Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44

Thread: T-shirt quilt nightmares

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    51

    T-shirt quilt nightmares

    I am making a t-shirt quilt for a friend to give as a Christmas present to her daughter. I have it put together and have started SITD today....the thing is SO heavy and bulky (16 shirts). It measures about 76" x 76". Because there is so much surface on the t-shirts themselves I feel like I need to do some kind of stitching on them to help stablize the fabric. I have never done any FMQ before. And I'm not sure I want to "practice" on this project. I keep watching the videos and they make it look so easy. Does anyone have any other suggestions. I keep having this vision/nightmare that I am going to wash this thing and the t-shirts are coming apart. (they do have interfacing on the backs) I'm so ready to get this done...it hasn't been one that I am enjoying working on....nothing but blue/white/gray. Thanks so much for any suggestions.
    Lisa

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Kansas
    Posts
    4,829
    This is probably not the project to start free motion quilting on. You can probably add a little cross hatching to the t-shirts.

  3. #3
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    The beautiful Texas hill country.
    Posts
    1,261
    I saw a t-shirt quilt at a quilt show this past weekend that was pretty neat.
    They treated each shirt with different stitching. Several of them were basically outlined/stitched around whatver the design was. It looked good to me.

    Maybe if you stitch in the ditch, then maybe a little stitching around the design or make your own OR using embroidery thread tie the center of each block?

  4. #4
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Winston-Salem NC
    Posts
    661
    Cross-hatching would work well, as would the echo quilting mentioned above. Two things to remember are that your stitches will practically disappear into the quilt, especially after it is washed, because the T-shirt material is so squishy - and therefore any slight errors you may happen to make will be virtually undetectable - and that you DO NOT want to quilt over the plastic/paint/latex that makes up the logo or design, as this will gum up your needle, give you weird uneven stitches, break your thread and generally make you wish you hadn't tried it. (Ask me how I know.)

    Tiresome to you as it is now, I am sure that the finished quilt will give great joy to the person receiving it!

    Alison

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, OR
    Posts
    444
    You also might have better luck using a ballpoint needle. It's worth a shot at least if you find you're skipping stitches.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,935
    Blog Entries
    1
    I would not try to FMQ that monster. Probably would quilt over all the seams with a narrow zigzag stitch and echo stitch around the t-shirt logos. I have done echo stitching with my walking foot, going slowly and using the kneebar to lift up the presser foot often to adjust place. I would stitch just once around the major logo. Because of the fusible, that should be enough quilting ***provided*** you use a batting that does not require a lot of quilting. I would probably use Quilter's Dream request weight cotton (the thinnest one) to keep the bulk under the machine arm as small as possible and also to keep the quilt's weight within reason.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    s.cal
    Posts
    2,080
    Blog Entries
    1
    could you have done it like a quilt as go instead,well easy to attach rolls of blocks togather
    we can make our plans but the out come is in god,s hands nellie diaz

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    51
    Thank you all for your wonderful advise. Miss Kira thank you for the needle advise...as I was having skipped stitch issues yesterday. I changed the needle twice and had to tear out some stitching. UGH!! Although to late now, I never gave QAYG a thought....I was thinking about embroidering the kids (gift will be for my friends daughter and SIL) names on the blocks that have a lot of surface area???

  9. #9
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Pleasant Hill MO
    Posts
    1,656
    Blog Entries
    1
    I have done T Shirt quilts on my longarm and I meandered all over it, no problem, if you are doing with a DM, I can see where there would be a lot of drag on the quilt.. Good luck

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    51
    I think it would be impossible to do on a DM...it is just SO heavy and bulky. Just doing the SITD is hard enough. I honestly don't think I will EVER do another t-shirt quilt. I SO want to be done. It is turning out nice..just a PAIN.

  11. #11
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    8,824
    Until I got my longarm I tied all my T-shirt quilts at 3" spacing.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...lt-t47094.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thornton, Colorado
    Posts
    948
    A couple Christmases ago, I made a t-shirt quilt for my grandson...that was fun having him select his favorite ones since he had a LOT, smile. I used my shortarm (which I had at that time) to do a flame like quilting design all over the quilt, with the flames going back and forth sideways. I was careful to stay away from those thick plastic/vinyl finishes. That worked. There is no way I would do a SITD on my shortarm. Never could follow the lines, lol.

  13. #13
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Spring Lake, NJ
    Posts
    2,444
    I made a Harley/Davidson T-shirt quilt for my son and it was about 90"x90"...BIG... I took all the H/D buttons from his other shirts and scattered them throughout the quilt to hold it in place. Just couldn't see any quilting being done on this quilt.

    turned out quite nice, but had to replace all the buttons I swiped from his others.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    325
    I would do some stitching on the blocks. Stitch around something on each block.

  15. #15
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    520
    I did a t-shirt quilt for my son. His were running shirts so I had my LAQ do an overall athletic shoe pattern. It turned out great. Here's a section of it. Doesn't show the quilting well but it was done all over.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    in front of this dang computer instead of my Bernina!(Naples, Florida)
    Posts
    1,661
    Quote Originally Posted by alisonquilts View Post
    Cross-hatching would work well, as would the echo quilting mentioned above. Two things to remember are that your stitches will practically disappear into the quilt, especially after it is washed, because the T-shirt material is so squishy - and therefore any slight errors you may happen to make will be virtually undetectable - and that you DO NOT want to quilt over the plastic/paint/latex that makes up the logo or design, as this will gum up your needle, give you weird uneven stitches, break your thread and generally make you wish you hadn't tried it. (Ask me how I know.)

    Tiresome to you as it is now, I am sure that the finished quilt will give great joy to the person receiving it!

    Alison
    Oh, Alison, you have saved me from some frustrating disasters!! Thanks for sharing that info.
    aka Chicken McLittle

    If it's true we learn from our mistakes, I'm going to be a genius!

  17. #17
    Senior Member shrabar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cape Girardeau, MO
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by lnolan6177 View Post
    I am making a t-shirt quilt for a friend to give as a Christmas present to her daughter. I have it put together and have started SITD today....the thing is SO heavy and bulky (16 shirts). It measures about 76" x 76". Because there is so much surface on the t-shirts themselves I feel like I need to do some kind of stitching on them to help stablize the fabric. I have never done any FMQ before. And I'm not sure I want to "practice" on this project. I keep watching the videos and they make it look so easy. Does anyone have any other suggestions. I keep having this vision/nightmare that I am going to wash this thing and the t-shirts are coming apart. (they do have interfacing on the backs) I'm so ready to get this done...it hasn't been one that I am enjoying working on....nothing but blue/white/gray. Thanks so much for any suggestions.
    Lisa
    I made over 6 TShirt quilts when I quilt them I make lines about 2 inches apart & I go right over the design on the quilt , shrabar

  18. #18
    Junior Member TPr9258's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    282
    Blog Entries
    1
    I love to do t-shirt quilts! NOT but I do do many of them I enjoy the faces of the people I give them to. I am doing one right now that I am at the point of quilting and this is what I can tell you I do- always do quilt as you go that way really only doing a row at at time which saves on the weight of the quilt then just piece together when all are done. I usually do SITD throughout the sashings and boader and then do a follow through (quilting squares in squares) in each square, that usuall works if there aren't many of the sticky shirts, then I do try to do a shadow, to me tying takes to long but when I did do one with the tying I incooperated the family members of the person that was receiving the quilt to help, since it was a QAYG there where usually at least 4-6 rows then fought them how to tie and then when complete they can all say they helped-great idea if they have younger brothers and sisters.
    Teri Lynn

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    95
    Blog Entries
    7
    I have helped and done 4 T-shirts quilts but had my quilter quilt 2 of them. She told me mine worked up the BEST.
    When you wash the T's do not use fabric softner...starch and iron them. I use a metal L metal thing and put my shirts
    on my cutting pad that fits a T-shirt to insure they are squared and measured GOOD. I stabilize mine again by bordering them in a cotton/polester blend material. The one that was T's only was stabilized by sewing 1/2 seam just
    inside all the seams of the blocks and it did a great job. I was VERY careful when handling all of this to not stretch or
    pull anything I was going to stitch. 2 I helped with I tacked them and finished them but my other 2 (for my son and one for my husband) my quilter quilted them on her long arm and they turned out beautiful! Hope this helps you and wish I could be there to help you. Hey Catty on here often in chat room makes them for living...ask her any questions..she is a sweetheart!

  20. #20
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by lnolan6177 View Post
    I am making a t-shirt quilt for a friend to give as a Christmas present to her daughter. I have it put together and have started SITD today....the thing is SO heavy and bulky (16 shirts). It measures about 76" x 76". Because there is so much surface on the t-shirts themselves I feel like I need to do some kind of stitching on them to help stablize the fabric. I have never done any FMQ before. And I'm not sure I want to "practice" on this project. I keep watching the videos and they make it look so easy. Does anyone have any other suggestions. I keep having this vision/nightmare that I am going to wash this thing and the t-shirts are coming apart. (they do have interfacing on the backs) I'm so ready to get this done...it hasn't been one that I am enjoying working on....nothing but blue/white/gray. Thanks so much for any suggestions.
    Lisa
    This sounds exactly like the t-shirt quilt that I am working on. It has a bunch of t-shirts and embroidered logos and is huge and heavy and a little bigger than the one you described! I have stabilized by stitching in the ditch, but still need to quilt in the blocks (all have fused interfacing) and quilt in the outer border. Too big and heavy for FMQ so was thinking cross hatching. Have to have it done by 1 Dec. I work a full time job as well as my commission quilting so for most of October come home too tired to mess with it!
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  21. #21
    Super Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lafayette, TN
    Posts
    1,200
    Blog Entries
    9
    Someone please tell me how to "forward" this post to my sister. She and her daughter are in the middle of doing a TShirt quilt for DH, and she says it is monstrous heavy. I know that this is an involved process, but I want to be able to put it into my computer for the long run, and don't know how. Thanks, y'all.
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Iowa and Minnesota
    Posts
    422
    Try not to quilt through a design especially if it is a thick kind of paint as the friction and heat of the needle can melt that stuff and then for a few stitches that color is dragged through the rest of the block....voice of experience!!!! Therefore it's alot better to quilt around the design!! Good luck!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Z Any Mouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    389
    Thank you for posting this question. I'm about to start on a t-shirt quilt for myself to see how it goes together. I've had lots of requests to make these, but don't want to venture down that road until I know if I love the process or not, and how much time they take. Fingers crossed! Good luck with your quilt, and I look forward to the finished product. Please post a picture!

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    46
    I feel your pain! I just finished a t-shirt quilt, it was 80 x 108, I had the same worries. First I SID around all the shirts and sashing, then went around an element in most of the shirts, like the Seattle space needle and then along the mountain lines, the numbers on some of the shirts and then just straight lines in others, there were a few airplanes that had Indians sitting on them, I just outlined the planes and unless you look closely the lines are hard to see. The back of the quilt was cool with the different motifs. The "thing" weighed 8 lbs. when done. In the past I did one that had "I Love Lucy" backing so I made a large heart, laid it on the quilt front wherever I felt needed extra stitching, marked it with a blue wash away pen and followed the outline. I was very pleased with both quilts.

  25. #25
    Junior Member linynp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Commack, NY, USA
    Posts
    275
    Cross stitch across the tshirts with a matching thread. Just a thought.
    From the heart
    Nancy

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.