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Hello from Colorado!

Hello from Colorado!

Old 04-19-2020, 12:05 PM
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Default Hello from Colorado!

Hello all! So I am trying my hand at making a t-shirt quilt! I have a husqvarna emerald and taught myself how to sew some years back. I'm in the piecing phase and well, even as meticulous as I was about cutting, as I add more pieces to make my blocks and lining up my seams, the fabric is becoming less and less square! I'm hoping once the blocks are complete it won't be an issue to just square those up before I join the rows? Will that end badly? Any tips and tricks are welcome!
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:08 PM
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Waving from a safe personal space near Seattle.

T-shirt quilts are a skill unto themselves! Some people love them and do wonderful things, I'm medium-indifferent and avoid making them if I can. They are, however, a wonderful and appreciated gift even if just to ourselves.

Did you fuse a lining to the t-shirts before cutting? Most people first fuse or rough cut the shirt into halves, then fuse the interfacing, and then border the units with some sort of straight weave quilting cotton.
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
Waving from a safe personal space near Seattle.

T-shirt quilts are a skill unto themselves! Some people love them and do wonderful things, I'm medium-indifferent and avoid making them if I can. They are, however, a wonderful and appreciated gift even if just to ourselves.

Did you fuse a lining to the t-shirts before cutting? Most people first fuse or rough cut the shirt into halves, then fuse the interfacing, and then border the units with some sort of straight weave quilting cotton.
yes I've done all the prep basically! I've fused my shirts, I've cut out all the tiny squares and strips from the regular cotton fabric. I haven't even gotten to sewing the t-shirts onto the other blocks yet. The pattern is 5 squares across the first square being the fabric pattern the next being the t-shirt and alternating. I really set myself up, I guess!
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:56 PM
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So you are using alternate squares of entire t-shirt pieces that aren't themselves framed? You are probably going to get a certain amount of wobble. When you put the blocks together, smooth out the t-shirt block over the cotton fabric one before you pin, that is, make the two pieces as correctly sized as you can (trim if the t-shirt block is too large and pin the heck out of the sewn edge. I'm a believer in pinning anyway and usually go about every 2" -- for the t-shirt fabric I might even be closer to 1" apart! You will get better results than if you just put two corners together and start sewing with no pins.

I do stages like this on my ironing board and give everything a swipe with the iron, being careful not to stretch or distort the blocks. The best case is if the t-shirts are slightly too big, you flip them so you see the smaller block on top, get out your correct square ruler and trim off both blocks at once.

Unless I'm entering a quilt for competition, I don't worry too much on if it is exactly square, I don't measure when I put on borders for example, I cut them to fit. I do try to be as precise as I can be, I make my small blocks as square as I can, and then I just hope for the best and go with the "as-built" conditions when it is all together. I don't notice when it's on the bed if the corner isn't exactly a sharp right angle or if one side is an inch longer or shorter than another.

So relax and enjoy the process and by the time you are done you will know what to do next time -- if there is a next time!
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:51 PM
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I've made 3 tee shirt quilts and I don't EVER plan on doing another one.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:00 PM
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A warm welcome from Southern Indiana...and good luck with your Tshirt quilt! Haven't made one myself...not sure I'm going to add it to my bucket list...bucket is full.....
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pocoellie View Post
I've made 3 tee shirt quilts and I don't EVER plan on doing another one.
I had a bunch of running shirts from a year in Kuwait that I didnt want to toss, but I will definitely never do another!
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by granky View Post
A warm welcome from Southern Indiana...and good luck with your Tshirt quilt! Haven't made one myself...not sure I'm going to add it to my bucket list...bucket is full.....
thank you! So far I dont reccomend making one, but then again I've never made a regular one so idk if I would be just as bad at it!
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
So you are using alternate squares of entire t-shirt pieces that aren't themselves framed? You are probably going to get a certain amount of wobble. When you put the blocks together, smooth out the t-shirt block over the cotton fabric one before you pin, that is, make the two pieces as correctly sized as you can (trim if the t-shirt block is too large and pin the heck out of the sewn edge. I'm a believer in pinning anyway and usually go about every 2" -- for the t-shirt fabric I might even be closer to 1" apart! You will get better results than if you just put two corners together and start sewing with no pins.

I do stages like this on my ironing board and give everything a swipe with the iron, being careful not to stretch or distort the blocks. The best case is if the t-shirts are slightly too big, you flip them so you see the smaller block on top, get out your correct square ruler and trim off both blocks at once.

Unless I'm entering a quilt for competition, I don't worry too much on if it is exactly square, I don't measure when I put on borders for example, I cut them to fit. I do try to be as precise as I can be, I make my small blocks as square as I can, and then I just hope for the best and go with the "as-built" conditions when it is all together. I don't notice when it's on the bed if the corner isn't exactly a sharp right angle or if one side is an inch longer or shorter than another.

So relax and enjoy the process and by the time you are done you will know what to do next time -- if there is a next time!
thanks! I'll try to send up a photo when I get further along!
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:34 PM
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Welcome and happy quilting
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