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Thread: Need Advice/Suggestions for T-shirt quilt

  1. #1
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    Need Advice/Suggestions for T-shirt quilt

    Im making my first t-shirt memory quilt, for someone who is graduating from high school in 2 months. Ive always rented a machine quilter and quilted my quilts in the past. Because this is made from t-shirts, I had planned to only sew in the borders maybe stitch in the ditch on both sides, then maybe once in the middle of the border, so there would be 3 rows? My question is will this work? The t-shirt blocks are 14, or 13.5 after sewn. Is that too much space to have without any stitching? If so, what suggestions do you have to quilt this, without taking away from the shirts? Here is a pic of what I have done so far 3 rows of 6.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    You need to quilt some inside the blocks or your batting will bunch up after a few washings. How about a larger, meandering stitch inside the blocks or follow what you have inside some of the blocks -- like outline the football several times larger and larger, do the same on the circles (baseballs, basketballs, etc), quilt the '2012' in several places, etc...?

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. I was afraid that I'd have to hand-sew some - I am SO SLOW at doing that! But, I want it to be good quality.

  4. #4
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    Sorry - I have one more question. What color thread would you recommend that I use for inside the t-shirt blocks? The color to match the shirt (which wouldn't match the maroon back), or use maroon thread to match the back, but wouldn't match the t-shirt?

  5. #5
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    I would match the background with the same color thread.

  6. #6
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you DO do quilting on the t-shirts, do not plan to do much. I did one a few months ago, and my thread kept breaking on the t-shirt part. MADDENING!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rosie the "Ripper"'s Avatar
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    Why don't you use invisible thread on the top and on the back you could use the maroon thread to match. Then you won't have to change the top thread each time the t-shirt color changes.
    Rosie the "ripper"

  8. #8
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    I think I would just do some "echoing" around the outsides of the figures/letters/pictures in each block. I would match the thread to the color of the background to do the echoing. Please show us again after you're finished!

  9. #9
    Junior Member Pat_sews's Avatar
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    I made a T-shirt quilt that some blocks were 14 some up to 17". We did an all over design for quilting it and it turned out wonderful. The neice that received the quilt for her graduation from HS is graduating from college and going on to Grad school. The quilt is still going strong and shes used it all 4 years and says it will be on her bed at the next apt. I know your quilt will be loved.

  10. #10
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    If you are doing it on a longarm you can do a meandering, with outlining or shadowing around the main design inside the t-shirts. Thread - either invisible or top thread to match the shirts, and maroon to match the back, but watch your tension so that either color doesn't show on the opposite side.
    Your main goal in a t-shirt quilt is to show off the t-shirts and not the quilting, while holding the quilt together and enough stitches so it doesn't bunch.
    Have fun. It looks good so far.

    Phyllis
    QuiltingGrannie
    Quilter's Pantry

  11. #11
    Power Poster Tweety2911's Avatar
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    The quilt is lovely! When I did mine I quilted it on my DSM and didn't have a problem. I used thread to match the background and chose different designs as each block was different. Where there is a large blank space sew in a design that relates to that shirt. Where there is lots of printing just a simple meandering design would be sufficent. Good Luck on the quilting. It is a gift to last forever!
    Helen T.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sewhappygal's Avatar
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    I make T-shirt quilts all the time. I do a medium/large meander on the entire quilt. I know that sounds odd but it looks great, doesn't take away from the blocks and gives the quilt stability. I don't know how to post pictures but I'll try. As far as the thread goes I'd go with something neutral light gray maybe. Have fun, Good luck.
    Be a girl with a mind, a women with attitude and a lady with class.

  13. #13
    Junior Member joejoe31's Avatar
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    i just love it i have saved special shirts of my girls and want to do the same.But I have in mind to start with a baby shirt and then all the way up till they both graduate.I cant wait.well yes I can dont want them growing to fast on me lol

  14. #14
    Super Member sylvia77's Avatar
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    You can use gray or offwhite thread to quilt it all over.

  15. #15
    Senior Member vickimc's Avatar
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    I highly recommend you quilt in the blocks. A medium to large meander will do and goes faster than a pano. looks great so far.
    Vicki Mc in SC
    www.jacksonpatchquilt.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I would not hand quilt a tee shirt quilt. It will stretch and the thread will break. I would use a varigated thread and a stipple stitch to quilt it.

  17. #17
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    You did a great job on the quilt top! I made my son an all-star quilt using his t-shirts and I used a very large puzzle stipple all over after securing the blocks stitched in the ditch. I did have a hard time with the blocks stretching, even after using heavy fusible on each shirt. But the finished product was beautiful and emotional for him receiving it. I made it for his 33rd birthday! Good luck! Memory quilts are the best!
    Isabel & Adelyn's Grom

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