Uncategorized

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

Skills and Techniques, Uncategorized

T-shirt Preparation for Quilt

View 1

T-shirts are a wonderful way to remember special occasions, events, and a myriad of other reasons.  If you are one of the many people who can’t seem to give up those special t-shirts, putting them into a quilt is an excellent idea.  You may use this tutorial for creating your own t-shirt quilt or see my Etsy shop for details of how I can do a custom quilt for you.

I want to add that you can use sweatshirts, sports shirts that are made of that waffle fabric, golf shirts (polo), etc.  Use the same directions for the prep.  Message me if you have any questions.

View #1 is the front and back of the t-shirt I am demonstrating today.  Some t-shirts have printing on the back as well as the front.  You may want to have both sides in your quilt or just one side. The preparation is the same.

It is very important to wash all of the t-shirts with your normal laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of White Vinegar.  The vinegar will remove most or all of the odors.

DSCN2008View 2

After you have washed and dried your shirts, you can start cutting them apart. Be sure to lay the t-shirt flat on a table to have more accurate cutting.  Make sure you leave at least 2″ around the design you want to use.

View #2 is showing to cut sleeves away from the shirt first.  I like to cut close to the seams to allow as much extra fabric room as possible around the design.

 

View #3

Next is to  cut along the side seams of the t-shirt (view 3).  This is where it is important to have the t-shirt laying flat.  Most t-shirts do not have a side “seam” (where the manufacturer stitched it together).  There should be some sort of a crease on the sides that you can follow and cut along that crease.  If there is no crease, that is where laying it flat will show you that where that “crease” would be.  Be sure to cut along both sides.

 

DSCN2011
View #4

Lastly, we move on to the shoulders.  The shoulders need to be cut right next to the seams on both shoulders.

If there is a little emblem on a sleeve that you wish to be part of the quilt, just send the sleeve as is to me.

Now you are done with the scissors!

If I am making this quilt for you, all you have to do is send the part of the shirts that have the emblems you wish to have in your quilt.

Please tell me if this blog was helpful to you.