Archive for December 30th, 2013

December 30th, 2013

Military T-Shirt Quilt

by Julie Hirt

This quilt was made for my brother with his Marine Corps t-shirts and cammies from his military years.  He served from January, 2001 to February, 2009.  I was nervous to make this because it’s my first t-shirt quilt, and I couldn’t buy more fabric if I messed it all up!  I know the shirts are special so that first cut was a bit scary.

tshirt quilt 627handworks

I decided LAST MINUTE that I wanted to have it finished and ready by Christmas.  I started the quilting 2 days before I was to give it to him.   Have you ever quilted over t-shirts and had problems with thread?  I did!

My top thread kept breaking, breaking, breaking.  I was beyond stressing!   Using Aurifil 40 wt, I couldn’t see that being the problem.  But after changing bobbins, needles, tensions, and a thorough cleaning, all to no avail, I sent my husband off to the store (in the snow) to pick up some poly Gutermann. Loaded it up, fingers crossed…  and it kept snapping too!  ACK

After taking a big wine break and some serious Googling, I found it was the plastic logo on the shirts.  I laid some thin tissue over the plastic areas  IT WORKED!  Mother of miracles.

I guess the plastic is sticky on the needles and pushes the top thread up causing it to snap or shred.

tshirt quilt 627handworks (1)

I apologize for the poor photo quality. Since the quilt was finished so last minute (hand stitching the binding less than 24 hours to go) I didn’t get take good photos, these are with my phone.

Tried my best to make some kind of camouflage design with the quilting.  The back actually looks pretty cool, it’s Kona Cotton in Khaki and with the green thread, the camo pattern is pretty neat.

I used Pellon 950F ShirTailor interfacing on the back of all the t-shirts.  My 15″ Omnigrid was priceless making this quilt.


tshirt quilt 627handworks (2)

I’m not sure if there will be more t-shirt quilts in my near future, but I’m really happy with the end product and my brother loves it.  After figuring out the thread issue I was able to use my beloved Aurifil (Army Green 40 Wt #5012) throughout.  The finished size is 68″ x 72″.

Happy sewing!



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