I have never made a t-shirt quilt, but want to for my DH for Christmas. I'm really scared to start because I don't want to mess it up as I will be using clothing of our son's. Our baby boy is in the Navy and we lost our oldest in an accident in 2003, I was wanting to know how hard it would be to make a reversible quilt with each side being for each child? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks a lot, Joy
I found some basic T-shirt quilt instructions here. "These instructions are for making a T-Shirt Quilt top. They are based on a 14 1/2" finished square T-shirt block. First, check all your tee shirts to make sure that the designs will fit into a 14" square. If they won’t you can either crop the designs or make the squares larger - just modify the instructions to the dimensions you need. Remember, all the T-shirt squares must be the same size. All seam allowances are 1/4". If you're not sure of the correct size, determine the largest design and cut all interfacing 2" larger than that size, then trim as needed."
Hope this helps!
We have found, that as long as you make 1 side larger than the other by roughly 3 inches on each side, this will give you enough room to quilt it, keeping in mind that the larger side will have to be trimmed down after it is all finished. Otherwise, it should work fine - wish you the best!
Megan & Marci
I'm in the process of making a tee shirt quilt right now. It really is not too hard. First of all, you need to cut the tee shirts to make squares that are larger than the designs. Then you need to use a medium weight fusible interfacing to stabilze the knit fabric. What I did was to buy two different flannel fabrics. I used these to add strips to square out the tee shirt blocks. I just used a solid fabric for the back of the block, but you would just place two blocks together one side for each child. 15 or 16 inch blocks do seem to work for the average sized tee shirts. Do some sort of simple quilting on each square, but leave the 1/2 inch unquilted all around the block.
This part is a lttle hard to explain. Put two blocks together, with the tee shirts from Child A facing together. Fold back the seam allowance for the blocks that are on the outside and sew the blocks together with the 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the blocks open. Then fold the loose part of the sewn side under so the fabric on the Child B side meet. What I did was then attach a grossgrain ribbon that was 1/2 inch wide to the allowance with a zigzag stitch. Don't sew the beginningand the ending 1/2 inch on each allowance. This will leave the fabric free when you sew the side seam allowances. Join the blocks of each row together this way.
When you are ready to join the rows, use the same technique, but continue the seam allowances down the whole row. On the side with the ribbon, cut the ribbon to be the length of the whole row. You can now zig zag from one edge to the other. If you want to add a border, just cut equal width strips to size for each side. Place these right sides together on one side. Sew the seam allowance and then flip so the right side of the fabric is facing to the outside of each side. Quilt as desired. Do the same to the opposite end and for the two sides as well. Then bind and you are done!
I made a tshirt quilt for my husband's birthday a few years back and the one tip I can add to what you have already is to use a lightweight fusible to stabilize the squares. I used a medium weight and my quilt is rather heavy and stiffer than I'd like. You're going to have double the interfacing so I'm suggesting the very lightest you can find.
I know there are several online tutorials and website that give valuable information regarding T-shirt quilts. I have never made one but have a friend who made several as gifts one year. They are different in that the t-shirt squares have to be lined with fusible interfacing to give them stability. The prep work is most important on the final outcome. I am sure you can Google T-shirt quilts and get lots of info that will help you to make a wonderful project with all those memorable treasures for your DH. Good luck. I look forward to seeing the finished product!
If you don't want to use the actual shirts, but just the designs you can get the fabric paper that goes in a copier and make copies of the images you want to use. They sell the fabric paper at JoAnn's online and Michaels, Staples, Walmart and places like that.
Good luck and be brave!