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5 Biggest Mistakes for Customized Quilts

popular culture t-shirt quilt

Do you want to give your soon-to-be high school graduate a gift that epitomizes their unique coming-of-age story? How can you represent your child's various interests in a tactile, functional form? It's time to get crafty! Customized quilts made out of t-shirts are now trending! This thoughtful quilt project can become a proverbial time capsule that evokes precious memories of years past -- if done correctly.

Avoiding Customized Quilt Pitfalls

You've got a stockpile of memorable T-shirts, an idea, and a drive to stitch (or to hire someone to stitch) the perfect gift. What's next? Customized quilts made out of t-shirts should be made to last; longevity is a key component in this project. It's time to find out what "not to do," so you "can do" the best for your graduate. Below are five of the biggest mistakes to avoid when making T-shirt quilts:

1. The Fabric Faux Pas

Customized quilts are made to celebrate decades of moments. Many first-time customized quilt makers opt for cheaper materials. If possible, strive to use quality fabric, not a fabric that detracts from your quilt's overall look and message. Long-lasting, durable quilt fabric ensures functionality and preservation. Invest in batting that has a high cotton percentage and trust fabrics that have "quilt shop quality." Keep away from fleece or polyester.

2. The Unacceptable Extra 

In some projects unplanned tucks are acceptable, but customized quilts don't benefit from uneven material lengths or miscalculations ruining your crisp seam. Precision is a must. One tuck can ruin the clean lines and smooth finish every customized quilt and your honored graduate deserves. Stay away from any unnecessary extras!

3. The Lost Logos

Has your new graduate gone through a "cropped t-shirt phase?" For this project stay away from over-cropped t-shirts! The overall appeal of a T-shirt quilt depends on the positioning of the graphics or logos your teenager loves! Center each t-shirt graphic carefully. Graphics come in many shapes and sizes, it may benefit you to choose different quilt block sizes to ensure the full picture is displayed and exhibits aesthetically pleasing symmetry.

4. The Block Bumble

Every quilt block placement is important. Many times quilters can accidentally place a T-shirt quilt block upside down. Double-check any quilt work and make sure each block is placed right side up, not sideways and especially not upside down!

5. The Unplanned  Intersection

Where do the seams of each block meet? Like vehicles, blocks shouldn't overhang at intersections. Center all blocks so that each block grouping forms a perfect "t." Quality customized quilts made out of t-shirts are successful when quality material, consistent stitching, consistent measuring, and good planning are all utilized equally.

When you avoid all the customized quilt-making pitfalls, your graduate can rediscover and appreciate their childhood in a whole new way. A high-quality customized quilt is a multi-purpose scrapbook that combines comfort with creativity. It may just be the perfect way to jump-start new cozy memories for your graduate to keep them warm for years to come!


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  • I am waiting to receive my granddaughter’s t-shirts to make her quilt. As yet I do not know how many shirts are involved. I want it to be the best I can have made. What is long arm stitching, how are the backs of the shirts used?
    Thank you,

  • What are your prices?


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