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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > Polyester race shirts ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Polyester race shirts
Ugly but sentimental
Charbucks
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Charbucks
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Date: 11/13/12 3:52 PM

I have an ever-growing collection of race shirts from various running and triathlon events. They tend to be cheap wicking polyester with a bit of stretch. I really only need 2 or 3 to work out in, and most of them fit poorly anyways.

I've heard of people making quilts from souvenir T-shirts, but has anyone ever tried it from athletic synthetics? What might such a quilt be used for? I'm thinking picnic blanket or something, as it'd be more durable and stain-resistant than cotton. Is the stretchiness likely to be an issue?

quiltingwolf
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In reply to Charbucks <<


Date: 11/13/12 4:36 PM

You could do a quilt just go by the guidelines for sewing with knits. I would think you might want to back it with a stretching material also.

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Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/13/12 11:21 PM

I think for the tshirt quilts it's recommended to use a fusible backing (which stabilizes) for the tshirts before cutting the final squares. Then the blocks handle like a woven. You can use batting or not and back with whatever. They are heavy, and I would not try to hand quilt one.

I made a few tshirt quilts on request "back in the day" and didn't use any stabilizer. Neither love nor money could get me to do it again. I'd pay to have it done. There are a lot of services for that, and their fees seem very reasonable, wrestled those stretchy, heavy monsters. My opinion only, there are plenty of web tutorials and even some books for the brave, strong, and frugal. 😊

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tourist
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Date: 11/14/12 0:51 AM

Charbucks - I am not a quilter, but I see your point about the synthetic shirts being a whole different ballgame. I would be tempted (if we had any of those shirts left - thankfully we have switched from triathlon/adventure race to ballroom dance - no t-shirts there!) to stitch them straight down onto a woven blanket or even a sheet. Just cut out the design, lay it down with maybe some stabilizer/glue and zig zag into place. Overlap the edges and give it a rough-hewn, rugged look. During those many years I often thought of doing a quilt and am seriously glad I never actually did one. I did sew some nice designs onto tote bags, though. Bought nice cotton ones with corporate logos at thrift shops, cut out the nice running art from the better shirts and sewed it onto the bag. Would love to see your finished product if you do one!

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Maia B
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 11/14/12 1:31 AM

I always meant to make a quilt out of my race shirts, especially the ones from races I did pushing that $&@! massive jogging stroller when the boys were babies. All in the basement now... Shirts, jogging stroller, and even the kids sometimes. Maybe I should make them that quilt, you know, to keep warm down there.

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Charbucks <<
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Date: 11/14/12 4:29 AM

Use a very light interfacing or fusible tricot fused to the back of the shirts to help stabilize. I once had a polyester quilt, made from fabrics in the 1970's (Ricky Bobby's pantsuit colors.. ) and that quilt was very warm! 3" squares, all cut by hand scissors (no rotary cutters back then) and tied with yarn; not quilted. Really cute!

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Cat n Bull
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Date: 11/14/12 9:12 AM

Misty Fuse is a VERY lightweight stabilizer. My worry is that no matter what stabilizer you use, it has to be heat set. Heat + polyester has the potential to melt, so test first!
Misty Fuse

Another easy way to deal with stretchy fabric is the quilt as you go method. I have done this with stretchy knits and it works great! The seams do stretch, so plan to use your rotary cutter and ruler to trim the stretched out part and keep the just added pieces square.

Kaye Wood's method

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TessKwiltz
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TessKwiltz  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/14/12 10:52 AM

Most of the T-shirt quilts I have seen involve fusing for stability, and as Cat mentioned I would be concerned whether you could get enough heat to fuse without melting the shirt fabric. Like she said, I would test to see if a good bond is possible. You will need to stabilize the knit some way to do any actual quilting.

Another possibility: I once made a throw out of stretchy Minkee squares. Instead of quilting I tied the layers together at the corners using perle cotton. The back was also Minkee, no batting.

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Tess

On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

Charbucks
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Date: 11/15/12 3:25 PM

Thanks for all the replies! Stabilizer seems like a good idea, I'll give that a shot.

I should mention that I am not (yet) a quilter - this was just a thought that occurred to me. I've got a rotary cutter and mat in the mail though!

I'll probably revisit this project after I get my feet wet with some easier stuff, but I thought I'd see what people think of the idea first.

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