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Thread: T-Shirt Quilt Anyone

  1. #1
    BarbC's Avatar
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    My SIL brought me a boat load of t-shirts to make her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law a t-shirt quilt. These are all their shirts from college. I was wondering if anyone here has made a t-shirt quilt... and if so... what advise you would share. Thanks! Barb C.

  2. #2
    Suz
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    I haven't made one myself but have helped with several. Cut out the portion of the tee you want to use. Cut it larger than the finished block size. Cut a piece of knit fusible at approximately the finished block size. Fuse the two together with the tee knit stretching from east and west and the fusible stretching north and south. This will stabilize the stretch. Make sure they are securely fused, cooled. Then cut to the finished size and use as you would any other block.
    I think it is important to sash your blocks as this will help stabilize the block. Note, the blocks do not need to be the same size but will require some planning.
    These t-shirt quilts are great for teens and a wonderful quilt for a student to take to college. It will be a one-of-a-kind and less likely to take a walk if you know what I mean.
    Meanwhile, you young mothers start gathering significant t-shirts for use later. Suzanne

  3. #3
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. This one is a wedding gift from the Mom of the bride... kind of a neat gift I think. Both bride and groom went to the University of TX and all these shirts are from things there. I found some great UT fabric to use in the border.

    My teenage son loves t-shirts... especially with neat sayings. I have 2 garbage bags full of his old shirts.. some from childhood (legos and such).. others more recent. I suspect he will have more than 1 t-shirt quilt.

    Barb C

  4. #4

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    I, too, am making a T-shirt quilt for my daughter. Don't have much experience in making quilts so hope I haven't taken on too hard a project. The info about the backing of the shirts was very helpfull. I'll be interested in hearing how BarbC proceeds and if she runs into any unseen problems. My daughter has selected the fabric and is choosing her favorite 20 shirts. Keep me posted Barb and thanks Suz. Grandma

  5. #5
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandma
    Keep me posted Barb and thanks Suz. Grandma
    I will definitely keep you posted.

    You can find lots of online sites on making t-shirt quilts with lots of info...
    go to a search engine and search for t-shirt quilt how-to or t-shirt quilt instructions

    Barb

  6. #6

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    Thanks Barb, I'll go searching but will look forward to see how you are doing.

    Thanks for all the info.

    Grandma

  7. #7
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    Here is a link that has information on your question.

    http://www.straw.com/quilting/articles/teequilts_how.html

    I hope these ideas are helpful along with advice give. June

  8. #8
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I'm anxious to hear how this works from someone that's a novice at it, too. I have t-shirts from 30+ years working with Boy Scouts, from my two sons ball playing, and from their everything they did. lol lol I KNEW I was saving that stuff for a reason...

    I want to thank each of you for taking the time to write about your experience with the different quilts and blocks and fabrics like this. I've found that the teachers I've worked with have done things, found shortcuts, and such that they "forget" we students don't know all of what they speak about. Maybe we should ask for a step by step direction from someone doing it for the first time? Sounds like a book I'd buy, anyone else?

  9. #9
    BarbC's Avatar
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    I finished the T-shirt quilt I was making and have posted pictures in a post in the PICTURES Forum. Barb C.

  10. #10

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    Barb, Your T-Shirt Quilt is beautiful. I'm so impressed that you are done with it. :roll: I have yet to start as my daughter is still going through her T-shirts. We have all the material and supplies, but not all the shirts. After finishing your quilt, do you have any tips you can pass on? You mentioned that it was more difficult than you had anticipated--How so? I haven't made many quilts and when I see all the quilts you have made (on your web-site) I am quite intimidated. Thank you for finishing it and for sharing with us.

  11. #11
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    everytime I hear or see anything about a T-shirt quilt, I cringe. WHen we moved into our new house that my DH built us, I got rid of all my old t-shirts from my teenage years. I got tired of being a pack rat. My friend thought I'd lost my mind when I told her what I'd done.....I burned them, actually. I try not to be so hard on myself because they were in pretty bad shape. Prob. wouldn't 've made all that attractive of a quilt. I keep telling myself that. Most of them were Nirvana shirts from the early-mid 90's. SOme were white at one time. Some had plenty of holes.
    I did the right thing, right?! THey were in poor shape. support me, here! :oops:

  12. #12
    Super Member isnthatodd's Avatar
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    Sometimes you just have to let go. Otherwise, we would never have room for the cool new stuff. And I know how hard it is to realize that some stuff just outlives itself. So, yes, you did the right thing.

  13. #13
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isnthatodd
    Sometimes you just have to let go. Otherwise, we would never have room for the cool new stuff. And I know how hard it is to realize that some stuff just outlives itself. So, yes, you did the right thing.
    tHANK YOU! Deep down, I KNOW I really did do the right thing. It just hurts to see the pretty quilts made...and my shirts were so bad.

  14. #14
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandma
    After finishing your quilt, do you have any tips you can pass on? You mentioned that it was more difficult than you had anticipated--How so?.
    You have to put a fusible woven innerfacing on the back of the T-Shirts which adds time to the process, but you need to have plenty of iron cleaner on hand. No matter how careful you are some of that fusible ends up in the iron.

    Couple of things... I ironed my seams open instead of to one side. T-Shirts are thicker than regular fabric and you have the added innerfacing.

    Also I did no ironing on fronts of shirt. This would have melted some of the designs. BUT I didn't think about the fact that part of the design might get caught in the seam and so when I ironed them I got melted "stuff" on the iron a couple of times. No big deal, just had to stop and clean it off.

    One thing I read and found to be true. Do not fret if you cut off part of the design. As long as you can see the majority of it, it really doesn't show up as missing. I did this on a few blocks where the design was sooo big and they are not noticable.

    Also, the innerfacing will stretch one way, just as T-shirts stretch one way. You want to make sure that when you go to put the innerfacing on the shirts that the stretches go in different directions. So like if the T-shirts stretch from side to side, turn the inner facing so that it stretches top to bottom. This stabilizes the fabric.

    Once you get going, it isn't difficult and I am already planning another one now that I done one.

    Feel free to ask any questions along the way if you make one.

    Barb C. in MS

  15. #15
    Paulette's Avatar
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    I used this site to construct my first t-shirt quilt: http://www.goosetracks.com/T-ShirtQuiltInstructions.html

    I sort of followed the instructions...I used 12 shirts but made my sashing wider and my border wider to balance the quilt and make it larger.

    I backed mine with fleece so I would not have to deal with 3 laters. The friend I made it for loves it and won't let anyone else near it. She is now trying to bring me more t-shirts so I can make a second one if I don't happen to have a current project in the machine!! Such a true friend!!

    :-) Paulette
    Anchorage, AK

  16. #16

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    CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT COLOR THEAD TO USE ON A T-SHIRT QUILT. EVERY SHIRT IS A DIFFERENT COLOR. I AM USING A LONGARM.
    I AM THINKING ABOUT USING INVISIBLE THREAD.

  17. #17
    BarbC's Avatar
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    I used Invisible on the top and black on the bottom (the backing was black). The Invisible with the top is the best. Mine was quilted on a longarm machine with a large loose meandering stitch. Barb C

  18. #18

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    THANK YOU BARB C. I MAY GIVE YOUR SUGESTION A TRY.

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