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T-Shirt Quilts...should I or not?

T-Shirt Quilts...should I or not?

Old 10-15-2015, 05:14 AM
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Default T-Shirt Quilts...should I or not?

I have a friend that asked if I could make a t-shirt quilt for her daughter's husband. I have never made one before so I'm asking all you great people to give me some hints, suggestions and any words of wisdom, before I decide if I'm going to do this. They have 15 jerseys, pennies and t-shirts, so I already know they are not going to be the same size which sounds like a problem already, lol Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:26 AM
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I would suggest to just request using t-shirts. There have been many previous post here on making t-shirt quilts and many different layouts. I used Pellon featherweight fusible on the back of the front of the t-shirt adhering it to the shirt before cutting. You really don't want to get into sweatshirts or jerseys that have obvious vents in them. Be sure to see who is going to pay for the fabric and if you are going to get any compensation. Be aware that people who are not quilters don't realize the time or cost involved.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:28 AM
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Most non quilters think you can just sew the t shirts together and you have a quilt. If you plan on using interfacing to control the t shirt stretch it can get expensive. You will need to make a cost sheet up before agreeing to anything.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:42 AM
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They can be a real pain to make. Why don't you cut up a couple of your old t-shirts into squares and make a mini practice quilt as a trial run? Sew in sashing, and quilt it and see how it goes. If you are pleased with the technical stitching (no stretching, puckers, etc) then you will have a better way to make an informed decision on whether you want to do it or not.
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:22 AM
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There have been some great t-shirt quilt posted here. This is just one type quilt I have no desire to make so I will leave opinions for others to offer. Good luck in your decision and process
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:06 AM
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This year I have made 5 of these. I was actually paid for one of them. I would do another one if someone paid me. They are not as bad as I imagined they would be. The interfacing is the pits, but that was the worst part for me. Then they are like big blocks so they go together fairy quick. For the shirts that were different sizes I did one of 2 things. Used fabric from the back of the shirt to piece it to be as big as the others. Or on one I just left everything the size they were and sewed them together. I liked both ways (sashing or no shashing)
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:44 AM
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My personal policy is that I don't do t-shirt quilts. I quilt for fun, and because I love working with beautiful fabrics and interesting designs. My favorite aspect of the quilt making process is the free motion quilting. T-shirt quilts are not fun to me, nor do I find the fabrics beautiful nor the design particularly interesting and free motion quilting on knit fabric, even stabliized, is just a pain. I'm glad that there are quilters out there who will make them for the people who want them, but I personally am not one of those people.

I too would suggest that you make some sample blocks and try out your technique before committing. Another thing I would suggest is that you stipulate that all the tshirts must be thoroughly clean, and that you will not work with any that are so worn as to be unstable. Be sure that you know which portions of the shirt are most meaningful to the client too-- sometimes there is a logo on front, graphic on back -- do they want both?

Finally, if you want to be paid for this project, make sure that you figure out all your costs carefully and the buyer is aware. Lots of people figure that since they are giving you all these old shirt, the quilt should be pretty much free, and they're going to be amazed to find it can get expensive.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeanne S View Post
They can be a real pain to make. Why don't you cut up a couple of your old t-shirts into squares and make a mini practice quilt as a trial run? Sew in sashing, and quilt it and see how it goes. If you are pleased with the technical stitching (no stretching, puckers, etc) then you will have a better way to make an informed decision on whether you want to do it or not.
good idea, jeanne
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Old 10-15-2015, 04:41 PM
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Everyone I know who has made a tshirt quilt has said never again. I happily tell anyone who asks that I can't make one because I don't have a long arm to stretch it out to quilt. I know I don't need a long arm but they are just as happy with the reason.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:17 PM
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I like to make t-shirt quilts. just finished one last week. I like to add shashing and a cornerstone so I have to make sure that all the blocks measure exactly in this case 14.5 inches. I have made about 6 and have been paid $160 - $300 depending on size and wheather they brought fabric or not.

I first took a class on making these t-shirt quilt and that really helps because it gives you confidence to quote a price. With fabrics at $13 a yard it is more expensive now, please do not short change yourself.
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