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Writing on a T-shirt - How do I preserve it?

Writing on a T-shirt - How do I preserve it?

Old 04-18-2021, 10:48 AM
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Question Writing on a T-shirt - How do I preserve it?

A friend of mine and I are doing T-shirt quilts together. This will be her first and my 4th. I have a love-hate relationship with them as they are heavy and produce unique challenges. Her shirts are her granddaughter's and one has signatures from all her teammates. Is there a way to preserve them so they last through quilt washings? We have no idea what was used to make the signatures, it appears to be marker, but don't know if it was permanent.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:57 AM
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I understand the love/hate and avoid them whenever possible but sometimes they are just the perfect project. I have friends who have done wonderful things so I am just shamelessly taking this idea from them:

Have the original signatures/jersey transferred onto fabric -- make sure everyone understands what is happening and you don't get a reversed image! Cut/frame the original jersey into a wall piece and include it along with the top. You can frame with all fabric or a mat that can in turn be written on, for example basically the card with the to/from and personal message.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
I understand the love/hate and avoid them whenever possible but sometimes they are just the perfect project. I have friends who have done wonderful things so I am just shamelessly taking this idea from them:

Have the original signatures/jersey transferred onto fabric -- make sure everyone understands what is happening and you don't get a reversed image! Cut/frame the original jersey into a wall piece and include it along with the top. You can frame with all fabric or a mat that can in turn be written on, for example basically the card with the to/from and personal message.
Thank you for the suggestion. I have no idea how to have the signatures transferred. Where would we go to have that done?
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:41 PM
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Is it something where you could embroider over the signature with floss?
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:49 PM
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I've made several tshirt quilts. They are a bit time consuming. I wouldn't want to spend too much time or added expense on one tshirt just to include it in the quilt. How important is the signatures shirt?
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:45 PM
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I would think something like Spoonflower would deal with this sort of thing, you might also contact local T-shirt type shops. Maybe a little harder to find someone willing to work from the actual jersey but I wouldn't think too much. I'd do searches on transferring photos to fabric or similar to see if they would work with the jersey.

Someone would need to scan the original signatures/jersey. You can take that scanned/digital image and easily get that printed. My little $200 home laser jet printer has a scanner bed and scans in color but only prints in black and white I do a surprising amount of quilt work at my local office store (happens to be Staples) and often use their scanning abilities.

Back a decade or two ago, we did a lot more with copiers and transfers and printing on treated fabrics (which are often carried at the office supply stores and not just craft stores). Those had various success rates depending on what type of printer you had, what products did you use. The issue with transfers and copiers is making sure the signatures were legible (most copiers have a mirror image button to deal with that). Fewer issues for direct printing, but sometimes it comes up.

From what I'm hearing (haven't done it myself) the quality and dye retention of services like Spoonflower are great!

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Old 04-19-2021, 12:23 PM
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Smile Thank you all for the information and help.

My friend is checking with her daughter to see if she knows if a permanent marker was used for the signing. If that is the case I assume the shirt will go in the quilt.

Aashley333 put out a good question - yes, this type of quilt is a lot of work and this is my friend's first quilt because her daughter requested it and I encouraged her to do it because I find them to be hard fun with a lot of satisfaction in the end. So, does this shirt really need to be included and if it is very special, why not just leave it out and have it framed as Iceblossom suggested? (Cost may be a prohibitive factor though.)

I don't live near my friend so I don't know what services she has available in her area, but I live in almost the middle of nowhere. The biggest news around here in the last few years was a new blinking light on the main road.

I have purchased quilt fabric - from Spoonflower - wrestlers - for a quilt for a grandson - and as far as I know it has held up well. They are excellent if you want something special and unique.

I'm going to suggest to my friend that she leave it out and use some of her beautiful fabrics to make a replacement block. As long as her daughter permits. I'm sure some of you know how that goes.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:50 AM
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Smile Thanks - Method chosen

Thank you all again. The shirt will be cut in half because the signatures are on the back, covering the entire area and that part will be framed with a photo of the front. (The back will be stabilized first.) The design will be used as part of the quilt.
We had to go for something that wasn't too expensive, yet preserve memories.
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:25 AM
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Years ago my young son had a celebrity autograph a sports team t-shirt with a permanent Sharpie marker. We then used the shirt as usual and the autograph washed away over the life of the shirt. You made a good choice to preserve the signatures if they are important .
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