Need help making a T-shirt quilt - T-shirt and cotton squares

@coffeebreak (17826)
United States
March 9, 2009 9:16pm CST
I need some help from you experts... this might be a litte long but I have to say it all so you know what I am trying to do. I am not a newbie to sewing - been sewing since I was 10 and done everything htere is to do with a needle and thread. I loved applique quilting best. So.. what I want to do is make a T-shirt quilt of the little t-shirts my grand daughters wore. One GD is 9 one is 3. I won't go into my first thought of how to do this as I couldn't make the measurements work, so what I have figured is this... IF I make fabric blocks and then mount/applique the front of the shirt to the fabric block..... the front of the t-shirt is the part I am saving - some say something cute about them, others are just really pretty designs, but they wore the shirts and liked them. They each have one that says "Everyone loves a blue eyed girl" as they both have beautiful blue eyes so they wore them together. So,, I cute the front of the t=shirt to fit on the middle of the fabric block. Now the fronts are different sizes as I have bee collecing them for a while now. So I would need to make probably 6x6 blocks for the small fronts and 12x12 for the larger ones and then make those 2 size blocks fit/quilted together. I can put 2, 6x6 on the side of each 12x12. Now, any suggestions on... I was thinking as I applique the shirt front to the fabric block to add little bit of gathered lace as I applique it - just for that frilly look and also to make a nicer edge than just a zigzag stitch... how do you think it'd look? or would it be to much? I know I have to interface block the back of the double knit t-shirts and I dont' want the block to thick. THen what kinds of fabric is good for this kind of quilt? I know the 100% cotton is the best usually, but then it shrinks... how much does it shrink to the point it might mess up the quilt? I used to use a bed sheet to back my quilts and usually cotton or cotton/poly for the rest, but with the knit on top this time.. I hate working with knits in the first place.. would there be a difference? I know to pre-shrink the cotton first, and then iron it with spray startch to keep it neat and straight and all...would it be better with the knit if I made each 12x12 square - cut it into 2 triangle, sewed them to gether to make the 12x12 square adn then put the knit t-shirt piece on that so that the middle seam made for a more sturdy base for the knit? Keep things from stretching? Or am I making mor eof this than necessary? It has been many years since I did quilt last, but it is something that doesn't leave you....just the specifics. Once I start I know I''l be able to do fine, it is the starting that is my proble.. and that always was. I could make the most beautiful dresses and things but hte hardest part that took the longest was putting colors and prints to gether!! Good grief, I created and completed the item in less time than it took me to put designs and colors together... so that is my hang up. If you have any thoughts, comments or tips for quilting and using t-shirt knit as part of it all.. please share with me. My grand daughters and I thank you!
1 person likes this
2 responses
@Canellita (12061)
• United States
23 Mar 09
Did you ever start the quilt? I havea friend who quilts with every imaginable fabric, which is fine if you don't plan to use them everyday or wash them. The thing about using t-shirts is that they are easy to was and care for. If I were you I would cut off the sleeves and neckline and see what template shapes you could fit over the parts that you want to save. The backs of the shirts could be used for filling in the quilt in between the other pieces so that the entire thing is made of cotton jersy. When it's time to put the backing on you could take the easy way out and use a jersey sheet.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17826)
• United States
23 Mar 09
Thanks! I haven' started it yet as I haven't gotten any tips... but I will start soon. I plan to just use a twin size bed sheet for the back and then just machine quilt between the front blocks
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12061)
• United States
23 Mar 09
When you finish it be sure to post a picture so we can see it and Trace, if you ever find those pieces let us know.
@Canellita (12061)
• United States
12 Oct 09
Thanks for the BR! How did the quilt turn out?
• United States
29 Apr 09
I use very light press-on iinterfacing like Steam & Seam to stabilize the parts I want. Equalize your squares with sashings of different colors.
• United States
14 Mar 10
I agree with you. That is what I do. I cut the t-shirts to give me as large an area as possible... I can always cut them smaller if I need to. Then I press the design onto light weight fusible interfacing that I buy at JoAnn's when it's on sale for $3 for a 10 yard roll. I lay them out to see what I want where. If they are all nearly the same size, I can join them w/ a sashing row that is a consistent size. If they aren't the same size, then I put a sashing around each block .. as you would frame it. Each sashing would be of a size that would make the block the same size as the rest. Square up the blocks to a consistent size, then join them in rows. Then join the rows. Since you are using a flannel or jersey twin sheet for the backing, you'd need to put the sashings in first. If you were doing the "blocks as you go" then you'd do it a little differently. Good luck. Let us know how it's going. I'm anxious to see it.
@coffeebreak (17826)
• United States
14 Mar 10
Thanks for the suggestion. I still haven't done anything about it. I just don't have the confidence or direction to make it work as I want it to in my mind! But it is still there...maybe I wil just give it a try, but then I will regret cutting the cute t shirts!
• United States
22 Mar 10
Nah... even if the quilt isn't as it is in your mind, you can do so many interesting things with the cut logos. How about a memory album with one of the shirt logos on the front & maybe on on the inside leaf or on both inside leaves & front/back too? Or you can frame them for a wall groupong. Or put them on tote bags... They can be used in so many ways other than the quilt so if you start cutting & decide it's too big a project, you can break 'em down to several smaller ones.