T-Shirt Quilt and Directions

A t-shirt quilt story and directions for making your own quilt.

You have a bureau drawer or closet full of old t-shirts. It is time to clean out and make room for going shopping for those right after 4th of July sales. You may just find it is just time to thoroughly clean but you really don’t want to part with those people shirts after all these years. Like pictures, t-shirts hold memories of the time when…

So what can be done with all the pile on the floor of the multiple shades and sizes of old tee shirts from either your children’s times playing soccer or little league? What about your old college t shirts or the ones saved from high school activities. Those have to mean something or they still would not take the back of your closest.

Instead of putting all of these great memories, saved intended for so long, turn them into a t-shirt quilt.

I worked on a t-shirt quilt for a friend, whose child passed away a few years ago. T-shirts are memories now they are gifts of times shared that can never be came back.

Her son was also a student within my classroom, my years ago. As I cut, iron, sew, and quilt remembrances of a young man flood back and cause me to feel smile. As the quilter, I am very happy to be able employ my talents so the family will be able to snuggle under the quilt made with the days of joys and peace with their son.

Old tshirts transformed into a t-shirt quilt could be a lifetime of memories.

Here are a few pointers to follow when making your t-shirt quilt:

The instructions are based on a 15″ finished square T-shirt block. The duvet will eventually have the same size quilt block with fabric sashing between the shirt/ blocks and a fabric border.

First, check all your t-shirts to make sure that the designs will match a 15″ square. Sizes: all of sizes include 1/2″ sashing and a 2″ border and are based on a 14 1/2″ finished t-shirt block. If the shirts are smaller sized than the above mentioned size, sewing tshirts together can form one block.

12 shirts will make a throw-size quilt, approx. 48″ x 64″ — 3 across x 4 straight down.
20 shirts will make a cal king size quilt, approx. 64″ x 82″ – 4 across x 5 down
30 shirts can make a full size quilt, approx. 82″ x 96″ – 5 throughout x 6 down.
36 t shirts will make a queen size quilt, approx. 96″ x 96″ : 6 across x 6 lower.
42 shirts will make a king-size quilt, approx 110″ x 96″ – 7 across x six down.

Step 1 – Select Tops – Make sure the shirts are expending not stained.

Step 2 – Fusible Interfacing – Each shirt must be backed with non-woven fusible interfacing to prevent it from stretching. Buy heavyweight fusible Pellon iron-on interfacing. Good quality permits less stretching of the t-shirts. Buy enough for 17″ per shirt. Iron on just before cutting the shirts to the needed square size.

Step 3 – Material for Sashing/Border/Binding – Sashing pieces form a decorative grid between each T-shirt block. Plan on 2″ sashing strips (1/2″ when finished) between the blocks, 2 1/2″ strips (2″ when finished) for your border, and additional fabric for the binding.

Step 4 – Cutting Shirts — Separate the front of the shirt from your back. Make sure the shirt is easy, iron if necessary. You want your clothing side to be larger than 15 in . square – ideally larger than 17 inches to fit the interfacing. After you apply the interfacing you will reduce the shirt square to the preferred size. (Mentioned in Step 2)

Step 5 – Fusing — Cut interfacing to a 17″ sq .. Don’t piece the interfacing, it will eventually show through. Position the interfacing with the resin side down on the wrong side of the t-shirt, trying to center the design as much as possible. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for fusing to the back of each T-shirt. Use a press cloth so that you don’t get any glue on your iron. Beware of wrinkles – once great they won’t come out!

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