Let's talk about t-shirt quilts.
#1.Choosing the shirts. You do not have to include every t-shirt you or your child has ever worn........No, you don't.
It's really better to pick anywhere from 12 to maybe 24 of your favorites and only use them. The more shirts, the heavier the quilt. A queen size quilt with 60 or so shirts can weigh up to 10 pounds!!!! Mercy!! you could not even turn over under that quilt and heaven forbid if you need to wash it. Sort out your shirts and keep your quilt a comfortable twin or long twin size.
#2. Stabilizer. We all have our favorites. Mine happens to be French Fuse. I have a commercial heat press and it is a simple matter of fusing this to the backs of the 'rough cut' shirts. Then I can cut to size and work with my design wall to arrange. French Fuse is also easy to quilt through..another consideration when choosing your stabilizer.
#3. To sash or not to sash. I like the quilts with sashing. That's my personal preference, but, you can stitch them all together in a pleasing design and work with that. The larger the quilt, the more it needs sashing for stability and reduction in weight. Cotton fabric in the sashing weighs less than all of those shirts sewn together.
#4. Batting. Personally, I prefer Thermore for the batting in t-shirt quilts. It is lighter in weight and will dry faster when washed.
#5. Backing. Although I have not had any problems quilting minkie and fleece..........I really prefer not to use them on the backs of these types of quilts. The stuff is just TOO HOT!! and requires almost a commercial washer when it's time to clean them. But, if that's what you want to use...I can still quilt them and won't complain. It is, after all, your quilt. My personal preference is either Grunge wideback or Moda's Primitive Muslin. Both quilt beautifully and they are snuggly on the back of a quilt.
#6. Binding. I prefer that my clients do their own, but, I will bind for you for a fee. Binding, I feel, should be cotton fabric to either match the border, or sashing, or to compliment the shirts in the quilt.
#7. Quilting. Yes, you can hand quilt these quilts and I will pray for you and your muscles, joints, and fingers while you do it. Yes, you can quilt them on a domestic machine. You need to have lots of Advil or Tylenol handy and a massage therapist on call......but, you can do it. Or, you can send them to a longarm quilter and we can do this for you. I do alot of these quilts.
Many longarmers will do these quilts and will use a large open meander. That's what I do if the quilt is not well stabilized and square. If it is, stabilized and square, I will put speciality designs on it with my Statler Stitcher. We can do a design that works for the quilt and for the special person that you are making it for. I have done, baseballs, tiger paws, ballet shoes, just to name a few.
So, you want to make a t-shirt quilt. I think that is fantastic, but, let's just follow a few guidlines so that you can have a beautiful end product.
The easiest way to make a t-shirt quilt is to 'quilt by check book'. Yes, just bring me the shirts. We'll discuss the quilt and the layout along with the quilting design and the finished product.
So, you want to make a t-shirt quilt.........LET'S TALK!!