Quick and Easy T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial

In case you have a pile of clothing and T-shirts that have particular meaning but don’t know what to do together, a T-shirt quilt may be the best answer. Not only will you get to revisit some old favorites as you work, but the final quilt will possess both sentimental and functional price.


Sewing and quilting using lace cloth is a different experience from using high excellent quilter’s cottons. Since the fabric of a T-shirt is designed to be elastic and stretchy, pieces cut from the top will curl and bend out of shape too. The T-shirts you have chosen for your project are likely well-loved memory bits — and may not be in excellent condition. Laundering, wearing, and handling ages cloth, so some parts of your shirt may reveal extra indications of wear.

Related video: Types of Interfacing Fabric and Interfacing Sewing (links to our sister site, National Sewing Circle)

Deciding on a lightweight fusible interfacing to back your T-shirt bits might help smooth out any irregular or worn patches and prevent your cubes from spreading out of shape. Depending upon how big your T-shirts, you will be able to stabilize four to eight tops per lawn of interfacing.

Heavy weight T-shirts, or those created out of a thick or dense knit fabric that is less flexible and more sturdy, may not require stabilizer, but most lightweight to medium knits will benefit from adding a non-woven fusible interfacing as directed. Using a stabilizer can help to equalize your cloth weights by incorporating some additional heft for your T-shirts, allowing them to more closely mimic the weight and hand of a good excellent quilter’s cotton. If you’re unsure of the way your knit will perform, cut on a sleeve from the garment in question and use fusible interfacing. Evaluate the stabilized piece with the rest of the garment to see which model you prefer to utilize.


Design Decisions For The T-Shirt Quilt
A T-shirt quilt is a personal, customized project based on things you already have — every finished quilt will be uniquely yours — and each will have its own appearance and flavor. Take some time to plan out a design for your quilt. Think about layout and how you want your tops to look. Do you prefer a uniform look with square blocks that are the exact same size or do you wish to fussy cut each T-shirt to perfectly highlight the plan part, and then put your quilt together like a puzzle? It may be handy to fold the T-shirts and put them out on the floor to get an idea of which kind of layout you would like. Snap a photograph of your layout so that you have something to refer to as you assemble your own quilt.

If you have a diverse collection of shirts, you are able to piece smaller tops together to make larger cubes or mix with cotton fabric to make blocks that are big enough to work into the remainder of your quilt. Sashing and borders can be added as desired — using the interfacing makes it easy to combine your T-shirts with traditional quilt cottons.

Connected class: Making a T-Shirt QuiltGetting Your T-Shirt Quilt
Here is a listing of supplies and materials you will want to have available before you Start creating your T-shirt quilt:

Select tops based on their look, sentimental value, and also how well they function together. Shirts may be worn or thin, but any big holes or tears may render your top unusable to your own quilt. Wash the tops and wash them thoroughly to eliminate stains or odors.

Use scissors to remove the sleeves from every shirt. Separate the front from the back by cutting along the shoulder stitches. Carefully cut each side by the hem into the armhole to completely separate the front from the trunk.

Choose Your Block Size

Opt for a block size which relates to the size of your top pieces — if you’re working with adult men’s T-shirts, then you can create your blocks around 16″ square. Child or teen sized shirts will naturally yield smaller cubes; unless your shirts are extremely little, plan on cutting out 10″-12″ squares.

Get the Interfacing

For every T-shirt, cut on a piece of fusible interfacing that is bigger than your preferred block size. Place the T-shirt piece image side down on your ironing board and shirt with the interfacing, with the adhesive side . Center the interfacing supporting the picture or position it as desirable. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the interfacing to the rear of the T-shirt. Pressing from the back protects the images on the shirt; cover the top using a pressing cloth if you decide to press against the front. Repeat for every shirt.
Reduce Your Favorite

Together with your rotary cutter, ruler, and mat, trim each shirt piece to your chosen square size.

Sew your stabilized tops together into rows, stitching every piece into place with the ideal sides together and pressing every row after stitching. Sashing can be inserted as you slice or you can just sew the T-shirts together.

Stitch your finished rows together to finish your quilt front. Sew the strips of T-shirt together with the right sides facing each other and then press on the finished quilt front.

Related video: Strip Piecing Quilt Techniques

End the Quilt

Choose a financing and batting for your quilt and fabric as desired. Hand quilting might be more difficult than normal in case you’ve used thick T-shirts; differently you’re able to quilt by hand or machine using your favorite pattern or stencil.

Caring for Your Quilt
Considering that the tops you’ve used for your quilt have probably been laundered many times, you won’t have to do anything special to care for your own quilt. You can wash it in the washing machine and hang to dry or tumble dry low.

It has never been easier to make something special out of your unforgettable tops and clothes! Whether you already have a collection or will need to raid your household’s closet, you can earn a beautiful and meaningful piece which you’ll treasure for years to come.

If you are interested in knowing more about making t-shirt vases, then check out National Quilters Circle’s brand new course, creating a T-Shirt Quilt with Kelly Hanson.

Happy quilting!

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