Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on December 29th, 2016

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10 Ways to Judge the Construction of a T-shirt Quilt

The Construction of a T-shirt Quilt  |  Comparing T-shirt Quilts

If you are looking to have a T-shirt quilt made from your T-shirts, you have one chance to have your quilt made right. But if you are not a quilt expert, you might not know what to look for when you see a T-shirt quilt. So don’t take someone’s word that they make high quality T-shirt quilts; look at their work with a critical eye.

Here are 10 items to check out when you look at a T-shirt quilt.  

1. Seam Construction

Look for seams that are coming apart. This is a sign that the quilt is either not starting or stopping correctly or that their sewing machine stitch is not correct. Either reason, this is a flag to which you should pay attention.

avoid awful sewing on a t-shirt quilt2. Sewing Accuracy

Look at the intersection of four corners. Do they come together perfectly? If not, this is a sign of sloppy work that could have been easily fixed.

3. Sewing Skill

Are the seams puckered? T-shirt material can be challenging to work with and puckers are a sign of inexperience or lack of attention to details.

4. Backing Material

Feel the backing fabric. Does it feel cheap to you – like there might be polyester in it? If you don’t like the feel of the backing material, make sure that you have the option to choose something else. Cheap backing material is a place where quilters can skimp to save money. Read more about backing material here. 

stitching on T-shirt quilt is too long5. Quilting

Is the quilt quilted, tied or has nothing holding the front to the back? The highest quality T-shirt quilts are quilted. The next level is tied. The lowest quality quilts have no means to connect the front to the back. When there is nothing connecting the front to the back, you then have a blanket.  More about quilting here.

6. Quilting Stitch Length

The number of stitches per inch a quilter uses is indicative of quality. The industry standard is 10 to 12 stiches per inch. If there are 8 or less per inch, this indicates low quality. The fewer stitches per inch, the faster it is to quilt a quilt. It takes half as long to quilt 6 stitches per inch than it does 12 stitches per inch.

7. Binding

Is the quilt bound, and if so what type of binding was used? There are three levels of binding – full binding is the highest, half binding a lower quality and no binding the lowest quality.

Cheer T-shirt quilt with colorful border8. Batting Loft

Loft is just another word to describe how thick a batting is. And no, thicker is not better! A standard batting is about ¼" tall. Any batting that is thicker than ½" is a clue that 100% polyester batting is being used. 100% polyester batting is cheap miserable stuff – avoid it if at all possible!

9. Feel

Is the quilt soft and flexible? A T-shirt quilt should move similarly to a T-shirt. If the T-shirts look flat and smooth, this is a sign that they were backed with iron on backing to make it easier for the quilter to sew; you don’t gain anything from iron on backing except a stiffer quilt. Avoid quilters who use iron on backing or stabilizers.

10. Over All Look

Do you like the over all look of the quilt? Does the quilt catch your eye and draw you into the quilt? Can you envision your T-shirts in a quilt like this?
Finding someone to make your T-shirt quilt can take some research. First, look at the over all appearance of their quilts. Do you love them? If so, then consider the other quality aspects of the quilt explained above.

If you treasure your T-shirts, then they deserve to be made into
a high quality T-shirt quilt that will last a lifetime or two!

For more information about T-shirt quilts, consider downloading our T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide.
The more you know about T-shirt quilts, the better your quilt will be.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

About Andrea Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.