T-shirt quilts

K8OrlandoNovember 13, 2011

I know this has been brought up here from time to time. I just saw Donna's post with the picture - it looks great! Now I'm inspired to finally start planning mine. I have a huge box of t-shirts going back to my university days in the 70's; if I can use the logo parts for a quilt I can use the rest of the shirt for rags and get rid of that huge box!

I don't want it to be too stiff or too heavy so I have a few questions for anyone who has made their t-shirt quilt:

> What have you used for the iron-on backing? Any problems or tips?

> What did you use for batting?

> What did you use for backing?

> Did you sash or not?



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I haven't posted much but here's what I did.

I have made 6 so far and have not used a stablizer, I just used cotton for the sashing and I put minky on the back I did not put a batting in it and I tied it with at least 6 ties per block and in the sashing too.

When you cut the squares be careful not to stretch them and when sewing put the sashing on top and t-shirt on the bottom to sew .

I have also used the pockets to fill in a block or sew two or three small saying together to make a block of your choice . I have made one 17 1/2 inches each and some 12 1/2 inches each. I have used the poly batting in one I backed with cotton and used warm and natural with one with a cotton backing too. I tied all of them.

Mine are all soft and cuddlely.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 9:43PM
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Thanks! I assumed I would have to use a stabilizer so I really appreciate the information!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 9:47PM
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Kate, in the class we used knit interfacing (I used French Fuse) turned so that the stretch of the interfacing goes the opposite direction of the stretch of the T shirts.

A friend of mine was showing me the quilt she had made from her son's baseball shirts. It's at least queen size. I don't know if the quilter used stabilizer, but she did not quilt ONE stitch! The only thing holding the huge layers together is the binding, which is about 2" wide. My friend said she paid a lot of money to have it made, but she thought there should be something holding the layers together. She's going to tie it in the corners where the squares meet.

I can't believe someone would sell a T shirt "quilt" without any quilting!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:29AM
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I've only made one, but I did use an iron-on stabilizer - the lightest weight one I could find. (Sorry, don't remember the brand) I also put in sashings with regular quilting fabric. I laid out all my t-shirt blocks and then picked colors that that appeared several times in the logos as my sashing colors. I used the same sashing fabrics to make a wide strip-pieced back and used regular batting. I quilted around the t-shirt blocks. Good luck Kate!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:29AM
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I used iron on interfacing, and like Donna said, pay attention to the direction of the stretch. Make the blocks bigger than needed, iron on the stabilizer, then trim to size. That way you can be sure it is well applied and the blocks are straight. I did sash to provide separation to the blocks, and used cotton for the backing. I use warm and natural batting for all my quilts.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Thanks you, all!

Because the t's are solid colors I'm thinking of using something very colorful for the sashing, like a Kaffe Fassett or Phillip Jacobs. Maybe with a solid color cornerstone. I have a very lightweight printed denim that might be just right for the backing. Rock&Roll T-shirts and blue jeans... sounds like the 70's to me!

I love the idea of combining some of the pocket images into larger squares. If I have enough I'll do that in all 4 corners.

As always, now that I'm excited about this project I see some of my UFO's sliding further down the stack of To Do's. One of my best college friends will be 60 next Christmas so if this quilt works well for me, I'll get his wife to dig out his old T shirts from the same era and send them to me. It would be a fun surprise for his birthday!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 11:51AM
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Kate - look at this! She made her cornerstones out of the size tags! Something to think about! Such creativity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tee-Shirt quilt

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 2:18PM
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Thanks for posting that - it's very clever and a beautifully done quilt!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 2:30PM
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Kate, here is my completed top

They are somewhat in geographical order of Caribbean. :)


    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 4:53PM
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I made a t-shirt quilt with minky fabric border/backing.

I ironed on fusing (interfacing?) to the t-shirts.
This took forever.
Then, I cut the squares with scissors. This also took forever.
I suggest a good rotary cutter.
Then I sewed the squares together.
Then, I folded over the minky fabric from the back to make a border. Then, I sewed around the minky border so the t-shirt quilt top would be attached to the minky. Then, I sewed "yarn ties" on some blocks to hold the t-shirt top to the minky back.
No batting.
The minky backing is my favorite.

I had another t-shirt quilt made. That lady didn't use iron-on fusing. She cut the squares, sewed together, used batting, used cotton backing, and used yarn ties to hold the quilt top to backing. This one is quite heavy with the batting. I prefer not having batting, but it is nice and "puffy" with it.

I've seen people make t-shirt rag quilts. They are VERY messy to make... and to wash for the first dozen times. You cut the squares, use flannel/t-shirt/whatever on the backing, and have ragged edges. These rag quilts are messier, but lighter, and more "casual."

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 9:46PM
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I have finished the top of a t-shirt quilt for my daughter. I used no sashing. I was wondering about batting or not...The seams will bulk out on the cotton backing fabric, so I was thinking I need to use some kind of batting, but don't want it to be too thick and heavy. The comments here have helped, but I'm still not sure...I have Warm & Natural, so I was thinking of using that.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:57PM
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I make sure each of the grands have a T-shirt quilt when they go off to college and really do enjoy making them....I've used different types of batting and Warm & Natural should work fine...If you wanted, you could even use a flannel sheet to keep it light weight or a very low pile bat.......I'm working on one now for a grandson and my daughter, when she moved out of state, left me a huge bag of her shirts...She's 53 and feels left out, lol....I had just finished one for my sister who's son had passed away last year...For the sashing, I used his cotton shirts...She was thrilled....AND in talking to a neighbor just the other day, she asked how much I'd charge to make one and of course I had no idea, I've never charged...She said her daughter paid $300.00 for 1 T shirt quilt to be made for her son! I almost fell over.....

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 6:09PM
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I have the top made for a quilt for my grandaughter out of her baby sleepers. I used light interfacing and used my quilting foot to sew the blocks together. Don't think I would have attempted it without the quilting foot, which made it so much easier to sew. Now i'm waiting on the backing so I can finish the quilt.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:58PM
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