Monday, February 21, 2011

So you wanna make a t-shirt quilt?

Today is all about prepping for construction.

First thing first is to pick out the shirts you want. I chose all music related shirts for my quilt. Once you have the shirts you want to use, you're going to make your shirt blocks according to your layout, that you should have already drawn up. I found it easiest to make a pattern shape to lay on the shirt and just trace around it and cut. Since my blocks were 12''x12'', I used a record sleeve that I had laying around as my pattern. ( I apologize for no pictures of this step, as I've already finished this part for all my blocks.)

After you have all your blocks cut out and ready to go, it's time for interfacing! yay!

There's one major reason to put interfacing on your t-shirts before you start sewing, and that is because if you don't you're gonna have some funky looking quilt blocks. See a t-shirt is different than just normal cotton fabrics that you buy at your craft supply store. T-shirts are usually a knit fabric, meaning that they have stretch to them. This is what makes a t-shirt so comfortable, the fabric's ability to stretch.

Now when your making a quilt with these stretchy t-shirts, you don't want them stretching around when you're trying to sew them together or to sashing blocks. This is why you should always put interfacing on the backs of them. The interfacing acts like a stabilizer to keep the t-shirts in the shape and size you want them.

The kind I use is a PELLON fusible interfacing. I used the 99cent a yard one, but the more expensive, the better the stabalization. All you do is cut the interfacing to the same size as the back of a shirt block. (this is after you cut the shirts to the size you want, to showcase the part of the shirt you want.) You make sure that the bumpy side of the interfacing is laying down, touching the back of the shirt, and iron it on. I used a steam setting, usually cotton on my iron. It should look like this afterward. (I cut my interfacing a tad larger than each shirt. And in this picture shows one side folded over to show both front and back.)

Next post.... Cutting your sashing blocks!

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