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How to Finish a T-Shirt Quilt

Joanna Burgarino shares tips for finishing a t-shirt quilt.

For free t-shirt quilt patterns, click here.

 

Hi, I’m Joanna and this video is brought to you by Baby Lock. A t-shirt quilt is a great way to make a keepsake that will be cherished for years to come. So what do you do once you’ve finished the quilt top and are ready to finish it? I’m going to share some tips for finishing a t-shirt quilt with you today.

 

First, let’s talk about prepping the quilt sandwich. You’ll want to iron the seams of your quilt top open to avoid extra bulk while quilting.

 

Make sure to prewash your backing fabric. Because T-shirts have generally been washed and dried many times and will not shrink, washing your backing fabric before quilting will keep your quilt from looking too puckered. (Because of this, you’ll want to purchase slightly more fabric to account for any shrinkage.)

 

There are a few things to consider when choosing batting. T-shirts can be heavy, so a thin 100% cotton batting will keep weight down if that’s a concern. Check the batting label to see how densely you need to machine-quilt your quilt. If you won’t be quilting larger areas of the quilt due to logos and t-shirt designs, you want to make sure your batting type supports that (most battings call for stitches 4-10” apart, so choose accordingly).

 

Be liberal with your basting pins and/or spray. Knits stretch easily, so avoid distortion by taking the time to baste correctly.

 

If you’re using T-shirts in a variety of colors, consider using a cream or gray thread to machine-quilt, which will blend in with all colors of fabric.

 

Now, we’re ready to quilt!

 

Use your walking foot to evenly feed all the layers of the quilt and avoid distorting the knit top.

 

Start from the center and work your way out to the edge. Be sure to smooth the quilt as you go so no puckers develop.

 

You may want to avoid quilting through the heavy plastic parts or heavily embellished portions of the t-shirt design. You’ll have a hard time quilting through it and it could leave holes or damage the design. Consider echoing around the design and then filling the remaining part of the t-shirt with a stipple or other fill design. The logo or shirt design will pop up if you quilt densely in the open space around the design, which gives it a nice focal point in your quilt.

 

If you need more grip on your quilt top, try machine quilting gloves.

 

So those are my tips for finishing a t-shirt quilt! A t-shirt quilt is a great way to preserve memories and create a lasting keepsake.