Last Saturday’s t-shirt quilt class at Stitch N Quilt was a lot of fun. Great group of ladies who hopefully learned a few things about making a t-shirt quilt. I know they had a good time experimenting with my steam press! I was also encouraged to try the quilt as you go method for a change. I might just do that for my next shop sample…but I need some more t-shirts first.
Remember: Making a t-shirt quilt is nothing to be afraid of. If you can sew a straight 1/4″ seam and use an iron, you have the skill set necessary to make the top. Many of my students were worried about the quilting design before they ever cut the first t-shirt. Don’t worry about the quilting design until you get through with the top! Quilting by checkbook (i.e., send it out to a longarmer) is perfectly acceptable.
My husband had some long sleeved t-shirts that he took back to the store to trade for short-sleeved versions. However, there was one long-sleeved t-shirt left in a beautiful shade of blue that he couldn’t find in a short-sleeve version. You know what’s coming next right?
“Honey, can you make this a short-sleeved t-shirt?” hubby asked. Sure, I thought, I’ll just whip out my cover stitch machine – NOT! I do not own a cover stitch machine and iI’s been AGES since last sewed on knit fabrics…but not with my 3160QDC. Unlike my 6600, this sweet little machine will tackle knit fabrics without puckering – provided you set the machine correctly.
Here’s what I did:
Stretch (blue tip) needle in size 75/11 or 80/12
Straight stitch with stitch length of 3.5, center needle position
Mettler Metrosene thread
Foot pressure adjusted to 4 (or 2 if you only have 3 settings)
Turned up a 1″ hem on the sleeve. I didn’t have a twin stretch needle handy, so I sewed the right side first using the “10” mark on my needle plate as the guide. To sew, the second row of stitching, I let the previous row of stitching ride just on the inside edge of the right toe of the walking foot. I trimmed any excess fabric with my applique scissors. Worked like a charm!
Here you see the newly hemmed sleeve on the left compared with the factory sewn bottom of the t-shirt. Not too shabby, huh? I think my stitching looks much neater than the factory sewn hem. Don’t you? To make the distance between the lines of stitching truly mimic the RTW hem, I could have moved the needle to the left just a little bit to make the distance wider between the rows of stitching. Something to keep in mind for the future…but I’m pleased with how it turned out.