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Share your tips & tricks for making a T-shirt quilt

Share your tips & tricks for making a T-shirt quilt

Old 01-01-2012, 07:30 AM
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Question Share your tips & tricks for making a T-shirt quilt

I told my neighbor I would help her make a quilt with her late husband's classic car T-shirts. She is not a sewer or quilter, so I will be doing that part. I think she can help with the planning, the cutting and ironing, etc. I haven't made a quilt from T-shirts before, so I hope you will share you tips and tricks with me--also what NOT to do or use.

What kind of iron-on interfacing works well? What kind should I stay away from that was a problem for you? I'm sure I'll have more questions as the project begins later this winter. My neighbor plans to give the quilt to her son and wants to use 20 T-shirts, so it will probably be a 4 x 5 block quilt. I haven't seen the shirts yet so I'm not sure exactly how it will be laid out. I do like the look of sashing used between the blocks and rows.

I have already purchased a 15-inch square ruler from Joann's latest half price sale to use in the project. I would have liked a bit larger one but it was the largest at the store. Any other tools that are helpful?

Thanks for your help and comments.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:04 AM
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I have never made one, but have a friend who has made several T-shirt quilts with NO interfacing. That way they stay really soft like a T-shirt...not sure of her "secrets" but I would think good basting would be part of it.
oh-found her secret- she serges them together with differential feed to prevent puckering

Last edited by patchsamkim; 01-01-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:14 PM
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i got some t shirt interfacing At Hancock's. It stretchy and you iron it on with the stretch of the interfacing opposite with the stretch of the t shirt material. It is only iron on one side. I like it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:50 PM
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I've never made one but the neatest one I've seen on QB was posted by watterstide. Go up to search and type in 2 t-shirt quilts....totally screwed up one. She did a neat shadow effect and it was great!
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:12 PM
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I always wash the tee's when they are brought to me...even if they are old and already washed..I wash then with sythropol to get the DIRT off of them...and any pet dander, etc. Then I lay out the tee's and take a pix of them..upload to the computer and then print it off in black and white...this helps you get a really perspective as to how they will all look together...you might have to play with this a few times...now, NUMBER each shirt by stapling a sticky to the collar area....then turn inside out and iron French fuse interfacing to the section you wish to cut! Now cut, stay stitch and square up...you are good to go now!
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:17 PM
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I just finished a commissioned t-shirt quilt (my 3rd one). I like the thin, woven fabric interfacing. It still stabilizes the shirts, but seems thinner and easier to quilt through. I buy it by the bolt, a good deal with a 40-50% off coupon!
I enjoy using the small parts (like pockets) to make accent blocks.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:56 AM
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Thank you for the tips! I appreciate the 'hand holding.'
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:19 AM
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I would definitely use an iron-on interfacing. I've used a very lightweight one made by Pellon and it has worked well. The quilt stays nice and flexible, but the t-shirt parts don't stretch and bunch during quilting.

In planning a t-shirt quilt, I like to chart my layout on graph paper. I just make a list of the t-shirt designs and colors, then draw boxes in on the graph paper, writing simple information about each design (subject matter & color) in the boxes, and rearranging them until I'm happy with the layout. I also like to use sashing between the t-shirts, especially if they are varied in color.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:29 AM
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I have made about 5 and all were different lay outs. I like tricot interfacing as it leaves the block with little stretch and a nice hand. It does not add much weight at all. I did one with the shadows too. Here are pictures of 2 different layouts.
Attached Thumbnails trips-008.jpg   p1010116.jpg   p1010113a.jpg  
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:28 PM
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OOOOOH! I like the Attic Window effect too. It would work great on different size shirt motifs. All you would have to do is vary the Attic Window sashes. Love It!
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