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Choosing a T-Shirt Quilt Maker

Choosing a T-Shirt Quilt Maker

Choosing a t-shirt quilt maker can be overwhelming! There are hundreds of t-shirt quilt makers on the internet. Here are seven points to consider as you search for the best shop to design and make your t-shirt quilt.

1. How long has the shop/company been making T-shirt quilts?

It takes many years to perfect your skills to make great t-shirt quilts. You don’t want the t-shirt quilt maker to “learn” on your shirts. Every day people hang out their “shingle” and declare they are in the t-shirt quilt making business. A lot are hobby quilters who have not invested in the proper equipment and training.  They close up shop when they realize how time consuming and physically demanding it is to make t-shirt quilts!

Making t-shirt quilts is very labor intensive.The proper equipment to make a quality t-shirt quilt is expensive. Hobby quilters making t-shirt quilts on the side are not fully invested in making a professional quilt.

I have been a full time quilter since 2004 and I have specialized in t-shirt quilts since 2011. I work with many different fabrics and understand basic quilting principles. The challenge of taking shirts and turning them into beautiful quilts is my passion. My journey to become a t shirt quilt maker started with making quilts. Through this journey I have gained knowledge of design and color.

2.What style of quilt works best with your shirts?

There are many styles of quilts. Some styles work better with your shirts than other styles. Sometimes it is just a personal preference.

I offer several styles of quilts. I offer the Mosaic/Collage style, the Traditional style, the Budget Friendly style, and the Framed style. Click here to learn about all the styles.

If you are not sure which style works best with your shirts I am happy to look at your shirts and offer some suggestions.

3. Does the T-shirt quilt maker use stabilizer on the backs of the tee shirts?

Interfacing is a VERY important part of your t-shirt quilt. I use a lightweight stabilizer that strengthens the t-shirts and adds NO weight to the quilt. By using stabilizer we are able to quilt an all over pattern on your quilt. This means we quilt over the seams which makes a sturdier and flatter quilt.

T-shirt quilt makers who skip this step usually will put quilting stitches in each block but they do not stitch over the seams. It is SO important to reinforce the seams with quilting stitches. The seams hold the quilt together and need to reinforced.

T-shirt quilt makers who claim interfacing makes a stiff quilt are not using the correct weight of interfacing! The correct interfacing will not add weight or make the t-shirt quilt stiff.

T-shirt quilts that have not been stabilized will bunch up.
T-shirt quilt with no stabilizer.

4. The quilting stitches.

A professional t-shirt quilt maker has the proper equipment. Hobby quilters sometimes tie the quilts in the corner or push them through a domestic machine. Neither one of these are good options. T-shirt quilts need to be quilted on a long arm quilting machine. The long arm quilting machine allows the quilt to be stretched properly. The result is a flat and square t-shirt quilt.

I quilt an all over pattern on the t-shirt quilts I make. The pattern goes over the whole quilt including the seams. The all over pattern unifies all the shirts and enhances the designs on the shirts. Be wary of quilters who stitch a custom design in each block. They are not reinforcing the seams-the most vulnerable part to the t-shirt quilt.

5. Is your t-shirt quilt made in one place?

Does the quilter make your t-shirt quilt from start to finish in one place? Some quilters piece the top and then send the top out to be long arm quilted. That is not acceptable. The long armer’s name is not at stake. They may not take the needed care or attention to detail to make the quilt the best it can be. Also moving the t-shirt quilt from place to place increases the chance that quilts can be lost or misplaced.

Ask if the t-shirt quilt maker if they prep the shirts with interfacing, design the layout, and add the quilting stitches. 

6. Quality of materials used?

Quality materials are extremely important to the look and feel of the t-shirt quilt. 100% cotton fabric is not all the same quality. Big box stores sell an inferior cotton fabric. Thin and scratchy fabric from these stores will not wash well or last.

All fabric used in our quilts are purchased  from Fabric.com. I know we are getting high quality quilting cottons.  On the rare occasion the quality of the fabric has not been what I am used to I have returned the fabric and worked with the customer to choose a different fabric.

Ask about the batting. Cheap polyester batting will give your t-shirt quilt loft but it will not look great after a couple of washings. I only use Hobb’s 80/20 batting. This premium batting is recommended for t-shirt quilts. It holds it’s shape through multiple washings.

7. What is the turnaround time to get your quilt made?

 Your quilt usually takes 4-6 weeks to make after we get your shirts. This time frame allows us to order the custom fabric and also lets us send proofs to you to approve along he way. A t-shirt quilt shop that quotes you 6 months to a year may not be a full time business. Don’t entrust your t-shirt quilt to a part-time quilter!

I design the layout, add the quilting stitches and finish your t-shirt quilt. Lynn preps the shirts to get them ready to piece. Lynn and I love helping customers get the perfect t-shirt quilt. Let us know if you have any questions! thanks-Vivian:)

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Every quilt tells a story. Let us QUILT your story.

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