Tuesday, December 17, 2013

T-shirt quilt progress

I stared at the t-shirts on the wall trying to decide how I was going to approach sewing these together. I quickly decided I would start by sewing the matching fronts and backs together - that is the front and back that came from the same t-shirt. At first I was having trouble free motion rotary cutting the t-shirts and duh maybe I need a new blade. I changed the blade and that solved the problem. Yes, you have to put a new blade in every once in a while! LOL! Here are the t-shirts as they look now on the wall. They don't look much different from yesterday's picture and it is hard to tell which ones are sewn together.

Here is my method for sewing the pieces together. I laid out two pieces to be sewn together. I found overlapping and cutting both pieces at the same time did not work very well. The interfaced t-shirt fabric is just too heavy, so I trimmed one section which is the top section in this photo.

Next I overlapped the pieces lining up the design and remembering that after cutting I will lose 1/4" more in the seam.

It is hard to see that they are overlapped so here is close up.

I then traced with my rotary cutter along the edge of the top piece cutting the bottom piece to match. Next issue is that both pieces are not the same width and how would I know where to start sewing without getting a pencil and marking. I trimmed the end of the bottom piece to match the width of the top piece. This way I can put right sides together and match up the ends and start sewing. Did that make sense?

Here are the two pieces sewn together

Here I am showing that I press the seams open because of the weight of the fabric. One other tip: I sew a couple of inches at the beginning and end of the seam with smaller stitches - 1.5 - and this helps keep the seams from coming apart since I don't backstitch. If I just use the standard 2.5 then chances are with all the handling this quilt is going to go thru one of the seams would come apart.

When I add regular quilting cotton to a t-shirt piece I press the seams to one side since the cotton is lighter in weight. Here is an example.

I have overcut the size of all of the t-shirt pieces. This gives me plenty of fabric for fitting the pieces together. I will be adding more orange cotton as needed. I do need to make this quilt a bit narrower so I will be moving pieces around and trimming. Let me know if you have any questions.

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