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Thread: Making a t shirt quilt without fusible interfacing

  1. #1

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    I'm making a t shirt quilt out of my daughter's old clothes. All of the clothes that I've selected are the same type of 100% cotton that stretches (think of onesies and things like that). I started cutting fabric and putting a bit of tissue paper between the fabric blocks as I sewed them together. That was just my makeshift way of dealing with the stretch. It seems to be working well. The back of the quilt will not be made of t shirt type fabric. It will be cotton that doesn't stretch. The size of the quilt is still to be determined. I'm thinking it will be in the neighbor of 5'x5' when I'm done? Smaller than a twin bed spread for sure but larger than a baby blanket.

    I would like to have it long armed when I'm done. But will that be a problem since I'm not using fusible interfacing? I guess I could rip out all my sewing so far and start using it, but I think I'd cry if it came to that! What would you do in my shoes? (And any recommendations for someone who could long arm this would be great!)

  2. #2

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    I saw a demo at our guild's winter retreat. The woman who made the T-shirt quilt did not use any interfacing in her quilt since her whole top was made of T-shirts. She used the plain backs of a variety of T-shirts for any fillers she needed. She uses her longarm to quilt these T-shirt quilts and her back was of a different material.

    Here's her trick. She sews a temporary border of cotton fabric to the T-shirt top. This keeps the top square and will not stretch as she puts it one her longarm. When the quilting is complete she takes off the border and often saves it for her next t-shirt quilt.

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California!

  4. #4
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    Diff need some type of stabilizer or it will stretch like crazy...

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you need to contact the long-arm quilter you want to quilt your quilt and see what she would like- it might not be a problem- but a fix-easier than taking anything apart would be to just add a lightweight muslin (or other interfacing) to the whole top when it is completed-would not have to be fusable- could just be basted onto the back as a stablizer.
    but check with the quilter to see- different quilters are going to have different fixes= and some will not quilt t-shirt quilts no matter what you use....it's all a personal thing...if you have a quilter who is experienced quilting tshirt quilts she may not need you to do anything- or have the perfect (fix)

  6. #6
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    I've been reading and thinking about this. I bought a book that had a persons method and she doesn't use interfacing but everyone else does and I didn't risk it when I did my racing t shirt quilt or my daughters baby clothes quilt. When I get a long arm I am going to try one without and see how it goes cause the interfacing part sure takes a long time. If you doit without can you put a picture up after it's done and tell us what you think?

  7. #7
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltinggal
    I saw a demo at our guild's winter retreat. The woman who made the T-shirt quilt did not use any interfacing in her quilt since her whole top was made of T-shirts. She used the plain backs of a variety of T-shirts for any fillers she needed. She uses her longarm to quilt these T-shirt quilts and her back was of a different material.

    Here's her trick. She sews a temporary border of cotton fabric to the T-shirt top. This keeps the top square and will not stretch as she puts it one her longarm. When the quilting is complete she takes off the border and often saves it for her next t-shirt quilt.
    That works, I do that also.

    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: WELCOME to the board.

  8. #8

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    Thank you for all the replies!

    Xtgirl - Was it the "Too Cool" method? I searched online and saw that she long arms without interfacing. Her website says she can longarm quilts that use her method. But I didn't know if I was using her method or not. I corresponded with her about it but couldn't get much info as far as if I was following her method. Maybe she wanted me to buy her book? I don't know. She was very polite though.

    In any case, does anyone know a source who could longarm this quilt? I don't mind taking steps to fix it. Just anything besides taking it all apart.

  9. #9
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    I am a long arm quilter who has quilted many of these quilts. I love when my customers use fusible interfacing on the back of the shirts. It really makes them lay nice and flat. It really isn't that expensive and only takes a few minutes per shirt to prepare.

  10. #10
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    the interfacing does TWO jobs really..the most obvious is to keep the knits from stretching/moving, the second is to keep the KNIT from wearing thin over time! the more movement it has, the more friction, the more wear...I would always fuse with the French/tricot fusible.

  11. #11
    Jim
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    Super Member Jim's Avatar
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    I always back mine with fusible and I have made many...we wouldnt long arm one that wasn't..just not worth the hassle to do it

  12. #12
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    Yes it's her method. I bought her book and like her idea very much. But I got scared to try it. I think if you put a cotton temporary binding on it for a long armer it should work out. I think it will not stay completely even and square though..that wasn't a huge deal for me.

    Incidentally, I finished my top which I can post a picture of, but I did use interfacing.I used French fusible on my race shirts which is good but When I did my baby quilt I used featherweight Pelion from joanns and I really like that cause it seems light and soft. I am going to buy a long arm so I won't have a finished product till at least November and then plan to experiment without the interfacing, cause I love to make them but would prefer not to have the extra step.

  13. #13
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    I also used the Pellon...loved it..I just ironed a large pice over the front of the shirt and then cut out my sq which was 16 1/2x 16 1/2...SEW EASY.

  14. #14
    Member cristykessler's Avatar
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    "I am a long arm quilter who has quilted many of these quilts. I love when my customers use fusible interfacing on the back of the shirts. It really makes them lay nice and flat. It really isn't that expensive and only takes a few minutes per shirt to prepare." CAN YOU HELP ME?


    I am trying to quilt my first tshirt quilt on my longarm. I have a Tin Lizzie Queen Quilter (just fyi). Can you give me any tips to keep it from shifting around? I saw where someone said they added a border all the way around and I figure I will do that. What else can I do to assure it is smooth and doesn't pucker? Perhaps moving my foot up some. As I write this, I think maybe that would help since the thickness is considerably more than I usually quilt. I did a sample square and it just seems harder to keep still and I'm afraid it is going to bunch up. It's thicker than I would like as the lady I'm quilting it for wants fleece on the back and then still wants batting. I tried a bit without batting, but the fleece is peaking through the stitches if I go that route. I would LOVE and greatly appreciate any pointers. Thanks. Please advise me....

  15. #15
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    Hi

    I'm sorry, I didn't see your post and unfortunately I don't have my long arm yet so I don't personally have any experience with this situation. I think you may need to use your free hand to smooth out and try to keep the sections in place while you quilt. Sorry I cant help:(

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