Saturday, June 5, 2010

T-Shirt Memory Quilt Tutorial - Part 1

What do you do with an ever expanding stack of t-shirts collected over the years from vacations, sporting events, gatherings, school, etc? When life gives you t-shirts, why not make a t-shirt quilt?

I make many t-shirt quilts every year for my clients through my company, West Branch Studio. This series of blog posts will take you through the process of creating one of these special memory quilts.

Tools needed to get started:
t-shirts or clothing to be used in the quilt
fabric scissors
rotary cutter (mine is 60 mm)
rotary cutting mat (mine is 24" x 36")
rotary cutting ruler (mine is Creative Grids 16.5" square)
iron or ironing press
large scrap of muslin to be used as a pressing cloth
squirt bottle with plain water in it
light to midweight iron-on stabilizer
sewing machine in good working condition with walking foot

I usually buy my stabilizer by the bolt and have successfully used Pellon P44F, P911FF, and P906F in white. If I don't have time to get it through my wholesale supplier, I will use a JoAnn's 40% off coupon and buy an similar bolt locally. I figure about 18" of stabilizer per shirt. In reality less may be used but it's always good to have enough stabilizer for a few extra shirts just in case.

A regular household iron will work just fine, but takes much longer than a press. My press is dry (no steam), so I use a squirt bottle to provide some moisture on top of the pressing cloth when I'm fusing shirts. I set the press to a little cooler than cotton, and I press for 10 seconds at a time. My machine beeps at 10 seconds so this is very handy.

Next post - prepping the shirts!

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