How to Store Your T-shirts for a Quilt
Right now may not be the right time for you to have a T-shirt quilt made. You might not have enough money saved for a quilt or you still have more T-shirts to collect. What ever the reason might be, you have an issue: How to store your T-shirts until the time is right.
Boxing – We would suggest choosing a sealed plastic storage box for your long-term storage of T-shirts.
- Plastic is waterproof – this might save them from a flood.
- Plastic will keep mold and other environmental smells out.
Rolling – If you roll, rather than fold, your T-shirts you will be able to get more of them into one box.
Vacuuming Packing – This is a great space saving method for storing bulky items. There are a number of commercial products that are available. Vacuum packing T-shirts can also reduce the size box that you will need to ship your T-shirts to your quilter!
If you have space, please don’t cut your T-shirts for storage. If you don’t have any spare storage space, and if you have to cut the bulk from your T-shirts, please do it with care.
Should I cut the excess T-shirt material from around the designs?
Please don’t cut your T-shirts. Most quilters would prefer to work with the entire T-shirt. Why?
- The entire T-shirt leaves more room to center the design in the block. A design that is centered left to right and top to bottom looks more professional.
- You don’t know what size block will be used to cut out each logo. You might not leave enough fabric around the design. The block will then have to be added onto in order to make it fit. This might result in additional charges and it won’t look as good.
- There may not be enough leftover fabric from the T-shirt to use else where in your quilt. For example, we may use pieces of your T-shirt for filler blocks or for a border.
If you have already cut your T-shirts out, it’s not the end of the world and a competent quilter should be able to work with them. Just be aware that there might be some issues or additional cost. If you can avoid it, please don’t cut any more of them. Read more about already cut T-shirts here.
But I am living in a situation where I just don’t have any space to store extra T-shirts. What would you have me do?
If you are living overseas, in a Tiny House or cramped apartment you may not have extra space for bulky storage. So if you must cut your T-shirts to eliminate extra bulk here are directions.
- Cut off sleeves. But not along the seam line. Cut straight from the armpit to the shoulder. This will provide a little extra room for the block.
- If there is a front or back that you don’t plan on using, you can cut the front from the back. Cut up the side of the T-shirt. When you get to the armpit, cut along the under side of the sleeve. Then cut across the top of the shoulders. When you are finished you will have a T-shirt shaped piece. Then just save the side you want.
- If the back has a large graphic and the front has a small logo you can cut out some of the extra bulk. First, cut the front from the back per directions in 2 above. Then, cut a square around the chest logo. Please try to give 4" on all sides of the logo.
- If you have a hooded sweatshirt, you can remove the hood.
- Any other items try to leave at least a 4" margin around the graphic or logo.
To learn more about having a T-shirt quilt made from your T-shirts, consider downloading our free T-shirt Quilt Buyers Guide. It's a great starting place to learn more about T-shirts.