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Thread: T-Shirt Quilt - Rescue me!

  1. #1
    Junior Member PAMAR's Avatar
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    T-Shirt Quilt - Rescue me!

    My niece (who doesn't sew a stitch) has asked me to "help" her make a T-shirt quilt. Glad to do it. Recently emailed her some instructions on preparing the T-shirts based on information that I gathered from all you helpful quilters here on the Board. I have only made 1 T-shirt quilt for my 3 time NCAA wresting champ nephew. It has a prize position on his bed and is greatly loved.

    Back to my niece - apparently, most of her shirts are the rubberized raised logos, which I told her we couldn't use (again, based on the recommendations from this Board, which I totally understand and agree with). She has emailed back to me questioning why we can't use rubberized T-shirts when she has seen other rubberized T-shirt quilts owned by her friends.

    Now, I have been quilting for over 30 years. I am not a novice. However, I fully understand that quilting through rubberized fabric can not only break my needles, but can also throw off the timing of my machines. I have a Bernina 630 and a Juki 2010Q. I have paid too much for these machines to risk causing damage.

    Do any of you more experienced T-shirt quilt makers have any advice or suggestions? I would really like to help her out, but I know that most of the work and the quilting will rest on my shoulders. Please rescue me!

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    You can tell her that you can stitch between and around the rubberized logos but not through them. If that is fine then you can help her out, if not.....she's on her own. I am not trying to be mean but as you said, messing up your machine is not an option.

  3. #3
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    One option is to make a tied quilt, rather than quilting it with one of your machines. You'd have to use a batting that allows moderately wide spacing, of course.

  4. #4
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    I have quilted T-shirt quilts for clients that have used the rubberized shirts. I always have to do a type of meander that allows me to avoid quilting over the graphics. For a longarm this is easy to do but for a domestic machine it would present lots of problems. just my 2 cents

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I do exactly like pewa88 does--if the logo is bigger than recommended with the batting, I think you could still quilt it if you went very slowly. I'd also recommend you use a larger needle--might want to check with your machine store on what would work best with your machines.

  6. #6
    Junior Member homefrontgirl's Avatar
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    I vote for tying the quilt. If your neice has no sewing experience, this will be perfect for her. I personally love the casual, homey look of tied quilts and t-shirt quilt is perfect for this. IMHO!
    Happy quilting everybody!

  7. #7
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Just tell her that if she wants to use the rubberized shirts, you won't be able to do it on your machine. There's no reason to ruin an expensive machine just because someone who doesn't quilt and doesn't understand the harm that can be done to your machine wants you to.
    Patrice S

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  8. #8
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Sewing through the rubberized fabric slows down the needle penetration just enough to throw the timing out of whack... causing lots of skipped stitches. I wouldn't sew through it, either.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    Totally agree with not quilting through them. I’m a longarmer and won’t sew through them. The stitching isn’t as good and the one t-shirt that I did quilt through, the stitching ended up coming apart after several washings. Lesson learned. I will stitch around the logos, but not over them. Unless the rubberized logo covers the entire shirt, stitching around them will work just fine. Plus, stitching around it “puffs” it up, making the logo stand out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member PABerard's Avatar
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    You could piece it and send it out to be quilted

    I've made abut a dozen t-shirt quilts and have not had a problem quilting the rubberized shirts. It's the puffy paint that gives me fits

  11. #11
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    I have made t-shirt quilts with rubberized shirts and lots of other types of materials. I prep the shirts by ironing the backs with a stabilizer and than stitch the cut pieces together. I than use fleece on the back and stitch in the ditch thus avoiding stitching over the rubberized parts or the t-shirt. Since we live in the south, a heavy quilt is not needed and the fleece works really well. I am in the process of make one for our granddaughter and one for our grandson using this method. It also makes it easier to wash and keep clean. So maybe I am not a "real" quilter, but it really works well for me. Like you I have expensive machines and do not want to mess them up.

  12. #12
    Super Member tucsonquilter's Avatar
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    I’ve made about 5 T-shirt quilts. I prepare the shirts with fusible interfacing. I quilt on my domestic machine. I meander around the designs. I never quilt on top of them. You can do it just be careful.

  13. #13
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    I just made a king size t-shirt quilt for a boy who works for us. It had some rubberized designs on most of them. I ironed SF101 interfacing on the backs of all the shirts. Did a large meander over the whole thing and stitched on and off the designs with no problem. I stitched at 10 spi and didn't really slow down at all. Maybe it's the fact of the interfacing on the back of the shirts that make a difference. Good luck!

  14. #14
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    Yes, she can do it, but the quilting within the block will have to be something like an echo stitch. If it is a very large logo, you can hand tack areas or machine stitch SMALL designs in a black area. One of my kids had a lot of band's concert shirts and they had very large designs. I 'quilted' in the spaces when it was just the shirt and the interfacing and then did they real quilting as echo stitching when it was assembled.

  15. #15
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    I tied my last t-shirt quilt and was very pleased with the results. That one before that I have quilted and there were large spaces with no quilting, which concerned me.

  16. #16
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klswift View Post
    Yes, she can do it, but the quilting within the block will have to be something like an echo stitch. If it is a very large logo, you can hand tack areas or machine stitch SMALL designs in a black area. One of my kids had a lot of band's concert shirts and they had very large designs. I 'quilted' in the spaces when it was just the shirt and the interfacing and then did they real quilting as echo stitching when it was assembled.
    this is a great idea. I'm going to remember this quilting idea.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    I recently made a t-shirt quilt and practically messed it up with those rubbery logos. HOWEVER! I posted to this board and a number of people suggested that I use waxed paper over the logos while I'm stitching on them, which I tried, and it worked PERFECTLY. It solved the problem completely!

  18. #18
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I haven't made a t-shirt quilt and never plan too.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  19. #19
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I have made several t shirt quilts. Not my favorite thing to make. I stitch right thru the rubberized logos all the time. I find I either cover them with waxed paper or tissue paper when I quilt the quilt. The foot doesn't want so slide over the rubber otherwise.

  20. #20
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    Rubberized

    I did sitd in the sashing and simple straight line stitching in the blocks. Also used sf 101 to stabilize. Worked fine.

  21. #21
    Super Member Bluelady's Avatar
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    I never knew about the rubberized parts of a T shirt causing issues. This is a great thread! Thank you!

  22. #22
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the helpful hints. A friend gave me several t-shirts that have the rubberized printing a few years ago to make her a quilt. I completely failed with these t-shirts, trying several methods I thought would work ... even ruined an iron and ironing board cover. You've given me new methods and new hope to try again. Not sure if she still wants the quilt but I'm going to try anyway.

  23. #23
    Super Member topper1's Avatar
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    Not doing t shirt quilt..lol...researched on you tube..not for me. Love to read you ideas
    Be kind today......

  24. #24
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    I have made several T-shirt quilts for grandkids and have tied them all , some had rubberize fronts some were silky jerseys . always put a sashing between them . I didnt stablize the backs just put the T-shirt on the bottom and sashing on top to help from stretching. To me they are softer and cuddlely. I also put Minky on the back with no batting so they were so soft!! . I realize you can't do them on a long arm without stablizer and minky would probably be a problem too. I don't have a long arm so I had to improvize.

  25. #25
    Senior Member just janet's Avatar
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    I hand quilted around the logo's, that's not easy either. I've made 4 of them, one for each grand-daughter. All of them really appreciate their quilts so it was worth it!

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