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T-Shirt Quilts – Custom made vs Manufacturing Companies

There are a few manufacturing companies that will be more than happy to make a t-shirt quilt out of your t-shirts. Then there are private professional quilters like me who pay attention to details and the customers vision.

I looked into those companies a bit. Yes, they are less expensive (considerably) than the private professional quilter; however, you are getting a different quality and not as much attention to details. Here’s what I found:

  1. The manufacturing companies will take your shirts and use a die cutter to cut the design part of the shirt out. I’m not sure if they stabilize the shirts or not which in my opinion is a must when sewing knit (stretchy) fabric to woven (non-stretch) fabric. It produces a smoother seam and stronger end product. The other part…the die cutter cannot adjust for a shirt design that is larger than the size of it. In just about every t-shirt quilt I have made, there is at least one shirt design that is bigger than the size of the square I use and I have had to make adjustments. That is what you are getting with a custom quilter……creativity in adjusting square size to the design. Plus, I sit with the customer and ask if they want the back of the t-shirts if there’s a print on both sides. I don’t know if the manufacturers do that. My guess would be they don’t do that personal touch.
  2. I (as the custom quilter) give you a choice of how you want the back of the quilt to be. Traditional (batting and fabric), more t-shirts with batting between, or fleece alone. The one that I saw had just fleece which is much faster to work with.
  3. Once the front and back of the quilt is sewn together, the manufacturing companies don’t sew the layers together (or known as quilting together). That is a very labor intensive process. You do pay for the quilt to be quilted. In my opinion, the quilting together bonds the layers together to provide a stronger end product. The quilting together is important to prevent the t-shirts and other fabrics from sagging through the years, and when it’s washed the quilt is all bonded together and it’s easier to fold and put away.
  4. My thought is that the quilting together will overall last longer than the not quilted one. You’re getting a stronger quilt.

So there you have it, the pros and cons to custom t-shirt quilt and a manufacturer t-shirt quilt. Same end product in general, different quality of work and attention to details. If you are looking for a custom t-shirt quilter, please contact me for further details.

Thank you for reading my blog, and have a wonderful day.

Pam