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Thread: Design advice

  1. #1
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    Design advice

    Hello,
    My friend has ask me to put together a t-shirt quilt for her, but this would be the first one I have tried. She wants it to be this style, with the irregular sizes and sashing. I have the interfacing, but there are 40+ designs between all the shirts, and I`m not sure what the best way would be to decide the layout. I have the measurements of all the designs and I uploaded pictures, but my computer freezes too much. Any advice on how to determine a good layout?

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    I would choose a dimension (width Or length) and keep all of them in that same dimension. All 12" wide, for example, but different lengths that can be sashed together to make a block of say 36" (plus sashing). If not, all your sashing will have to be custom cut to fit each smaller than "normal" block.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-10-2018 at 07:58 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

  3. #3
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    A t shirt quilt with interfacing can be a pricey endeavor. I hope you got money for your supplies up front because few non quilters realize the cost of making a quilt. As for different size blocks, I find the best for me is to lay them out on the floor and cut sashing as needed to make the top.

  4. #4
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    I remember seeing a tutorial for a real easy way to make the same size finished block from different sized original squares and different sized sashing. She was making a child's quilt but the principle should work for the t-shirt and stabilize it at the same time. Let me see if I can find it.
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  5. #5
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    "Never cruel, nor cowardly, never give up, never give in."

    Let's take care of the Earth, it is the only planet that for sure has Chocolate.

    Sonic screwdrivers, fez, bow ties, and Stetsons are cool.

  6. #6
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have found that the easiest way to do the kind of layout you linked to is to set a common denominator for your t-shirt blocks. I usually go with 3 as my common denominator. Then you can cut, based on imprint sizes, any size that is evenly divisible by 3. which would give you 3", 6", 9", 12", 15" etc. Then choose a common size for your sashing or let your sashing be your "fill in" for getting odd sizes to fit. Get out the graph paper and start sketching. On this T-shirt quilt linked here: https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...t-t209647.html I started out that way but some of the imprints didn't play nicely with that size so I made it a shadow box layout and used my sashing (the light purple) as a background color and used it to fill in the gaps. The quilt you linked to appeared to me to have partial seams. I could easily pick out the blocks of imprint except the right side edge and top right edge appear to me to be constructed with partial seams.

    Edited to add don't forget to add your seam allowances once you have decided on sizes.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 06-10-2018 at 10:28 AM.

  7. #7
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    Lisa Capen has a three part video series on a collage type t-shirt quilt. It is very informative. Link is below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UB-6D_qgIU

  8. #8
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    When I was designing mine most of the blocks were 12 1/2 inches but I also had several rectangular shaped ones. I laid them out on the bed after stabilizing and cutting them out and moved them around until I got what I wanted. I did sash around each square as I proggressed.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

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    Graph paper is a good friend when figuring out what sizes to cut your blocks and how they will lay. Remember to add seam allowance and have a common denominator so everything will play nice together.

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    you don't say what size the desired quilt will be , but 40 shirts is quite a few! Like Feline said, the quilt you posted does end up with partial seams, so I'd suggest you do like she says and try to use dimensions that will allow you to make either equal size blocks in rows or columns. And definitely use scratch paper. I've made quite a few that are similar to what she is wanting--I usually measure all the t-shirt logos (add some space around each) and figure out what I have to work with. Then I use my outline of my quilt and place the blocks in it. Graph paper allows you to figure out the width/length of sashings too. Good luck, these can be a little tricky. If you have EQ7 or 8 (I'm not familiar with the earlier versions) you can use the unequal blocks layout,but don't add in color to the design or you lose the grid (I always make them 1") to figure out sashing sizes.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    When I make T-shirt quilts I start with fusing the stabilizer onto the T-shirts then cutting out the logos, decals, designs. I leave a fairly large amount around each one- figuring I will square them up, determine size& shape as I go along. Then when I have them all cut out I take them to my bedroom & start laying them out on my bed, rearranging, moving things around until I have a layout I like. ( I do have a design wall, but have found using the bed easier for T-shirt quilts. ) one I have the layout I like I start measuring, figuring out what I need to do to make things fit together. I often work in sections, trimming, sewing a section at a time, laying it back out & creating the next section.
    Last one I made was actually a hockey Jersey quilt- boy, it was a job! And a heavy quilt. The recipient loves it though.
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    i made one for a lady she furnished all that i needed but i do not have to do that again.

  13. #13
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I always just kind of wing it when I make t-shirt quilts. I find it easier to work on the floor than my design wall. I rarely add the narrow sashing. I usually mark out on the floor the size with painters tape. I interface and cut out the larger designs and lay them out in a way that I like. I cut them a little bit oversized. I then do the same with the medium sized designs. I go to the smaller designs last and cut those to fill in the holes. I trim the pieces to make it fit. Hope this makes sense.
    I am not a plan ahead type of person. I usually plan as I go along on most of my quilts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pewa88 View Post
    Lisa Capen has a three part video series on a collage type t-shirt quilt. It is very informative. Link is below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UB-6D_qgIU
    This is a very good video.

    I hope this is a good friend. I'm not sure I would tackle this for anyone short of my sister.

    I'm not a real experienced quilter. I think I'm on quilt #7. I recently made a quilt from a panel. It had different sized blocks and sashing. It was not an easy project to get everything to fit and line up. I probably made it three times, with all the ripping out and resewing. But, at least I had a picture to follow.
    Attachment 595843

    I disagree with others on one thing. This quilt does not have partial seams. It's made in sections. If you'll look at it carefully, you can see the sections. Whomever made it fit all the sections together and then sashed it which would work.

    I think 47 t-shirts may be too many for one quilt unless a lot of them are small.

    The quilt in the picture is done in sections. It doesn't use partial seams. It will take graph paper, a large table or a lot of crawling around on the floor to get this one designed. It would be much easier to do in strips or same sized blocks.

    I didn't outline all the blocks, but you get the idea, I'm sure.

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    Good luck.

    bkay

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    Are you sure you want to do it?? Friends have no idea what they are asking and how much time is involved.

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    This looks a lot like a t-shirt quilt made from Andrea T. Funk’s book How to Make a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt, except sashing is added to the pieces. This method does not use stabilizer! The t-shirts are cut in multiples of 4: 4x4, 4x8, 8x4, etc to 16x16. There is a formula to determine the quilt size and a CAD (computer assisted design) program to determine layout. I don’t know CAD, so I cut representative blocks from cardboard stock, (the book recommends paper, but I could not get the small paper pieces to stay in place with my fingers) to determine layout. The book also shows how to quilt your quilt on a long arm. I took a class at my LQS and made two t-shirt quilts, and love the softness of the t-shirt quilts without stabalizer. However, I think the added sashing would change the dimensions and layout of the t-shirt quilt.
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  17. #17
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    bkay, when assembling the units of several blocks that you outlined a partial seam is required when attaching unit 4 to unit 1 and when attaching unit 6 to the assembled top. There is no way to connect these pieces without doing a partial seam about where I put the yellow arrows. This is how you achieve that random look of different size blocks abutting one another.




    Name:  Tshirt quilt layout with partial seams.jpg
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  18. #18
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    Eleanor Burns (Quilt in a Day) has a good T-Shirt quilt video. I often refer customers that are making their first T-Shirt quilt to this vid. She uses different sized logos including pocket ones and sleeve logos. There are many, many, many You Tube T-Shirt videos that are rubbish! I think one of the hardest parts is to figure your layout design. I like to lay a sheet on the bed and keep playing with the layout. I leave it on the bed and every time I walk in the room, I look at it. If something is out of place, it will tell you. Keep doing this until you finally walk in, see it and smile! Then role up the sheet so you maintain that layout. As far as assembling it, the sashing will pull all the different sizes together.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    bkay, when assembling the units of several blocks that you outlined a partial seam is required when attaching unit 4 to unit 1 and when attaching unit 6 to the assembled top. There is no way to connect these pieces without doing a partial seam about where I put the yellow arrows. This is how you achieve that random look of different size blocks abutting one another.






    Name:  Tshirt quilt layout with partial seams.jpg
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    You're right.

    bkay

  20. #20
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    You can also sew the 6 block partially to the 4 block, sew that to the 1 block (which has been sewn to the 2 and 3 blocks), then sew on the 5 block. The only partial seam is the 6 block to the 4-5 blocks.

    Why does everyone seem so afraid of partial seams. I think they are fun. I made my Square Family quilt with all partial seams. Each square is made of strips around an center block. The squares were 3, 6, 9 and 12 inches. They had 1 to 6 rows of strips around each one, all partial seamed. I loved doing it.
    Last edited by maviskw; 06-11-2018 at 02:06 PM.

  21. #21
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    I did two like this. Measure each decal/design, deduct 1 inch vertical and horizontal (for seam allowance) and mark on graph paper where you want in (using each square as one inch). I allowed a 2 inch spacing (minimum) between each design piece. When the whole thing is on the graph paper, you're ready to cut fabric but don't forget to add seam allowance to each fabric piece. there will be lots of Y seams as you go along.

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    Graph paper is my best friend when I make Tee shirt quilts. I can see 9 or 10 sections or blocks in this pattern, I have made one kinda like this. That is where the graph paper come to play. You can do a mock and move things around easy. Please get money in advance for supplies. The last quilt I made I sent the finished quilt with the supply cost, clearly written. Then payment for work was written at the bottom of the invoice. I did get supply money, but the payment for work done would not have gotten me a value meal at Burger King. The lady thought I worked for free. But she and her daughter loved the quilt. I had to ask her not to say a word about what she paid me to do this quilt. From now on I will stated money up front supplies plus $$$ for work. This was a lesson well learned.

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