t-shirt quilts (not sure I like doing them)


Recommended Posts

So, here is my first try at a T-shirt quilt. It's for my sister. Christmas/nursing school graduation gift. She lives in Florida, but we are from Lubbock Tx. and she's a huge Texas Tech fan. So, i took most of my t-shirts, cut them up, and made her a quilt. I just mailed it to her yesterday. I had quite a bit of trouble with tension going from the sashing back to the t-shirt material. Kept getting loops in the top thread on the t-shirt part. Adjusted the tension back and forth to no avail. Wondering if maybe my timing is off. Anyone else ever have problems like that?

2506486700107119966S500x500Q85.jpg

2440449710107119966S500x500Q85.jpg

2507908720107119966S500x500Q85.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I've done 2 tshirt quilts - the tension did take some adjusting to get it right at the beginning. The stitches do look a bit different going from the sashing to the shirts, so my main focus was the look of the stitches on the shirts. I have a Lenni - I did not get loops though. I did a panto over the entire quilt. I used a 4.0 needle, SoFine in the top and bottom line prewounds in the bobbin.

Your quilt looks great, I bet your sister will be thrilled. I do love doing them - mostly I think for the reaction of the recipient - it's a great way to preserve some memories.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leslie,

I make t-shirt quilts all the time (way tooooooo many of them). I will try to post some pictures; I've never tried to do that yet. I don't make them with sashing and in rows and columns. They are so much fun to design when I just use graph paper and rectangles marked so that I know which t-shirt it represents. Then I can move the t-shirt/rectangles around until I get the look and fit I want. I back all my t-shirts with Pellon's SF101; it has worked best. Between the t-shirts, I add differently sized pieces of fabric (sorta like sashing, but not the same size). You'll see what I mean if I ever learn how to post pictures.

I keep the tension on my bobbin VERY loose. I recently did a quilt with Warm and Natural batting and it stitched up beautifully. I usually do a stipple (I don't know my clients as well as you know your sister) and add words as I go. The words (Sister, Daughter, soccer, etc.) are provided by the client.

Good luck and I hope you continue to make t-shirt quilts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First- your quilt looks great and your sis will love it! I have made a few t-shirt quilts and always use sashing. Sew Fine thread top and bottom, Hobbs or Legacy 80/20 batting. Never had any tension issues going from one fabric to another. Sorry that's been a problem for you. I know how aggravating that can be. For any fabric--I can't use Signature/King Tut and Bottom Line as a combo or I always get random loopies on the top of the quilt. I can use Signature/Tut with Sew Fine with no problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by JustSewSimple

I like your quilt! I think T-shirt quilts are labor intensive. They are not always fun but the pay is nice.

So, Sylvia, I am starting to get a lot of people starting to ask about them. How do most of you all charge for t-shirt quilts? I know I've seen some discussion before, but I am not good at searching on this site.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Sylvia! That's a good starting point. I just had a co-worker walk by while I was reading this, and asked if I would be interested in doing one with her sorority shirts, so I just gave her your quote:P, she kind of batted an eye, but then said she would get out her shirts, and see which ones she wants to use. Looks like I might start getting some business. Better start liking them huh:o

Oh, and I meant to ask: what preferences you all have for stabilizing them?

Link to post
Share on other sites

T-Shirt quilts have ended up being my bread and butter quilts. Like Sylvia, I do a lot of these, and just when I think there are no more to do I will have two or three more people call. They are labor intensive, but I've found if I'm working on more than one at a time it goes faster. I charge $25 per shirt plus a $150 labor and materials fee. I have some people do blink at the price, but they are able to determine how many shirts they want to include and I feel I still make a decent amount of money, no matter how big the quilt is.

I use french fuse to stabilize the shirts. You did a great job on your sisters, I'm sure it will be something she treasures forever.

Dana

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leslie,

I charge for the design of the quilt; the price begins at $20. If I have a great many quilts (44 on a Christmas one last year), that price goes up because of the time it takes to rearrange the shirt blocks on the graph paper so that it is eye appealing and fits.

I charge $15 per hour for cutting, backing (Pellon SF 101), re-cutting, and piecing the shirts. The cost of any additional fabric that goes between shirts that don't fit together perfectly is added in. I have a digital timer and I keep track of the time down to the seconds (it's amazing how those add up).

My quilting and binding are at the regular price (as for quilting and binding on a previously pieced top). I add in the cost of the batting, backing, etc. I also add a thread charge. There is a lot of piecing on a t-shirt quilt and thread is not cheap these days.

I have yet to have a customer not pay without question. They are just so amazed at the results. One dad picked up the quilt his wife had commissioned for their son. When I opened the quilt for him, he remarked, "Those are Wade's t-shirts?" He could not have paid me a greater compliment. That particular quilt turned out so nice.

I hope this helps,

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...