Friday, June 4, 2010

Agony Aunt - Heather

Dear FQ Readers,

I'm looking to start a t-shirt quilt, yet have never quilted before. I have a whole bunch of t-shirts.

A lot of them are from high school, so there are a lot of basketball shirts, our school colors were green and white. So those would probably be some main colors.



I've thought about trying to somehow do high school shirts on one side and college on the other, my college colors are red and white.



I haven't really narrowed them down yet. I kind of wanted to get a pattern or idea first. I also don't really want to do a log cabin pattern but something more unique.

Do you have any patterns or places I could get patterns from? Any advice?

14 comments:

  1. This one from Amy's quilt festival was pretty cool I thought:

    http://craftingreallyawesomefreethings.blogspot.com/2010/02/craft-7-t-shirt-quilt.html

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  2. An email from Joie:

    I have made several t-shirt quilts. Graph paper is your friend. I have collected several pictures of t-shirt quilts from various sources on the internet. I would be willing to share them with you if you would like. I cut the shirts apart on the sides and follow the sleeve seem to the shoulder and cut into the neck area. Then, I use French fuse knit to back the shirt; next cut my square from the t-shirt, and handle like any other quilt square. A t-shirt quilt is a heavy quilt. I think t-shirts on the backing would make it too heavy.

    Joie

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  3. I agree with what Joie says, but I used embroidery stabilizer, specifically, OESD Fusible Poly Mesh on the backs of my t-shirts. It is fusible so very easy to apply and comes in a tube of 10 yards, so you'll have plenty for all those t-shirts you have. Have you tried doing a Google Search for t-shirt quilt patterns? I think you'll find that there are lots of patterns available out there. My quilt was very basic, just 12" blocks sashed out with wide strips. My t-shirts have small designs on the front and I was able to use those in small squares between the blocks, I think. I hope this is helpful information. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me and I'll try to help you the best I can.

    Happy stitching,
    Anna

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  4. I also agree with Joie and Anna, I have made several t-shirt quilts and really found no difference in using a regular light weight interfacing or the poly mesh. Personal preference and what you can afford.
    I bought a book thinking I would use it for the patterns but never have. Graph paper, rulers, colored pencils and a new rotary blade were also my best friends while making these quilts. I made one for my father that is full size! Way to heavy and a pain to quilt. My advice is keep them lap size or a little larger and don't use full t-shirts for the back unless you want Linda Hamilton arms, like she had in Terminator 2. Hope that this helps. Good luck and have fun.
    Kirstin

    Bobbit, J. and Reed, K. (2004). You did what??with my t-shirts?. Pressing Matters Ink.

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  5. I am working on a t-shirt quilt now - I thought about doing front and back also but decided against for two reasons: it would be heavy and very difficult to quilt having different designs on both sides.

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  6. Here's mine:
    I mixed up high school and college t-shirts. The one complaint from my son is that the numbers on the back are kind of scratchy. Oops. I thought it was a fun project -- enjoy yours!

    http://colleenadams.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/05/my-first-quilt-show.html

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  7. http://madamquilter.blogspot.com/2010/01/katie-bens-t-shirt-quilt-completed.html

    You don't need to add stabilzer to make a t-shirt quilt! But you may need it longarm quilted, it is very heavy. Check out this site, (no relation) http://www.toocooltshirtquilts.com/ I bought her book, had my templates made at Lowes,(free cutting)drafted it on graph paper, pretty easy.

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  8. http://quilting.craftgossip.com/?s=t-shirt+quilt
    be sure you get the fabric stabilizer that can be sewn by machine - the kind I bought cannot so am now doing a t-shirt quilt for my son by hand, and it's my 1st attempt at quilting, so far so good though - wishing you luck!

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  9. I also have made T-shirt quilts and have added sashing and cornerstones in the quilt. It is easy! I have used really light iron on fusible after I have cut the t-shirts to the size I want. (15 1/2 squared) To make a king size, with the sashing and cornerstones, it is 4 across and 5 down.

    Here is an example of one I have made:


    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2922951740101409820pCUpja

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  10. I made a two sided t-shirt quilt the first time I made a t-shirt quilt and it was not heavy at all. I did kind of like you said hers were church and school so we put church on one side and school on the other. I did a quilt as you go method where I pieced a row and quilted it then repeat and add them to each other and continue. I use a very light weight iron on stabilizer. I used the small logos and down the arm logos in the corner stones and borders. I do not recommend using t-shirts without stabilizing them. The girls it was made for uses it all the time.

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  11. I saw a great shortcut for this on a PBS sewing show. You get that quilters fusible grid stuff, then fuse all your t-shirt squares and sashing by following the grid. Then the scant space between each ironed-on piece gives you a perfect fold where you then sew it right-sides-together. I believe it's the same concept as a postage stamp quilt, except this is a much larger scale. Does that make sense?

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  12. This is a log-cabin-based quilt but I think it's pretty awesome. Maybe it'll provide some inspiration for you anyway.

    http://littleshika.blogspot.com/2010/05/bloggers-quilt-festival.html

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  13. I just made one for my brother-in-law and I did use the tricot stabilizer on the back of the shirts. It was very lightweight and hardly noticeable, but it kept the shirts from stretching. Some of my designs were very big and some small. So I went with a 15 inch block and if the design fit that, then the whole square was the shirt, if not I added borders around the shirt design to make it 15 inches. I did different border designs like an outline, only on one side and either top or bottom, etc. I also took little logos and paired them with a cross to use 4 designs in 1 15-inch block. I just used kona cotton for the back because I was afraid of bulk and by that time I was TIRED of messing with the shirt, but it is fairly hefty for it's size, so do consider that.
    GOOD LUCK!!
    kelli
    kellbell_6@hotmail.com

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