For those of you who like to quilt and to hold on forever for their memories or their favorite sports club idea to do that is to make a t-shirt quilt.
The interfacing is a rather stiff material that you place between two layers of fabrics. When you’re quilting a t-shirt, the interfacing is going to stiff and stabilize your rather stretchy t-shirt fabric so it doesn’t get pulled out of shape as you cut/sew on your quilt.
The fusible interfacing helps you have more body to your fabric and this is so important when quilting some t-shirts. Many don’t go for the stiff interfacing though and use water-soluble interfacing that melts when you wash your quilted t-shirt.
It’s not that essential to use interfacing when quilting a t-shirt, but it’s a bit easier for many. Some quilters even use press-n-seal as interfacing when in need. Interfacing has a lot to say when it comes to control the stretchy fabric and may be avoided when you’re foundation piecing.
Not using the interfacing means you may end up with a block that is too large or too small, without the ability to fit where you want it. There’s always the risk of the top to wrinkle while you’re quilting as you have too much fabric in some places. It’s also possible that some fabric would bulge where you don’t have to quilt because you ease the top in place, using the extra fabric.
It looks like we’re selling you the interfacing but for many it’s easier like this. You do get faster and more accurate quilting, in most situations, though.
You can definitely skip the interfacing and it’s important that you sew the quilt sandwich to hold the fabrics (especially when it comes to t-shirts) from stretching as you work. You’d need a long arm-quilting machine for that so that you may quilt lines close together, easy, with no stretching. A machine like that may be the most common solution when quilting a t-shirt without interfacing.
Another solution may be to “ty” the quilt and not quilting it per say. After this step, you may easily put the ties as close as you can for a nice look. You do need to patience as sewing may be a challenge and it’s impossible for the t-shirt not to stretch at some point.
Getting creative is great when you sew t-shirts together and you may sew them a bit random, with no need for sashing or other specific sizes. Sewing like this is easy and pressure relieving, as you don’t end up with a specific size, since you didn’t have one in the first place.
Letting you to your ideas is awesome and you may sew, for instance, a number of shirts together into a row and then make rows that are even more individual. When you’re done with the rows, you may sew them together, but don’t try to make the shirts fall into a perfect grid. You may of course, have the seams all fall in the same place as well.
A fun idea is to cut the whole thing (you choose the size) into the size you want for your “top” and layer the top with batting and backing, getting the quilt sandwich effect. You may baste or pin, and then tie or quilt. You may add your binding, but you may as well use the inside-out or the quick-turn method to make the quilt sandwich when you don’t want to add a binding. At this point, it’s not the worst idea to use a form of interfacing, but only on the perimeter of the finished top before layering it into the sandwich.
Quilting t-shirts without interfacing isn’t easy, nor impossible. It’s something you may learn in sewing class. The most important part is to cut the shirts of various sizes and place them on your liking in the quilt. It’s better to start in the middle of your display. Begin with the first two squares, sew them to the end, go then to another square, and sew it across. You keep on doing it until you’re done with your t-shirts. This method typically gives you squares from 4 1/2inches to 16 ½ inches.
There are many methods and tutorials that help you quilt t-shirts without using interfacing. It’s definitely easier to starch the fabric with water-soluble and then press it flat. You may also smooth it out on a waterproof surface for faster drying. This way the edges don’t curl and the starch is washed out when your stitching is done.
Quilting t-shirts without interfacing isn’t for the entry-level quilters. It’s for the quilters that dare to improve their skills and aren’t afraid to take any new challenges, for sure.