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Thread: Tee Shirt Quilt...I don't get it!

  1. #1
    Junior Member NancyBelly's Avatar
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    I want to make one of these and I have my supplies and shirts ready to go but I don't get how to make all the squares the same size. The designs on the shirts are different sizes so I'm stuck. Do I cut the designs out in a square then fuse the interfacing on? The designs won't be centered and some are too big or too small to be the same size.

    What am I missing here??

  2. #2
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, but I pick a size block that will work best for most of the tshirt designs. Then I fuse the interfacing on the back and cut the blocks all standard size. Some have more plain t'shirt material around the design that the others, but there is always plenty of fabric to make the blocks all the same size.

  3. #3
    Junior Member NancyBelly's Avatar
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    That was quick, Cowpie! Thank you so much...that definitely helps.

  4. #4
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I'm in to process of making a t-shirt quilt using all different sized shirts and designs. I cut out the design, ironed on interfacing and trimed to fit the design. Then I cut & sewed sashing on the sides measuring to make them all 18 inches blocks. The sashing is all different sizes to fit the t-shirt designs. So far it's not looking too bad. It's kind of a pain to make eash sashing different sizes. I did them one at a time to avoid being confused, but it worked.

  5. #5
    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    I did mine the same way as cowpie. You can see mine under my topics(click LIST) if you click on my name (in blue) above my avatar picture. Not all of my blocks were the same size & that did cause me problems with the sashing, so it's MUCH better to make the blocks all the same size.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kraftykimberly's Avatar
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    I googled tshirt quilt images, there are lots of photos showing all kinds of layouts, here is the address, you should be able to cut-n-paste into your browser or just google (or just click on it here, i think that might work):

    http://www.google.com/search?q=tshir...=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1280&bih=851

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Be sure to fuse to the t-shirt fabric *before* cutting the block to size, to ensure accuracy in the cutting. You usually fuse before cutting.

  8. #8
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    I cut mine different heights but same width. then sewed the t-shirts into columns, making the columns the same length. It worked out nicely but I rather like the idea of making the blocks the same size for the next one!

  9. #9
    Power Poster
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    If you want to see a good picture of a T-shirt quilt, check out watterside..."2 T-shirt quilts-totally screwed up one". Just go to search and type in that title and you'll see how she did hers with the shadow box effect. Awesome!

  10. #10
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    This is how I learned...Cut up the sides of the t-shirt and across the shoulders. Then I bought a ruler that is 15 x15 square and placed onto the t-shirt design. This will make sure all the squares are the same size. Then I used the fusable (iron on) on the back of the cut t-shirt square. This will keep from slipping and growing in size. Then I laid out into a pattern and proceeded to use 3" strips for the edges of the t-shirt...making windows. Add your batting and backing and then tied off with yarn. Add your boarder and you are finished. I beleive I hit all the stages! Hope so!

  11. #11
    Senior Member scrapykate's Avatar
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    I fused the facing on first before cutting. I then figured out on paper before I cut what size each tshirt could be cut to and arranged them from there, so I had rows of different that had the same height, not always the same width, so the side boarders between the blocks varied but the horizontal boarders where the same. I'll attach a picture of one of the quilt I did for my son. for the small designs on the chest or arm, I put 4 together to make one square.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Senior Member scrapykate's Avatar
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    if you have lots of tshirts, I've seen them sewn together in a scrapy type fashion with blocks of fabric scattered around to make the shirts all go together. So no real boarders between the shirts. Lots of ways to do tshirt quilts.

  13. #13
    MM
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    Have you seen the "Too Cool T-Shirts" site? (for some reason whenever I copy/paste the web address in here the link doesn't work, but it's www.toocooltshirtquilts.com.

    Their blocks are not the same size, nor is there any sashing. They have a book, but if you don't want to buy it, perhaps you can use the pictures for an idea of how to fit your tee shirt blocks together. Check out "The Process" (button on the left). Pretty neat.

    My kids say they don't want a quilt made of their old tee shirts, but I've been saving the shirts in case they change their minds :).

  14. #14
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    I've made two t-shirts quilts so far with two more to do. Once you get the shirts fused and cut to the largest blocks possible, lay them out and start trimming with the object of arranging same size with same size. Then you get to add borders on those that are the smallest. It really does come together. If I knew how to add a picture at this point, I could show you how my son's soccer coach shirts came together. It took me weeks looking at the shirts to try and figure out how to have blocks with sayings on them and blocks with just a small decal. Once the blocks were laid out on the floor, it was measure, trim and sew borders. The blocks came together.

  15. #15
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    I just finished making my great-niece a T-shirt quilt for graduation and I did sort of a field fit. I cut out the piece of shirt that I wanted to use with as much extra fabric around it that I could. When I had every thing cut out I did a trial layout. I tried to line up the ones that looked like they would be the same width. Then I worked on making my columns the same length. I did have to piece some of the blocks with some of the leftover material from the shirts they were cut from and trim some up. Then I cut my iron on interfacing to a somewhat common width size and what ever length size. I did not have a pattern so I did do some trimming here and there. I did look at some of the T-shirt quilt sites and got ideas from there. I think it turned out okay but my niece and grandniece were pleased and everyone at the graduation party raved about it.
    Attached Images Attached Images



  16. #16
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I recently made a t shirt quilt. I fused the interfacing on in random sizes. Whatever size seemed to fit the design and cut them all out, they all had a little extra t shirt on them. Then I started laying them out. Some wer 10 inches high. SOme only 3 inches. I put them into rows pretty much based on their height. I trimmed as I went and cut each row to the same height. Some I put 2 t shirt logos together to get the right size. I even used the things on some of the sleeves. It came out really nice. I didn't use sashing but I did add a couple of borders. It came out really nice.

  17. #17
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    I couldn't find my picture of the one I made, but all of my kids want one now. I did use very thin fusible interfacing on the backside of the fabric before I cut out my t-shirts. My son is really into cars and racing. The parts I wanted to save were various sizes. Instead of using sashing, I bought a variety of Nascar, etc. racing type fabrics and put them around each block until I had all blocks the same size. That meant that not all my strips were the same size. Some were pretty large, so I just put fabric on one side or on the bottom. I arranged them in a pleasing manner and put them together. He was in his mid-30s when I gave it to him and it is still his favorite several years later. Sleeps with it every night. Not sure if I should be honored or embarrassed! LOL I guess it's ok with his wife 'cause she likes it too.

    Hope this gave you some more ideas.

  18. #18
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    I cut my interfacing to 12 1/2 " squares then ironed it to the backs of the t-shirts. That size worked for most of the adult size large-xlarge shirts I had. Then when done I put together with square in a square sashing. Here's a pic.

    sorry the pic isn't to clear...
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  19. #19
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    I measure all the designs and add 2 inches for seams and an edge, then take the largest horizontal and largest vertical measurement and cut them all that size. They usually come out about 12x15 and the small designs I use for corner blocks or in the border. Good luck.

  20. #20
    Junior Member margaret53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texaspam
    I couldn't find my picture of the one I made, but all of my kids want one now. I did use very thin fusible interfacing on the backside of the fabric before I cut out my t-shirts. My son is really into cars and racing. The parts I wanted to save were various sizes. Instead of using sashing, I bought a variety of Nascar, etc. racing type fabrics and put them around each block until I had all blocks the same size. That meant that not all my strips were the same size. Some were pretty large, so I just put fabric on one side or on the bottom. I arranged them in a pleasing manner and put them together. He was in his mid-30s when I gave it to him and it is still his favorite several years later. Sleeps with it every night. Not sure if I should be honored or embarrassed! LOL I guess it's ok with his wife 'cause she likes it too.

    Hope this gave you some more ideas.
    I just finished one the same way. It turned out great! It was a Harley t-shirt quilt and the sashing was flames.

    Harley Quilt
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  21. #21
    rosalia856's Avatar
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    I prepare my t-shirts by cuting up the sides and dutting the sleeves off. I then take a clear piece of plexaglass that measures 14"x14" I measured and marked the center. I then place the clear plexaglass over the center of the t-shirt. That way I can see just what I will see when the square is finished. I do use fisable web to the back before making that finial cut. I have had good luck with that. You could also do the same with a piece measuring 12"x12" Hope this helps. Have fun!

  22. #22
    colin' s grammy's Avatar
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    I sort my shirts and find the largest one that is becomes my square size, then I border around each one to make them come out the same

  23. #23
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    all nice looking t-shirt quilts!
    i like mine with the shadow effect..

    a tutorial of sorts..

    https://picasaweb.google.com/strut526/TShirtQuiltsMay2011?authuser=0&feat=directlink]https://picasaweb.google.com/strut52...eat=directlink[/url]

    raggedy one..my first
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    shadow
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    shadow
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    shadow (was supposed to be! lol)
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  24. #24

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    I cut the front of my daughter's t-shirts to 12 1/2 inch squares, used iron on interfacing, used sashing and cornerstones around each square. Used the large writing, names, etc., that were on the backs of the t-shirts for the quilt back art. These were cut into various sizes with sashing, but no cornerstones.

  25. #25
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    I don't understand where I should go to pull up this address and to do the google,

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