Tips for avoiding mistakes when choosing a T-shirt quilt maker to turn your shirts into a quilt. It is an exciting time! You have been saving your t-shirts and looking for a quilter. The internet is full of t-shirt quilt makers. How do you know who to trust your shirts to?
Mistakes to avoid:
- Trusting your t-shirts to an inexperienced t-shirt quilt maker. It takes different sewing skills and equipment to make a quality t-shirt quilt.
- Picking the style of t-shirt quilt that is not the best choice for your shirts.
- Choosing a t-shirt quilt maker who does NOT use interfacing to stabilize the shirts.
- Not understanding the difference between a quilt and a blanket.
- Concentrating on the price of the t-shirt quilt instead of the cost.
Sewing cotton fabric and sewing t-shirt material takes different skill sets. T-shirt fabric stretches and is harder to sew. Quilting a t-shirt quilt is usually done on a long arm quilting machine. As with sewing the shirts together it also takes more skill to quilt a t-shirt quilt.
Check with the t-shirt quilt maker to see if they do the quilting or if they farm it out to a long armer. The concern with sending the t-shirt quilt out to a long armer is twofold. The first concern is the t-shirt quilt is not in the t-shirt quilt makers possession at all times. The second concern is that you are not the long arm quilters customer and he/she may not give your quilt the attention to detail that you expect.
Does the t-shirt quilt maker only make one style of t-shirt quilt? If all your t-shirts have the same size design it does not make an interesting mosaic/puzzle style quilt. The flip side is that your t-shirts have designs on the front and back and you would like all the designs used. These shirts make great mosaic quilts.
Some t-shirt quilt makers do not use interfacing to stabilize the shirts. It is an added cost and not initially obvious if they skip this important step. The problem shows up when the t-shirt quilt is washed several times. The shirts can shift and the fabric can bunch up. Also if any of your t-shirts are “well loved” and thread bare they may not stand up to use. The interfacing stabilizes the shirt to keep holes from appearing. TooCoolTshirtQuilts makes a lot of mosaic/puzzle quilts. They advertise that they do not use interfacing because it makes the t-shirt quilt stiff. They are partially correct. If you use the wrong interfacing the quilt will be stiff. Experienced t-shirt quilt makers will use a lightweight interfacing. Read more about the importance of interfacing.
One of the largest t-shirt quilt makers is Project Repat. You have probably seen their ads on TV and social media. They say they make t-shirt quilts but in reality they make blankets. There is nothing wrong with turning your quilts into a blanket-unless you thought you were buying a quilt! A quilt by definition has 3 layers. The product they make only has 2 layers . Also the 2 layers do not have stitching in the body of the blanket to bind it together.
Prices for t-shirt quilts vary from really low to high. The difference between price and cost is important. The price is the amount you pay to have your t-shirts made into a quilt. The cost is the long term value you receive. The lower priced quilt will be made with cheaper materials, shortcuts will be taken and the overall quality will not be great. To get the quilt “remade” with quality materials and a skilled t-shirt quilt maker will cost you more.
Here is an example we can all relate to. You buy the lower priced detergent to wash your clothes. Then you notice your clothes are not getting clean. So you start doubling the amount of detergent and the clothes are clean. In the long run it “costs” more to buy the lower priced detergent.
Avoiding these mistakes will make the process of having a t-shirt quilt enjoyable. At EggMoneyQuilts we were quilters before we became t-shirt quilt makers. Learning new methods and updating our equipment allows us to make a top quality t-shirt quilt. A t-shirt quilt you can use and enjoy for many years. EggMoneyQuilts