Quilting the layers of a t-shirt quilt
I am making a t-shirt quilt for my niece and she asked that the front be made of the shirt fronts and the back of the shirt backs. But the seams don't line up for stitching in the ditch, what would you suggest for quilting?
I had thought of quilting just the front and the batting together, but am not sure if I will have problems with the batting getting caught up.
You are correct...it will be difficult, if not impossible, to line up the blocks on the front with the ones on the back and then be able to stitch in the ditch of both sides at the same time.
To answer your question, yes, you could quilt just the batting and the quilt top together...
...if you choose to do that, I strongly suggest you free motion quilt it.
The feed dogs are down for free motion stitching so you'd be less likely to snag the batting. Go at a slower speed, so that if you DO
snag it, you won't do it for very long.
The problem with assembling the quilt this way is that you'll still need to add the backing.
And you'll still need to add enough quilting to it so that it will stand up to cuddling AND
washing by your niece. You'll end up doing almost double the quilting...that's a lot of extra work and I'm not sure I see the benefit of it.
- Have your niece choose a quilt fabric for the backing that either has meaning for her...maybe a particular sports team or themed fabric...or one that she just plain loves.
Either way, she now has additional ownership in the design...AND it is something that you can do without making yourself crazy. There won't be any seams to match. Finishing the quilt will be a straight forward process.
- Create a 'backing fabric' made from the t-shirt backs. Fuse a tricot knit interfacing to them to stabilize the fabric (like you did for the blocks on the front). Cut the t-shirt backs to size. Then stitch the blocks edge to edge--meaning no sashing--until you've made a piece of fabric that is large enough for the back.
Be sure to save some of the scraps so that you can make a practice quilt sandwich to test your needle, stitch and thread combinations.
Then layer and baste your quilt as you would normally.
This way, you've still used the backs, but it won't matter where the stitching lands. And you will have kept all of your hair! :)
- Another option, if you have not assembled the blocks yet, would be to put them together using a 'Quilt As You Go' technique. In essence, each block becomes its own little quilt-let.
I don't have instructions on the website yet for quilt as you go, but you can find them here.
It's a great technique as long as you're comfortable with some hand stitching (you need to slip stitch the sashing down on the back)
Readers, how would you go about solving this dilemna? Would you try to match up the seam lines on the front and the back? Share your thoughts via the link below. Thank you!
You're niece is a lucky gal to have an Aunt like you! I hope you find this information helpful.