I’m making a T shirt quilt for a friend, so she sent a large sack of T shirts to be used.
This friend and her future husband are both very athletic, so many of those T shirts are tech shirts–meaning they are 100% polyester knit!
I searched the internet for specific instructions for using polyester T shirts in a quilt and found NOTHING useful. So, here’s how I solved the problem, and I expect it will work for you, too.
The blocks for T shirt quilts are backed with fusible interfacing to stabilize the knit fabric. I buy lightweight interfacing so the quilt will drape well. A while back, I bought a bolt of Pellon 906F for that purpose. It is very lightweight and is intended to be used with semi-sheer fabrics, so it bonds at a relatively low temperature–very important for polyester T shirts!As you can see, the 906F is lightweight and thin. It fuses just fine at a temperature between the silk and wool settings on my iron. That setting requires only a few seconds to fuse, so there is no damage to the polyester shirts! Score!
This interfacing is working fine with the 100% cotton shirts as well. All that’s needed is a backing that keeps the T shirt from stretching as it is sewn and quilted, and this does the job.
Here’s a look at some of the quilt blocks, waiting for final arrangement on the design wall. My husband came along and said, “How did you get T shirts so flat?” The answer, of course, is the backing 🙂
I’ll have a picture of the finished quilt as well as more information about it in a few weeks. Meanwhile, be warned: another friend who requested a T shirt quilt ended up making it herself (with my help)!
I will never ever make a t-shirt quilt! However your post would be so helpful to anyone who does and faces the synthetic shirts. To spread the word, I shared the link in a yahoo group I’m in.
Thanks for sharing the link! And be very cautious about saying “never”…just sayin’ …😀
This is likely a “never” that will stick. I’ve been asked many times to make one, even by a dear niece in memory of her son, who died of leukemia. I told her she really would be happier with one made by someone who knows how. So if I can hold out with that, I think I’m good!
Sounds like you’ve set your limit and stuck with it! Good for you!
We have made several T-shirt quilts and I like your layout. That is going to be a greatly appreciated quilt. When my father died I made my brother and sister T-shirt quilts from his silly humorous T-shirts he wore all the time in his retirement. Hope you post a photo of the complete quilt 🙂
I’m sure your sibs appreciated those quilts–nice idea!
Love it 🙂
I’m glad 😃
Mary, thanks for the great tip! I have a number of tech shirts and wasn’t looking forward to working out the details myself. This will save me a lot of trouble!
I’m so glad! And thanks for making the effort to meet up at QC!