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Thread: How do I make a quilt out of T shirts?

  1. #1
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    How do I make a quilt out of T shirts?

    I have some logo'ed T shirts that I want to make into a quilt and have no idea where to start. Any help out there

  2. #2
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    there's lots of info on net... I made 3 and it is fun.. I used woven,fusible interfacing on back of shirt... cut my "blocks" out and piece together and I quilt on my longarm... good luck.

  3. #3
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    I have not done one but it is recommended that the T-shirts have a fusible interfacing ironed to the back. This makes them more stable and less likely to stretch. There are a number of great t-shirt quilts on QB if you use the search box. Most people sash with regular cotton but some don't.

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    hope to finish my first one today. I put fusible interfacing on the back of the shirt and squared them up all different sizes--then built rows from them using the pieces of left over t-shirt which I also put interfacing on. Resulted in four rows --the row is all the same size block, but the rows are different sizes. Allows for bigger shirt photos. I like the random-ness of the quilt, it isn't block, sashing, block, sashing......all the same. Also very colorful. I did use cotton sashing (black mostly) to help stablize the blocks, the project was fun--I learned a bunch just jumping in and doing it, and would do another--with some modifications..........since the shirts are my DD-in laws, I kept it simple and didn't add orphan blocks or printed fabrics, just HER shirts. Hope she loves it- it is a big twin wrap around size.

  5. #5
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katiedid2 View Post
    there's lots of info on net... I made 3 and it is fun.. I used woven,fusible interfacing on back of shirt... cut my "blocks" out and piece together and I quilt on my longarm... good luck.
    I'm glad this topic came up since I recently made a T shirt quilt for a friend after I swore I'd never do one. I just couldn't say no to her since the shirts were all very special to her & her husb. before he died. I did fusible on one block but it was too stiff for me. I used a light wt. fusible. I learned that spray starching ea. block heavily worked for me. I was careful to cut ea. logo to get the best of it then it became tricky to fit it all together. I had to get creative with sashings but it worked & she totally loves her quilt.

  6. #6
    pw6
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    that is how I make them also.. if you need to add to the top just add pieced blocks of the same size I also added embroideried blocks as well

  7. #7
    Senior Member gmcsewer's Avatar
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    I use the interfacing on the back of the designs and it keeps everything stable. I assemble a strip with sashing and then I do QAYG to assemble the strips, more like flip and sew. I FMQ each motif in the strip after I have joined it to the quilt. The last one I made was for DGD and I put her name as the last strip by doing PP letters I found on the Internet. The picture is of her layout of how she wanted the shirts placed. I will post a picture of the finished quilt soon. Name:  2013-03-18 11.35.07_0249.jpg
Views: 1107
Size:  1.68 MB

  8. #8
    Super Member debbieoh's Avatar
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    Its alot of work and you MUST use fuseable interfacing. They are worth the work

  9. #9
    Senior Member gmcsewer's Avatar
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    I posted earlier today but want to put the finished quilt on for you. Also, you may press over the painted designs on the shirts by covering them with freezer paper, waxed side toward the painted design. Name:  2013-05-03 17.52.43.jpg
Views: 1086
Size:  1.71 MB

  10. #10
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    If the regular interfacing is too stiff for you look for one for knits. I use French Fuse most of the time and it has worked great

  11. #11
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    I made one a few years ago for my son from his many Harley Davidson shirts..and I used the book, "TOO COOL TSHIRT QUILTS"
    It was a really good book with good instructions. The site is www.toocooltshirtquilts.com
    they give instructions for many sizes….I went to Lowes and had them cut plexiglass for the templates….
    it took awhile but I was in no hurry…….
    and the final project was loved by my son….and that make it all worth while
    yes, you must use a fusible interfacing. good luck.

  12. #12
    KLO
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    That "toocooltshirtquilts" site is great. Loved looking at the photos of completed quilts. I really like the ones that are sort of scattered and in different sizes all over the quilt. I have been saving up shirts just for this purpose. Thanks mjsylvstr for that link. Good luck to all who are making or getting ready to make one of these. They would certainly make a great graduation gift.

  13. #13
    Junior Member nlpakk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    If the regular interfacing is too stiff for you look for one for knits. I use French Fuse most of the time and it has worked great
    Yes there is a fusible that's made out of fabric like your underwear or slip(can't remember the name of it), you put the stretch of the interfacing opposite of the stretch of the shirt. I used mostly that when I made my t-shirt quilt. I found the woven to be too stiff. If my picture isn't too big, I will try to post a picture of the quilt.

  14. #14
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I think you want NON-WOVEN Lt weight Pellon fusible interfacing.

  15. #15
    Junior Member nlpakk's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of my t-shirt quilt!Name:  rsz_tshirt_quilt 2.jpg
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Size:  447.2 KB

  16. #16
    Junior Member Sharoncignoni's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the tips because my niece was very active in volley ball and my brother asked if I could make a quilt out of her team shirts. I was thinking of doing application around the focus from the shirts but your suggestions
    would be much easier.

  17. #17
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    I have made two. Wash the t-shirts and do not use any fabric softener. Before sewing the t-shirts must be stabilized using a lightweight fusible interfacing. I then square up my designs so there is a one-inch margin around the design and then, using all sorts of quilting material, add strips around each t-shirt to produce a 15-inch square. I may have 2 or 3 t-shirts in a block if they are small and if the design is large I may not have any added material around a t-shirt.

  18. #18
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I have not done one but it is recommended that the T-shirts have a fusible interfacing ironed to the back. This makes them more stable and less likely to stretch. There are a number of great t-shirt quilts on QB if you use the search box.
    I purchased a very handy book called "You did What?? With my T-Shirts" and a yard and a half of fusible interfacing at a quaint little quilt shop on one of my visits to Vacaville, California. I have not started mine yet, but will get one done this winter.

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    I have made four t-shirt quilts. the first one, I used fusible interfacing. It made the quilt very heavy. It also gummed up my sewing machine and needle. A friend told me that she made her t-shirt quilts by using the back portion of the t-shirt as a stabilizer. This has worked fairly well for me. There is a little stretching, so have to be careful when sewing the sashes. There are different types of fusible interfacing, so if you take this route, try several. Also, after I finished making the t-shirt quilts, I made a rag quilt with the bottom of the t-shirts that were cut off. experiment with different fusing, or try one without to see which works best for you. I also used stitch in the ditch to bring all layers together.

  20. #20
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    I've made several tee shirt quilts. The first ones were not interfaced and machine quilting was difficult...had to finish up with either hand quilting or tying. (SITD around all of the sashing was easy, but working over the tee shirts was something else) The last one I made was interfaced but too large to do on my DSM so I had it done by a long armer. She did a gorgeous job. Someone mentioned the tricot interfacing. It's lightweight but the stretch is not totally contained. I found the best interfacing has been either the featherweight or the lightweight Pellon. Having a teflon presser foot helps in going over the rubbery logos. I've got a UFO waiting for me right now. It isn't interfaced, so I plan on tying it. It's a quilt top I made with vacation souvenier tee shirts. Good luck with you quilt.
    Last edited by GailG; 11-05-2013 at 04:42 AM.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  21. #21
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    I have used both light weight fusible interfacing didn't like the stiffness or weight of it. .
    Next one starch. Liked it better I'd do a test run with the back of a t-shirt use both and see which works for you.
    http://www.skillpages.com/DonnaValleyquiltermo
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  22. #22
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    Really neat quilt! Thanks for all the info. My granddaughter also wants me to make her a quilt out of her favorite t-shirts and I found everyone's suggestions most helpful. I was afraid to tackle the job and didn't know how to even start. Like very much that several people posted pictures too.

  23. #23
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    You DO NOT have to use fusible interfacing. The too cool Tshirt website does not advocate that. I have made several T-shirt quilts and I generally do NOT use fusible interfacing. The only time I do use fusible interfacing is if the shirt was especially thin or it was a 'mesh' shirt with holes.

  24. #24
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    I have been reading some of the advice you have received. I have made two so far and have used a light weight fusible and been very happy with it. Without the stabilizer (fusible) my shirts were curling up on the edges. I did find out one thing that made the second one easier: put the stabilizer on BEFORE you cut the shirt to the exact size. Prep the shirt first by cutting off the sleeves and cut up the back and open it up. Cut off the excess fabric but do not cut to the exact size until the fusible is on. That really helped with the accuracy of the block; less stretching, etc. Good Luck.

  25. #25
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I have made too many for clients. Beware, they become some what heavy (compared to a pieced quilt top) and be so careful that your favorite iron does not come into contact accidentally with the paint on one of the T-shirts.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

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