Wednesday, September 28, 2016

T-Shirt Quilt - aka Memory Quilt

Have you created one, a t-shirt quilt, also called a Memory Quilt? I haven’t ~ yet ~ but would like to… someday! Any tips or techniques you’d like to share in the comments will be greatly appreciated!

From what I’ve heard here and there, there is a trick to working with the knit (jersey) fabric. Knowing how stretched out loved t-shirts can be, I totally understand it will be different from using “regular” quilt quality 100% cotton fabrics!

Fortunately, we have the internet filled with great tutorials! I’m on a mission to find and list some resources I come across, for future reference!

I went straight to Pinterest and did a search for t-shirt quilt tutorial.



A common suggestion throughout:

Although the loved t-shirts have been washed/dried many times over the years, all the sites say to wash/dry once more!
NOTE:  I received a suggestion by a reader: when re-washing one more time, do not add fabric softener to the wash, nor place a dryer sheet in the dryer!

Before stabilizing the t-shirt’s logo (the common core found throughout all the websites I visited), I found Wee Share, her tips and tricks are certainly worth the read-through once you’ve gathered all the memory shirts you want to use. It only makes sense, because not all the logos are the same size, it’s critical to measure and design on paper what goes where ~ FIRST! She’s provided us a cool .pdf to record the t-shirt and it’s measurement!



Quilters Diary also explains well how to stabilize the t-shirt, before cutting out the logo!



Goose Tracks Quilts has listed how many t-shirts it takes to make certain size quilts. This is based on all t-shirt logos cut out the same size - 14.5” finished square.

12 shirts will make a throw-size quilt, approx. 48" x 64" - 3 across x 4 down.
20 shirts will make a twin size quilt, approx. 64" x 82" - 4 across x 5 down
30 shirts will make a full size quilt, approx. 82" x 96" - 5 across x 6 down.
36 shirts will make a queen size quilt, approx. 96" x 96" - 6 across x 6 down.
42 shirts will make a king size quilt, approx 110" x 96" - 7 across x 6 down.

In addition to her tips and instructions, Almost Casual listed “Important Notes” worthy of repeating here!

**Important Notes**
Put your machine on zigzag stitch - this helps when working with jersey
Use a needle made for jersey - a needle that is too sharp can break! This, for some reason, took me forever to figure out. I broke many needles and had many cries when I first started sewing with jersey.
Use a lightweight cotton thread
Go ahead and thread a few bobbins so that replacing them is easy


Already Loved has a two-part series on how to make a t-shirt (memory) quilt filled with step-by-step photos!



One more thing I discovered during my research, and let out a huge sigh of relief, the sashing and outer space fabric – say if logos are on point (like a diamond shape), can be out of “regular” quilt quality 100% cotton! It will help stabilize the over-all quilt!

Creating a t-shirt (memory) quilt isn’t as scary as I thought before I started this quest of knowledge!!! I am so grateful others have shared their tips and techniques!

Again I ask you, will you comment with your suggestions?!!!

1 comment:

  1. My daughter has a zillion t-shirts from high school Cross Country races. I made one quilt double-sided with the cut sections of shirts and another single-sided quilt. Since I am a free-lancer for the most part, I cut out all the shirt pieces (same width, different lengths due to the printing on the shirt), then measured the varying sizes and arranged them so each column was equal. If a column came out within an inch or so of the others, I just filled in an extra inch or so of sashing to make all the columns the same length. Voila! :>) And I sew each one to a piece of muslin for stability.

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