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Thread: Help - mosaic tee shirt quilt - need guidance!

  1. #1
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    Help - mosaic tee shirt quilt - need guidance!

    Hiya All, I am a NEW quilter. I've started a mosaic Tshirt quilt of my parents Harley Davidson shirts. I wasn't able to find a pattern to follow for a mosaic tee shirt quilt. I asked around a few bloggers but they just said they piece it together and go from there [for the top layer]. So I went with that. So I've pieced together the shirts and have fabric to "fill in" the spaces where the shirts don't meet up.

    Here's the problem...I didn't think about making the "open spaces" nice and even squares or rectangles...I was focusing on spreading out the shirts and making the open space relatively even throughout. Now I've sewn the shirts together...but I didn't leave a margin for the extra fabric to be sewn in. Meaning I sewed all the way to each end of the tee shirt square forgetting there was going to be another piece sewn in. I hope this makes sense...sigh...I am getting frustrated. Short of ripping [seam ripper] all the shirts apart...and starting over...I just don't know what to do. I've been standing here staring at the layout [on the floor] for the last hour.

    Anyone have advice????? THANK YOU.
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  2. #2
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    could you show us pictures? i'm confused as to what you did-vs want to do---do you mean you've created a quilt top without extra spaces? if that is the case- and you want to add between the squares you have sewn together you really have no choice except to (un-sew) and add what you want to where you want.
    if you really don't want to take apart what is together but you want to make it larger you could add borders...but pictures may show us some other alternatives
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Aubrey'sQuiltingCreations's Avatar
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    Was there enough of a margin from the picture of the shirts and the seams to where instead and ripping and stretching the shirts more you can just cut the sewn edges off and re-sew them together??

  4. #4
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    I have open spaces. But when I sewed the surrounding shirts together, I sewed straight to the edge of the shirt not leaving an allowance for the fill fabric. I am working with a 1/2" allowance. Let me take some pics...
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  5. #5
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    Pics...the up close pics are showing how the edge of a square is sewn completely to the edge. I think the answer to "fix" this is right in front of me but I don't know what to do. LOL.

    Side note...I am going to school for nursing, completely my coursework right now...and I'm a straight A student...however with this project...I'm not sure what has happened to my brain...LOL.
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    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aubrey'sQuiltingCreations View Post
    Was there enough of a margin from the picture of the shirts and the seams to where instead and ripping and stretching the shirts more you can just cut the sewn edges off and re-sew them together??
    No, I kept the margin close to the picture since I had SO many shirts to work with and they were all good shirts. So I left the the margin an inch off the picture with a 1/2" allowance. Maybe next time, I'll leave a bit of a larger margin for future mistakes...
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  7. #7
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    here is the whole thing. here is the whole thing. the bull on bottom left is not sewn and I just right sided it up. The peach square to YOUR right is floating. And the two squares above the blue eagle square to YOUR left of the brown eagle are also floating; floating just meaning I haven't put them in anywhere yet.
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    Last edited by kastolzm; 12-16-2011 at 01:49 PM.
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    The only way I can figure out how to do this would be to put it on a piece of fabric the size of your finished quilt and satin stitch around all your pieces. Do they have any stabilizer on them? I hope someone can come up with a better idea as that would be alot of work.
    Good luck with this, it will look awesome when its done
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  9. #9
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    What is satin stitch? Yes, I used pellow 911FF fusible interfacing on the shirts.
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  10. #10
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    You might unsew each group of shirts or section just enough to add fabric to make it square. Once all are square, figure out the largest one, then add another border to the others to get them to the same size. Great shirts! Looking forward to the finished project.
    Linda

  11. #11
    Super Member toadmomma's Avatar
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    First off you have a great layout, now if it was me( as i hate making mistakes and double hate seam ripping anything.) So I use the mistake as a way to create a new way to fix it. I would maybe rip a 1/2 inch into the seams where i needed to join the fabric, not the whole thing, just right where I needed to sew it on,maybe just a few stitches more. As you have it on a floor that is a grid pattern, with good straight lines use it to line up the left row, place your filler fabric under the tshirt pieces draw the shapes you need, when cutting the filler fabric add the 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around. does this make any sence(sp) cant find the spell checker. Good luck Guess you can tell Ive made my share of mistakes.
    Deb T

  12. #12
    Senior Member cheaha39's Avatar
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    I would suggest you follow Linda's advise, rip apart and then make squares. Some squares could have more than one patch. I would stagger the vertical seams, this would alow you to make the squares all the same hight and the widths random.
    With quilters for friends, I will always be warm.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by toadmomma View Post
    First off you have a great layout, now if it was me( as i hate making mistakes and double hate seam ripping anything.) So I use the mistake as a way to create a new way to fix it. I would maybe rip a 1/2 inch into the seams where i needed to join the fabric, not the whole thing, just right where I needed to sew it on,maybe just a few stitches more. As you have it on a floor that is a grid pattern, with good straight lines use it to line up the left row, place your filler fabric under the tshirt pieces draw the shapes you need, when cutting the filler fabric add the 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around. does this make any sence(sp) cant find the spell checker. Good luck Guess you can tell Ive made my share of mistakes.
    Good grief...why didn't I think of doing that...laying the fabric underneath and tracing it out...whew. I'm putting it away for the night and will resume tomorrow...

    Hoping to have this done by Christmas...THANK YOU!!! Will keep you updated...as I'll prolly be back...
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member Cris's Avatar
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    Why couldn't you put the t-shirt pieces on top of you background fabric and and applique them? Would it beome too bulky because of the fusible interfacing?
    Cris

  15. #15
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    I've seen ones where the background is made up of quilt blocks (4 patch or simple log cabin) and then the shirts machine appliqued onto the background. Would this work for you? You could do the applique with the sections you have already sewn together.
    Just something to think about.
    God Bless,
    Rachel

  16. #16
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    You can fill in the spaces by piecing in fabric that is cut to fit each block to the next block. It will be a lot of measuring and tearing out to make it fit but it will be worth the effort.

  17. #17
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    I agree with toadmomma. All you need to do is rip out seams where you need to add your filler fabric.

  18. #18
    Senior Member EmbQuilt's Avatar
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    Now that you have a picture of how you would like it layed out, I really think the best thing to do would be to gently take them apart and choose what others have said let's say a basic block size (just guestimating - 12"). Put together some of the small ones and "filler fabrics" to make up that basic block size. You can easily do it without too much math or work other than the unsewing. You already have a great layout to me that's the hardest part.

  19. #19
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    Thanks Ladies, I've done a bit of combining all your ideas. What I've done, is cut fabric to fit a square, with an extended length on it. Then I am cutting fabric to fit the square opposite of the other one, then I am marrying them in the middle with pins and sew. I will take another pic today when I get it set up. It's looking good. I have do do a little sem ripping to fold in the edges. slow but sure its coming along.
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

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