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Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

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    Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

    A friend is asking me to make a t shirt quilt for her. I know she has dozen of shirts. I don't want to go crazy at any cost! So, for you who have made them, what would you say would be the max number of shirts to incorporate? Would you put them on the front and back? Do you sash round them with quilter's cotton? I know you interface behind the shirts, do you use woven, knit or non- woven interfacing? Is it hard to quilt them? What kind of quilt pattern do you use?

    Before I get in over my head, just thought I'd ask for advice.

    #2
    Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

    tee 4.jpg

    I use 30 tees, 5x6, and it comes out a large twin, small full. Depends on how big you cut the tees. Mine are usually 12"--14". It depends on the designs on the shirts. Whatever the largest shirt design is what my squares are. Sometimes I can get a design from the front and the back. When I get the shirts the customer has put a note on each shirt for what designs she wants in the quilt.

    I found some ultralight interfacing at J's for this one and I like it a lot. Use to use featherweight, but this was lighter.

    I usually use a 2" sashing, but you can use whatever works to get it to a size you need



    As for quilting, I have someone quilt for me, and I know the rubbery designs sometimes give him trouble, but as long as the tees are interfaced and not rubbery they don't give him much problems. He just does all over designs, no fancy stuff for me.

    I cut the tees up the side seams, across the shoulder, and cut the sleeve off. Cut interfacing about an inch or so larger than your square is going to be and press on the back of the trimmed tee. Then flip it to the front and use a square to center the design as best you can and trim out the tee. I had a local glass place cut some squares of various sizes and they are clear with no lines in the way. Work great and were cheap. Once the tee is stabilized it is very easy to work with.
    Last edited by Doloris; February 24, 2014, 04:45 PM.
    Dolores :lol::icon_heh:

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      #3
      Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

      I've made about 5 T-shirt quilts. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of them. Not quite sure how I slipped up on that one. In terms of size I would say anything goes. I think I sashed all of the ones I made and added cornerstones. However, I have seen lots of them that are not sashed. I guess it's just personal preference. Google "images" and you'll see a number of different ways to make them. None of my customers ever gave me a size they wanted. They were very willing to give me free rein on the creativity and the size.

      I preferred using cotton or cotton/polyester for the sashing and cornerstones. It's less work since you would have to use interfacing on that fabric if you go with stretch material. You should be able to judge by the size of one of the t-shirts what your average block size will be. If they don't state a specific size they want I'd just do what I could with what I was given. If they do request a size, once you are given the t-shirts you'll be able to give a ballpark of the size you'd be able to produce. You may find they want a big quilt but there aren't enough t-shirts so you'll have to let them know how large or small you can go. I hope that's helpful.

      My favorite was a fairly large quilt I made for a window company in the town where I live. The t-shirts were company shirts from all the years the company has been in business. Lots of shirts with retro-babes on them, race-car type images. Super fun. I believe the owner has it hanging on the wall in his office. It was a surprise gift from his employees. That was a very satisfying experience and they gave me way more money than I asked for which was the icing on the cake.
      Last edited by rebeccas-sewing; February 24, 2014, 04:43 PM.
      Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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        #4
        Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

        Carol aka Snippet was using the coolest interfacing on her t-shirt quilt she was making at the retreat. I can't remember the name of it, but if I ever get around to making one I'm going to hunt that stuff down. Hopefully she will come by and see this post.
        K is for Karen 😊​..................
        Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.


        Before you speak,
        T - is it TRUE?
        H - is it HELPFUL?
        I - is it INSPIRING?
        N - is it NECESSARY?
        K - is it KIND?

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          #5
          Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

          This will be a post I will be following as well. The father that just lost his son when he was born to early, has asked me about t-shirt quilts for his daughters. I no nothing about doing one.
          Blankets wrap you in warmth, quilts wrap you in love

          Marilyn......
          sigpic

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            #6
            Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

            I've made dozens of t-shirt quilts. The number of shirts you will use will depend on the size of the the t-shirt block - which is determined by the size of the largest logo on the shirts you will use. I've written a t-shirt quilt tutorial if you're interested....

            T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial for beginners | Seams to be you and me
            Tenacity: The quality or fact of being very determined; determination.

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              #7
              Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

              Originally posted by cindirae View Post
              I've made dozens of t-shirt quilts. The number of shirts you will use will depend on the size of the the t-shirt block - which is determined by the size of the largest logo on the shirts you will use. I've written a t-shirt quilt tutorial if you're interested....

              T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial for beginners | Seams to be you and me
              Your tutorial is great! Thanks for sharing. I'm not as scared about the piecing as I am of the quilting. I will practice with some of my shirts to see if my longarm will cooperate.

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                #8
                Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                Pellon is a must!

                the largest one that I have made was a queen t-shirt quilt (12 inch finished blocks) that was 7 x7 blocks = 49!
                I used a one inch sashing.
                Some of the blocks were more than one shirt - if the shirts were plain I pieced them
                Happy Quilting!

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                  #9
                  Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                  Originally posted by cindirae View Post
                  I've made dozens of t-shirt quilts. The number of shirts you will use will depend on the size of the the t-shirt block - which is determined by the size of the largest logo on the shirts you will use. I've written a t-shirt quilt tutorial if you're interested....

                  T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial for beginners | Seams to be you and me
                  I think this is a great tute and pretty much how I do my tee shirt quilts. I do my horizontal sashing all in one piece though. Personal choice. Does take a little more effort to get the rows lined up, but no seams in that sashing.
                  Just look for a very light weight non woven interfacing and all should be good.
                  I've had to piece in the corners of a tee a few times too, and you never see it once the quilt it put together
                  Last edited by Doloris; February 25, 2014, 05:35 AM.
                  Dolores :lol::icon_heh:

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                    #10
                    Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                    Originally posted by Doloris View Post
                    I think this is a great tute and pretty much how I do my tee shirt quilts. I do my horizontal sashing all in one piece though. Personal choice. Does take a little more effort to get the rows lined up, but no seams in that sashing.
                    Just look for a very light weight non woven interfacing and all should be good.
                    I've had to piece in the corners of a tee a few times too, and you never see it once the quilt it put together
                    Deloris, thanks for the kind comment on the tute I just absolutely stink at getting the rows lined up in the sashing, hence the reason I do it that way, LOL! Plus, since it was a beginner's tute I wanted to make it as easy as possible for beginners. Once it's quilted the sashing seams aren't even noticeable. I had actually originally created the tute for my cousins who sew but had never quilted, so that's why it's pretty detailed.
                    Last edited by cindirae; February 25, 2014, 05:49 AM.
                    Tenacity: The quality or fact of being very determined; determination.

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                      #11
                      Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                      Awesome tutorial! Thanks for posting it. Did you also post it under tutorials here in the forum?

                      I also wanted to stress no fabric softener sheets! I went to a t-shirt quilt class and forgot and used the dryer sheets and DH's t-shirts would not stick to the pellon. Argh - so I had to sit and listen and take notes.

                      One thing she taught us was that if we used a tiny busy print for the sashing and sashed the blocks as we made them then we would not have to worry about lining them up. After I quilted it I could not easily tell where the seams were.

                      Another thing I learned. I quilted this on my DMIL's old Viking - small throat space - but the main problem was I was trying to use nylon invisible thread on the t-shirt blocks and it kept breaking. I posted a question about this on another quilt forum and was told to try polyester clear thread (Sulky) and then I was able to quilt the t-shirt portion of the quilt.

                      My DH loves his quilt even though he does not use it much. I had wanted to use my DS1's college t-shirts so DH gave me his to practice on and he got a quilt out of it. DS1 never did give me any t-shirts to use.

                      I only used 12 t-shirts to make 16 1/2" blocks. 3 X 4 and wide sashing. I used a blue/white flannel for the sashings, borders, and backing.
                      Vonnie

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                        #12
                        Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                        Thanks for the tutorial! I have a friend who wants to make a t-shirt quilt, so this will be helpful for her!

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                          #13
                          Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                          The tutorial is very professional looking! About the quilting. One did it on a domestic, I am assumingmone did it on a longarm. Was that part hard? Mi 'm never going to use monofilament, I'll use one of those blend into the background neutrals or a grey or taupe. Is it heavy once you get it all together?

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                            #14
                            Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                            Jean, my long arm man does mine and it looks fine. He only complains about the rubbery designs, and only once in a while he will get a skipped stitch over that. Everything else looks great. Since I don't long arm, I cant say what he does to "help" on those tees. I would guess that he has to slow down a little . It is not really any heavier than other quilts
                            Dolores :lol::icon_heh:

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                              #15
                              Re: Max number of shirts in a T shirt quilt

                              Well, I will longarm mine. I think I'll take some of my shirts and make a sample, perhaps to work the bugs out before I try on someone elses priceless shirts.

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