Do we use an interfacing between the shirts and batting?

Recently we’ve been asked this question quite a bit since some companies have recently started to claim they make t-shirt quilts…..Here is my response to most of those emails.

“YES!!!!  We do use an interfacing on the backs of these shirts and if you’ve been shopping around on the internet there a few sites that discourages this. The reason they discourage it is because that would be another step for them to do so. Also they do not quilt their quilts so there is no need to use anything to stabilize the knits. Within the last few years a few sites have popped up indicating that they make t-shirt “quilts.” I don’t want to get on a soapbox but I this is a very sore spot with us. Because of this recent competition I decided I would offer the same product as they were putting out. I made up a sample quilt, did not back the shirts, put a fleece backing on them. After I had completed it I realized I just could not put out quality like that. It was so stretchy, it felt awful. I even went and washed it because I decided to just use it in my car for my dog. When I washed it I was shocked at what it looked like. The two layers have nothing holding them together. Because of this, the layers shrunk to different sizes. It was a mess…. So I decided I would not compete. I really feel for all the people who are getting fooled by these companies. We are frequently getting asked if we can fix a quilt like this. Our answer is usually no.

About the interfacing… I know there are other companies that make these t-shirt quilts the way we make them. Not all, but most of them use a familiar weight interfacing. I decided years ago that if we used this particular interfacing our quilts would be stiff. I went to research different suppliers and I found a sheer weight backing. This backing is only for us to be able to quilt it on our computerized machines. It is fine if it eventually washes out because it’s only there to stabilize the fabric during the quilting process. I wish there was some way people on the internet could actually feel our quilts… I have a few of these myself and have washed them many, many times in a regular wash cycle. Every time I wash them it seems like they even get softer. If you want it soft right after you get it, I suggest just throwing it in the wash to puff it up a little. That’s usually all that is needed.”

How is the fabric selected?

You can pick the fabric colors of your choice.  If you feel you are not good at doing this, don’t worry, we can pick them for you once we see the shirts.

Are the graphics centered and level?

We do everything possible to make sure the graphics are centered and level. There are times however when the shirt might be skewed when printed on the fabric itself and it will show up more crooked than it did on the shirt.  We do try to correct this as much as possible, but be aware that we cannot totally rectify the situation.  Some shirts also have a graphic printed very close to the neckline.  Since most of the time we do not use the necklines in our cuts, the graphic might look high up on the block.  Sometimes if there is enough fabric on the bottom of the shirt we might piece it to center it.  There will be an extra $5 charge for this.  As far as being centered from left to right…. this is sometimes hard to do on smaller shirts.  We try to avoid the armhole seam as much as possible.  Because of this, the graphic might be a little off centered if it is on a smaller shirts.  These issues usually are not a problem on larger shirts but we need to mention that the square might not be perfectly centered on smaller shirts.

Can I send my own Fabrics?

You are more than welcome to send us your own fabric.  Please refer to the chart below for yardages.  We cannot accept backing fabric but we welcome you to send your own sashing and corner block fabrics.  We will supply a backing fabric to coordinate with your fabric.  We will also deduct $20 from your total order if fabric is included.

How big can the graphic be?
We do not accept graphics (only the graphic and not the entire shirt) that are larger than 14″. If the graphic on a t-shirt is larger than 14″ we will cut it down.

Can I Include Sweatshirts?

Yes, sweatshirts are fine, however if we have to cut the pocket off there is a $6.00 extra piecing charge.

Can I include button-down baseball jerseys?

We do accept these types of jerseys.  If you want us to use the button-down side of the jersey, there is a $10 extra piecing charge.  The buttons will be removed and the front will be stitched together. We do not recommend including the button-down side of  jerseys  in these quilts.  Sometimes the buttonholes are stretched during the quilting process which is beyond our control.

What do I do with those small graphics on the chest or sleeve?
Sometimes we are able to incorporate multiple small graphics to make one block. If you have 3 or 4 shirts that only have very small logos we can combine graphics into one block. There will be a $8.50 fee (up to 4 graphics per block) added for this service.  Please note that many times when we piece blocks we use a raw edge technique.  We simply cut the graphic (with the backing on it) and attach it with a machine stitch around it’s perimeter   Because we are working with knit fabrics, there is never a worry about raveling as knit does not ravel.

How many t-shirts make a good size quilt?
Quilts look good when there is a balanced number of rows. For example, if you sent 20 t-shirts the quilt would be in rows of 5 blocks x 4 blocks and this would look good. If someone sent us 23 t-shirts, we would need to add an extra graphic to bring it up to a 24 (long twin).  Quilts look best when the following number of shirts are sent:  16, 20, 24, 25, 30, 36, 42, 49.

How will the quilt be put together?
We use a computerized longarm machine system on all t-shirt quilts. Please check out the quilting style page to see the standard quilting pattern that we use. Your quilt will be densly quilted for strength. We use Hobbs 80/20 (cotton/poly) batting and is machine washable and dry-able.  Your quilt will come with a tag on it with washing instructions.

How do you know what side of the shirt to use?
Normally we use the side that has the largest graphic. If you want us to use both sides of the shirt please mark the shirt with either a note pinned to it or write on painters tape and stick it on the cloth of the t-shirt – not the graphic. Sometimes masking tape leaves a residue if you stick it directly on the graphic so try and place it on the t-shirt itself. Painter’s tape also works well and does not leave the residue. You also need to mark the shirt if you think we will be unsure of what side to use.  Please do NOT use Duc or Packing  tape.

Can I plan my own layout?
Normally we just arrange the shirts by alternating lights and darks. You may however use one of our layout grids provided here Layout Sheets or you also can simply snap a picture of the layout and include it with the shirts.  These pictures can be printed out with black and white ink or color.

When do I pay the balance?
When the quilt is in it’s final stages we will send you an invoice by e-mail. You will have the option of paying the balance through our secure Intuit (Quickbooks) account on-line, or mail us a check. WE NOT ACCEPT MONEY ORDERS.  Once payment is made the quilt will be shipped.

How is the finished quilt sent back?
We use UPS service and all quilts are sent using ground service.  Please make sure you provide us with a street address and no a p.o. number.

Where do we send our shirts?

Blue Ribbon Quilt Co.

1222 N. Howe St.

Southport, NC  28461