my border I SITD then did a free motion design that looked like fire My backing was a bit heavier fabric then my sashing. I did checker sashing around my small t-shirt to make them to be the same size as my big shirts due to having toddler size shirts & adult shirts...it turned out better then I thought it would..If you have any other questions feel free to pm me and I can try help you out...one of my biggest challenges was chosing the thread color for quilting, I chose a gray variegated thread that turned to black so it kind of looked like checkers as well, then I had my bobbin thread solid black so it blended in on the back. ...good luck, have fun!
    Attachment 381574
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    Last edited by QuiltingByCourtney; 12-11-2012 at 06:09 AM.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingByCourtney View Post
    I used light weight pellon iron on interfacing for the backs of my shirts, it was .99/yd at Joann's and it worked awesome...I have made 2 super queen size t-shirt quilts so far...I did an all over meandering pattern for the quilting, I went over the sashing and all, my sashing was just regular cotton...I also just meandered all over my logos although if you chose to do that just go slow so you don't break your needle...because sometimes it wants to stick a tiny bit...I pre washed and shrank everything before I started because I didn't want much shrinkage after it was all done...My border, I used part of the black material from my backing, so thats why I bought and extra big piece of backing so I could use some of it for my border I bought my backing 108" wide (@Joann's on sale 6.99/yd) I used Warm n Natural packaged batting on sale for 19.99....On my border I SITD then did a free motion design that looked like fire My backing was a bit heavier fabric then my sashing. I did checker sashing around my small t-shirt to make them to be the same size as my big shirts due to having toddler size shirts & adult shirts...it turned out better then I thought it would..If you have any other questions feel free to pm me and I can try help you out...one of my biggest challenges was chosing the thread color for quilting, I chose a gray variegated thread that turned to black so it kind of looked like checkers as well, then I had my bobbin thread solid black so it blended in on the back. ...good luck, have fun!
    Attachment 381574

    Great quilt! I love the checkerboard sashing....it fits in great with the racing tees....I so appreciate all the tips.....I know working with tees can be a bit challenging, so wanted ideas before I ever cut the first tee....thanks again!

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have made several. While the .99 cent Jo-Ann fusible is functional I prefer the slightly heavier, better made Pellon brand name fusible. Lightweight for knits. It may cost a bit more but it is definitely a sturdier product and you don't have to concern yourself about which way to lay it and iron on so that the fusible stretch is going the opposite direction of the T-shirt knit stretch.

    I have used plain quilting cotton for sashing and I have used no sashing and simply sewed interface T-shirt blocks together. Until I got my LA I tied T-shirt quilts. They are incredibly heavy and really difficult to attempt to quilt on a domestic machine so unless you plan on sending it out or have access to a LA I would recommend tying it every 3" to 4". When I tied, I went right through the imprints and used 3 strands of embroidery floss. Another thing, carefully examine your imprints. The rubbery Iron on kind aren't suitable. And ALWAYS use a pressing cloth. The heat from your iron will melt the ink used to screenprint the T's if you don't.
    Here is alink to a pic of one I tied Harley T-shirt quilt

    And here is a link to one I LA for a friend: Meg's T shirt quilt some firsts

    When LA I went right through imprints. I only avoided heavy machine embroidery.

  9. #9
    Junior Member MamaO2011's Avatar
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    I'm using iron-on Pellon on my son's quilt I'm working on right now. I'm putting borders on tonight, then it's sandwich and quilting time. I am having a hard time deciding whether I should tie or quilt. Like was said up above, these quilts are really heavy. My son's is only a twin size and just the top alone is already a bear - I'm leaning towards tying it.

  10. #10
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    I am probably one of the exceptions because I do not use stabilizer at all unless the T-Shirt is very flimsy- or if it is an open mesh(team jerseys). I usually stitch in the ditch first. then I stitch background designs in each block - outlining the motif on the shirt. You can stitich through the motif but you must slow down because the motif has a tendency to cling to the needle. I have made 2 queen size T-shirt quilts and several twin size or smaller quilts using this method.



    Here is a link to a picture of one of my T-shirt quilts.

    Tee Shirt Quilt - I'm a newbie

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