A t-shirt quilt is a wonderful way to preserve lasting memories and is made up of t-shirts that are laid out in a pattern and sewn together. Some people will make a t-shirt quilt to give to a high school graduate using the school and event t-shirts collected by the student throughout the student’s time in school. Others have made t-shirt quilts out of old t-shirts of individuals serving in the military overseas or who have passed away as a way to help the children of these individuals feel close to their parents who are not around. The quilts go together quickly, making this a fast and easy project for preserving memories.
When you are putting together your quilt, you will need to adjust the fabric and number of t-shirts to the size of your quilt. Additionally, you need to take into consideration whether you are using adult size t-shirts or child ones. Laying out the t-shirts in your pattern will help you determine if you have the right size.
- T-shirts (at least 25 for a queen size quilt)
- Interfacing (about half of a yard for each t-shirt square)
- Rotary cutter and cutting board
- Material for borders if you want them
- Material for backing on the quilt
- Sewing machine
- Sewing Pings
First, you need to determine which shirts you want to use and the size that you want each square to be. You can determine this by looking at your smallest t-shirt, and the largest design. If they match up, then this is the size you want to use. Be sure to leave enough room for seam allowances when you cut.
Next you need to cut the t-shirts and apply the interfacing. When you first cut the shirts, leave extra room, because you will trim them to the exact size after applying the interfacing. You can simply iron on the interfacing to the backside of each square. Use your rotary cutter and cutting board to cut your quilting squares to the correct measurement. This method will help keep your squares uniform in size and make putting your quilt together easier.
Lay out your quilt and determine the pattern you want before you start pinning it together. Some people like to sew a border around each square out of a contrasting material. If you do this, you will need to cut and lay that out, as well. Pin each of the squares together in rows.
Sew the rows together with the sewing machine. You should have several different rows once this step has been completed. Then you will pin the rows together and sew them together. Make sure you are lining up the squares correctly and that everything is facing the correct direction.
Once you have the quilt front, you will need to cut and sew on the backing. You can cut the backing out and then pin all of the edges together with the outside edges facing in. You will need to sew around the border, leaving enough space for you to turn the quilt inside out. Once the quilt is turned the correct way, sew the hole shut.
Finally, you will need to quilt the individual squares. If you do not want to quilt them, you can tie the quilt at each of the corners of each t-shirt with yarn. Otherwise, you will need to pin the squares, so you do not have the material bunch as you sew along the border of each square. Quilting is the longest process of the project, and it may be difficult because the fabric is heavy. Just take your time, and you will be able to finish the quilt. It can help to have the quilt resting on the table next to you.
- T-Shirt Quilt Guide: This guide explains how to determine the number and size of squares to cut as well as the additional steps you need to take to make your t-shirt quilt lasts over the years.
- How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial: Use this video to learn the many steps to creating a t-shirt quilt. It also gives you visual examples that can make sewing the quilt easier.
- T-Shirt Quilt How To: Learn how to breakdown the quilt pattern and to create a truly memorable t-shirt quilt.
- Making a T-Shirt Quilt: Look at examples and different layouts you can incorporate to make a truly unique quilt out of t-shirts.
- T-Shirt Quilt Instructions: Step by step instructions for completing a basic t-shirt quilt are provided here.