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Crafty Corner If you are creative, love to knit or crochet, paint, or just enjoy making fun stuff with your kids, this is the forum for you.

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Old 02-08-2014, 02:43 AM
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Quilting old T-shirts

My dh has a lot of old T-shirts with sayings on them from when he used to work at a kids camp. Most are in almost new condition but he has no desire or place to wear them now so I had thought about making them into a quilt but have never done quilting. Has anyone done this with old T-shirts before? Is it difficult?
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:03 AM
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I have done it several times. I cut out the parts of the shirt I want to use, some just the fronts and some smaller designs on the shirts from the sleeves and other places. I even have incorporated button down shirts with collars and use pockets, the zipper area of pants and etc. Anyway, the first step would be to cut out everything you want to use. I then sew each of those pieces on a material block. You can use muslin if you are going to cover the entire block or any other material you want. I top stitch each "piece" with decorative stitches that my machine makes or just use zig zag if your machine doesn't do other stitches.I use between a 9" and a 12" block, but you can use whatever size works for you. I also overlap some of the pieces of the blocks to cover it. I sew them together using a 5/8" seam(I think smaller pulls apart more easy and a ripped block after the quilt is completed is hard to repair). When you have it the size you want you can either buy quilt batting, but I try to use mostly what I have. I never throw out blankets that are too snagged for this reason; I use them as the inside layer of a quilt. If you don't have any of those to use you can skip the "lining" part and put fleece on the back, it makes a quilt as warm as one with a interior lining. Actually people seem to like those better because it is softer to the touch when you use it!

I machine stitch a few areas after it is completed to "hold the front and back together", but you could hand stitch that or do it however you want.

I have a whole garbage bag of things right now my older son was going to get rid of that I am going to make him a blanket out of. Just have to get started!

I have one of these I kept and I made it just the size of the top portion of a full size bed because that is a good size for us to use while sitting down and watching TV. I love to look at it and remember the different places and things we had done in the past!

If you have any questions please ask and have fun with it!
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When I was young we used to go "skinny dipping"; now we just "chunky dunk"


“The value of doing something does not lie in the ease or difficulty, the probability or improbability of its achievement, but in the vision, the plan, the determination and the perseverance, the effort and the struggle which go into the project. Life is enriched by aspiration and effort, rather than by acquisition and accumulation.”

― Helen Nearing, The Good Life
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:54 PM
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Thanks for all the info Cat Lover. When you do the top stitching do you fold the material over like a hem or leave it open and sew or baste around it such as 5/8" ? I've done a little sewing but not much but I did recover a couch that was made up of 6 pillows once since I figured that I could sew squares easily. The quilt blocks will probably be pretty big since most of the sayings are written across the entire front and some on the back of the T-shirts. I like the idea of using fleece for the back.

We have a small lap size quilt that was given to us when we were in Canada and they used the batting but never covered it and now it has lint that is impossible to get out without picking at it for weeks. I've been wanting to repair that too but was not sure how. The lint does not come out after it is washed.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:46 AM
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For the pieces I just use a close stitch count on my zig zag stitch, almost like a satin stitch. If your machine has different stitches look through your book for either a mending or decorative stitch that has close together stitches. So I leave the raw edge,but if your machine doesn't do a stitch like that you would need to turn them under like a 1/4". Not having to turn them under just makes it easier and quicker to do. And I like the look of it with the stitches showing.

On the lap quilt you have you have found out why to cover the batting if you use it. I would wash it and not worry about trying to pull off all the little pieces since it was yours from the start and you know what it has picked up. Just cover it with the fleece or even flannel and it will be good to go!

I have trouble sometimes posting a picture on here.. but am going to take a picture later of the quilt and show you. If I can;t get it to post here would you PM here with your email address and I will email the picture to you if you want to see what I've talked about, but will try here first in the next post.
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cat lover
We Welcome Strays

When I was young we used to go "skinny dipping"; now we just "chunky dunk"


“The value of doing something does not lie in the ease or difficulty, the probability or improbability of its achievement, but in the vision, the plan, the determination and the perseverance, the effort and the struggle which go into the project. Life is enriched by aspiration and effort, rather than by acquisition and accumulation.”

― Helen Nearing, The Good Life
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:28 AM
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I hope you can post the pic bec I want to do one this summer with my dd2s t shirts and had many of the same questions

You tube suggested backing with iron on interfacing, but sometimes that separates after washings or wrinkles when ironing on

I like the ideas you have of stitching to muslin, I have an old sheet I could use
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:12 PM
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ellenmelon, if you PM me your email address I will sent you pics also, I can't get it to load here!
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cat lover
We Welcome Strays

When I was young we used to go "skinny dipping"; now we just "chunky dunk"


“The value of doing something does not lie in the ease or difficulty, the probability or improbability of its achievement, but in the vision, the plan, the determination and the perseverance, the effort and the struggle which go into the project. Life is enriched by aspiration and effort, rather than by acquisition and accumulation.”

― Helen Nearing, The Good Life
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:23 PM
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I made a t-shirt throw for my niece for Christmas. I used all her volleyball shirts.
I cut each front with a template into a 13 x 13 square. Sewed into rows and then sewed the rows together. After stitching I had 12 x 12 squares.
I then attached it to a fleece back.
I used no lining in between the t-shirts and the fleece. That thing weighs a ton and she was thrilled.
I kept the backs of the shirts for future use. Now she is going to have a baby, so will make a baby quilt with the prettiest colors.

Cutting the shirts took the longest time. Sewing together was really quick.
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