Where Can I Find A T-shirt Quilt Maker?
If you are in the process of looking for a T-shirt quilt maker, you may be overwhelmed all the options and choices available. Here are 3 steps to finding a T-shirt quilt maker who can make you the quilt you want. But, don’t begin at step 2 – asking around about quilt makers.
Before you find a T-shirt maker, you need to learn enough about T-shirt quilts that you can answer the following questions.
What do you want your T-shirt quilt to look like?
There are five major styles of T-shirt quilts. Most people think that T-shirt quilts are made with one size block and that they are lined up in rows and columns. But that is just one style. The most interesting quilts are made with blocks that are different sizes and shapes and in which the blocks are puzzled together without rows or columns. Read more about the different styles of T-shirt quilts here.
Do you want a quilt or a blanket?
A blanket is made from two layers – the quilt top and a backing fabric such as fleece. The two layers may or may not be connected. A blanket will cost a lot less to make because it takes a lot less material and labor.
A quilt is made up of three layers – the quilt top, the batting (stuffing), and the backing material. In high quality quilts, the three layers are held together with quilting. Lower quality quilts are held together with ties, buttons, or sewed tacks.
A quilt should be your first choice because it will last longer and be much nicer. But a quilt does cost more. If you don’t have the funds to invest in a quilt and if your T-shirts don’t mean much to you, then a blanket might be in your price range.
When do want your quilt back by?
The industry standard time frame for the completion of a T-shirt quilt is 4 to 6 weeks. Near Christmas and during spring graduation, this time frame may be longer. If your quilter tells you that it will be much longer, she may have more work than she can handle or may not be a professional quilter. Ask your quilter the time frame before you hand over your T-shirts. I have heard stories of T-shirt quilts not being completed for years!
What is your budget?
T-shirt quilts range from free if someone who loves you is making the quilt to over $1000. How much do you want to spend on your quilt? The answer to this question will partially depend upon your budget and partially depend upon the style and type of T-shirt quilt you want made from your T-shirts. There are a number of cost factors that go into the cost of a quilt. Read more about those here.
What quality of materials do you want your quilt to be made from?
Because you wear clothes (well at least I assume you do) you know the difference between cheap feeling materials and those that are quality. It’s the same story for quilts. The higher the quality materials used, the better the quilt will feel and wear. But you will pay more for a quilt made from high quality materials than you will for one made from cheap material.
Ask your quilter what type of materials she uses. Read more about the quality of quilting materials here so you can understand what you are being told.
Ask around about T-shirt quilt makers. Although it might not be intuitive, asking around about quilters is actually your 2nd step in the process of finding a quilt maker, not the first.
Here is a list of people and places to ask about T-shirt quilt makers:
- Your friends or family if they know of someone.
- At work, the gym or your place of worship.
- Visit a local quilt fabric store.
- Call your local quilt guild.
- Look on the Internet.
Interview the quilters that have been recommended to you. Ask the following questions:
What style of quilt do you make?
Are you making quilts or blankets?
Are your quilts machine long-arm quilted?
What materials are you using in your quilts?
What is your turn around time?
How many quilts have you made?
Are you making the entire quilt?
Are you a smoker?
Are you a professional quilt maker or a hobbyist?
Can I see your work?
Can I see photos of your quilts?
Click here to read more about interviewing a quilter, including notes about the answers to these questions.
To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, we have written a T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide that will give you a basic understanding of T-shirt quilts.