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T-Shirt Quilt

T-Shirt Quilt
Print Print or download Project Sheet (PDF)

by Sheila Reinke
Kids are involved in many different activities; and it seems that all the clubs, events and teams come with their own t-shirt. What do you do with all of those shirts year after year? After reading this - you'll hoard them! A t-shirt quilt is a great gift for your graduate going off to college or leaving home for any reason. The quilt will be filled with so many memories - it's perfect for dealing with homesickness.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time to Complete:

Tools Needed:

Materials Needed:
  • (beyond standard sewing supplies)
  • Approx. 20 T-Shirts
  • 3 yards French Fuse Knit Interfacing
  • 3 2/3 yards fabric (sashings & borders)
  • 2/3 yard fabric binding
  • Thread to match
  1. Construction:
  2. Prepare t-shirt squares as follows:
  3. Cut sleeves off of t-shirt, cut front and back apart. Do not discard the scraps.
  4. Cut French Fuse into 16" squares. Center this over the design area on the back of the t-shirt. Fuse to back of the shirt, ironing on the interfacing side. Note: don't iron on the front size because there may be elements of the t-shirt design that will melt if your iron touches the design directly. If you do need to iron the front side, use a pressing cloth.
  5. Examine your t-shirts and determine what size you want to cut the t-shirt squares, then add your seam allowance. I cut my shirts into a 14 1/2" square so that the finished square is 14" in the quilt.
  6. Helpful Hint: When cutting your square, determine the center point of your 14 1/2" square on the 16 1/2" square ruler, and place a dot at this point. Use this dot to center your design, then use the straight edges to cut the top and side of your image, then rotate the t-shirt and cut the other side and bottom.
  7. Lay out the t-shirts, arranged so that the shirt and design colors are dispersed evenly. You will want to make sure that you don't put all of the light or dark shirts together.
  9. Prepare the sashings:
  10. Cut 3 strips 14 1/2" wide x the width of the fabric (approx 44").
  11. Subcut those three strips into 31 strips 3"x 14 1/2"
  13. Prepare the cornerstones:
  14. Using scraps of the t-shirts, cut squares approximately 4". 
  15. Fuse interfacing to the back of the squares, and cut down to 3" squares.
  17. Cut 8 strips (10 1/2" x width of fabric) for the quilt borders.
  18. Download attached pattern in PDF to assemble the quilt top.
  19. Quilt and Bind the quilt top as you would normally.
  21. Tips:
  22. T-shirts have been washed multiple times and will not shrink further, so prewash the other fabrics being used.
  23. Use a knit interfacing that will stabilize the shirt and not leave a bubbled look after the quilt has been washed.
  24. If you have a smaller design on a shirt you want to use (such as something in the pocket area), you could make a 4-patch block (if you are lucky enough to have 4 small designs). Or, you could add strips of left over t-shirts that are in a coordinating color. Be sure to put interfacing onto EACH piece before sewing the block together.
  25. Pattern can be reproduced for personal (not for sale) use.
  26. For more patterns by Sheila, see her blog at: http://sheilareinke.wordpress.com/

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