It's a great time to make a T-Shirt Quilt!
T-Shirt quilts are a great way to clean out your closets and drawers, and still save all the memories that come with each shirt, and I'm going to show you what works best for me.
**When you see green words, that means I linked the products I use.
First: Have a good pair of scissors and a brand new rotary blade handy when you start this project, 50 shirts will dull a new blade! You can do this step a couple different ways, you can either take your scissors and cut from the shoulder seam of the shirt down to the bottom on both sides, or you can simply place a template on top of both layers of the shirt and cut with your rotary blade. If the shirt has things on both sides you want to use in the quilt then you will want to use the scissors and cut the front away from the back and then use the template to center the cut over both designs. I got this June Taylor template years ago, and it has held up well and works great, it also comes in a tshirt quilt kit if you want to try that route, or you can use the Creative Grids 15.5" for multiple quilty things...
Now that all the shirts are cut it's time to put some interfacing on the back of them. This step is not necessary, I have known people that do not use it, but I find it is MUCH easier to handle the shirts if they do not have all the stretch. The interfacing will add a layer to the back side of the shirts to make them heavier and sturdier so you can cut them square and get better results overall. There are a zillion different kinds of interfacing out on the market, I use Pellon 906F, I buy big rolls of it because I used to make a lot of t-shirt quilts, but you can also buy it by the yard at your local craft shop. The idea is to cut the interfacing just a tiny bit smaller than the shirt you are putting it on so you can avoid the extra adhesive around the edges that will get on your iron. I used an iron the first couple times I made a tshirt quilt and then decided I would invest in a heat press to save time, it is well worth it if you plan on making more than a few of them! Since I got mine so long ago, I can't share the exact model, but I will share a similar model that is the same size and should work very similarly. Check it out....
Here is a short video of the heat press in actions, I really love how fast it makes things!
When I quilt T-Shirt quilts, I always pick pretty simple panto designs, or I do simple free hand meander. With so much going on with the shirt text, I don't like to see really heavy quilting over the shirts. This time I picked out the Paradox digital design, it's perfect for anyone, and stitches out pretty fast. Here are a few pictures while it was on the long arm frame. People ask me all the time if I use batting, the answer is always yes. I have never made a quilt without batting. I use Pellon 80/20 batting for almost all my projects, I have been using it for years, and I love how it washes, and its great for snuggles! I buy my big rolls at a wholesale company now, but I used to get the rolls on Overstock, during big holiday weekends they always have great sales with free shipping! Woo Hoo!