Wednesday, November 17, 2010

T-shirt quilts

I got this comment from Kristin that reads:

Kristin said...

I saw your T-shirt quilt on Crazy Shortcut Quilts. I wanted to know if you liked doing it that way. I make T-shirt quilts and have never done a "quilt as you go" quilt but saw this and thought it might work. How did it do for you? How does the back end up turning out? They only have one picture posted. If you have more I would love to see them. Also if you have any advise for doing a quilt as you for T-shirt quilt that would be GREAT! ...

I thought my response would make a good blog post. So here it is.


I did not make the quilt you are referencing in Marguerita's blog, Crazy Shortcut Quilts. Jean N. made that beautiful quilt.

However, if, I were to make one(I have one in mind for Sister Suzy when she graduates this spring.) I would use the Crazy Shortcut Quilt method to set the quilt together. I find this way of quilting and setting a quilt together to be the easiest I have ever used.

This is how I would do one, after I had decided what size of quilt and blocks I wanted. I would stabilize the t-shirt material with a light weight fusible interface. I have found that I only need batting and backing that is 1/2 inch larger than my block for the front. (I don't like to waste fabric.) I have also found the traditional thickness or weight of batting is the easiest to quilt, in a regular sewing machine, with the least amount of bunching and puckering. I have to pin the quilt lines themselves to get everything stable enough to quilt without the bunching in thicker battings. (see: Sept 22, 2010 post) I can not recommend Poly-fil's Quilter's 80/20 traditional batting because I thought it was too 'dusty'. As you cut and handled it, it released too many loose fibers into the air stirring up my asthma. I used this batting for Derek's quilt.

I would also use a woven backing for the stability. I would have to play with a block or two to decide if a reversible quilt (t-shirt on both sides) would be feasible. I think one would look great! I would then set the blocks together using the Crazy Shortcut Quilt methodology.

I might have to make the setting strips a little wider than recommended if there were a lot of curling of the single knit edges. However, I wouldn't think so, if you fused an area a bit larger that the block you were wanting to cut from the shirt. I do think using a different width of setting strips would look interesting. I would think, you would just figure that into the border you left around the t-shirt block you were cutting.

Anybody out there have experience they would like to share with Kristin and the rest of us on making t-shirt quilts using the Crazy Shortcut Quilt method? Or, your experience with any quilt-as-you-go methods for t-shirt quilts?

Have a good day!


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