T-Shirt Quilt Classes Scheduled


Come learn how to make a t-shirt quilt in time for graduation!

This is a hands-on technique class where you’ll learn about t-shirt prep, layout options, construction methods and quilting options.  The sample on display in the shop was made by me!  It was constructed, quilted and bound on my Janome 6600.

You are welcome to bring more shirts if you plan a larger project.  I will be happy to help you with the layout and math.  My objective is for you to have at least one row pieced by the time we leave.

Friday:  March 20th from 6:00-9:30 p.m.   OR  Saturday:  April 11th from 1:00-4:30 p.m.

Both classes at Stitch N Quilt in Mableton.

Class fee:  $30.  Please call the shop at 770-944-3356 to register.

T-Shirt Quilt Class Supply List

Binding par machine à coudre

With kid quilts,  t-shirt quilts and others that are destined to be heavily used, I like to sew down my binding by machine. I make traditional French fold binding from 2-1/2″ strips.  I attach my binding using this method.  I flip the binding to the back and hold it in place with those little red Wonder clips. You could use the Elmer’s glue baste method used by many award winning quilters to hold your binding in place, but I can’t stand sticky fingers!  Once the binding is all secured with the Wonder clips, I let the quilt sit for a bit (or overnight) before I stitch the binding by machine.

Which stitch to use?  Of course, you can always use a straight stitch. However, my current go-to stitch is the center needle lightning bolt stitch on my computerized Janome machines (#5 on 3160QDC and #6 on 6600).  It’s actually designed to be used with knits, but it does an excellent job of attaching quilt binding.  The zigzag is so narrow it works with the straight stitch plate in place.  I use the A foot and let the “ditch” ride along the inner left toe of the foot.  You could also use a narrow zigzag (1.0 width x 2.0 length) to get a similar effect.  If you have a machine with preset zigzag stitches (like the Jem Gold 660) then experiment with the tiny zigzag and a 50# thread or the 3 step zigzag with a decorative thread such as a 40# variegated to see which one you like best. You may have to adjust your work slightly to the left since these stitches form from a left needle position on the Jem Gold 660.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to stitch that baby quilt binding down in under 30 minutes. Talk about a timesaver!

Improving efficiency = improved profitability

As a craft business owner, there are a two ways to definitely improve the bottom line:

(1) cut expenses

(2) improve efficiency

Improving efficiency means streamlining processes so that you can devote more time to the areas of your business that make you money.

Example 1 – Quotes for custom quilts & sewing projects
For me, quoting a price for a project used to be torture. Not any more.  Time spent conducting competitive analysis and figuring real costs to produce a t-shirt quilt have paid off handsomely.  I developed a pricing worksheet that helps me figure pricing for various options/special services that clients request.  If a client requests expensive batik fabric for the quilt, I note it on the worksheet and attach receipts to the worksheet so I remember to bill it back to the customer on the final invoice.

Example 2 – Automate wherever possible
I currently use a cloud based accounting/bookkeeping system.  It’s free and it works for me.  I can invoice clients, accept payments and send receipts electronically.  The one thing that it does not do is allow me to track my time.  If pattern editing services pick-up, I may have to revisit things.   However, manual time tracking is currently working just fine.

Example 3 – Streamline steps in production process
Investing a few hundred bucks in a steam press and die cutting machine have really paid off in terms of time savings when it comes to making t-shirt quilts.  So has stocking up on the interfacing and batting I prefer to use.  Time spent experimenting with the best way to machine sew quilt binding has also paid off.  Quality is not compromised one iota!  Every little bit of time I can save translates into increased profitability for me per project.

Example 4 – Take time to plan
Every Sunday, I plan for the week ahead.  I write out my goals/to-dos for the day job, craft business and home.
I keep a master list of “things to buy” and keep retailer coupons in the car.  I know I’ll need a bolt of interfacing after my next t-shirt quilt.  I keep scanning the craft store ads for a 50% off deal or sale.  I’m also looking for 2 sturdy 6′ folding tables.  When I see a good price, I’ll buy them.

These are just a few of the things I do to improve my profitability.  What are some things you do?