So, if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve mentioned before my love/hate relationship with my works in progress. One minute, I am totally loving how something is working out, and in a split second, I am suddenly struggling to finish that same project because I feel like it is going downhill fast. This quilt took me on such a roller coaster ride, I actually walked away from it for almost a week. I needed to look at it with fresh eyes, and hopefully give myself enough time to get over what I wasn’t liking about it, before continuing on. And luckily, that worked. I love the end result. I think it’s super cute, and I already have plans to make another t-shirt quilt…of course with a completely different layout and style, which will more than likely also come with a roller coaster ride of its own, but we’ll talk about that later!
Below you’ll find a basic how-to with a few tips added here and there. Feel free to ask questions. Just a note, this quilt used 20 t-shirts. (I only used the fronts.) I think a 3×3 would be a good size for a lap quilt, and you would only need 9 shirts. If you’d like cutting instructions for the smaller version, just let me know!
Nikki, In Stitches
P.S. Sorry for the bad pics! Can you tell I’m short, and even standing on a chair with my arms stretched as high as they can go above my head, I still can’t get a straight shot??
*2 3/4 yards of lining fabric (I was lucky enough to be able to use scraps!)
*2 yards of sashing fabric (*Only 1 1/2 yards needed, if sashing is pieced.)
*2 1/4 yards of border fabric (*Only 1 yard needed, if border is pieced.)
*4 yards of backing fabric
* 3/4 yard of binding fabric
1. Cut your t-shirts apart, leaving the front intact. Then cut a 12 1/2″ square from the front of each shirt.
2. From your lining fabric, cut 20 pieces 12 1/2″ square. Pin baste each of these to a t-shirt square. This way, the stretchy t-shirt fabric will always be sandwiched between two pieces of stable cotton, and will be much easier to work with! (Note: some people like to iron the t-shirts to interfacing, thus not needing the lining fabric. I chose not to in this case, because I didn’t want to loose the soft, comfy feel of the t-shirts, but I will admit, it would have been easier to work with and quilt, if I had.)
3. From your sashing fabric, cut 15 pieces 12 1/2″ by 2 1/2″
4. From your sashing fabric, cut 6 pieces 58 1/2″ by 2 1/2″
5. From your sashing fabric, cut 2 pieces 72 1/2″ by 2 1/2″
6. From your border fabric, cut 2 pieces 58 1/2″ by 4 1/2″
7. From your border fabric, cut 2 pieces 80 1/2″ by 4 1/2″
Sew Row 1 of the quilt top together. (I tend to work from left to right, so I would sew pieces in the following order: Row 1 – T-Shirt Block, 12 1/2” x 2 1/2” sashing strip, T-Shirt Block, 12 1/2” x 2 1/2” sashing strip, T-Shirt Block, 12 1/2” x 2 1/2” sashing strip, T-Shirt Block.) Always press to the sashing strips.
2. Repeat Step 1 for Rows 2 – 5 of the quilt top.
3. Working from top to bottom, sew Rows 1 to 5 together with a 58 ½” x 2 1/2” sashing strip between each. Press to the sashing strips.
4. Sew the remaining to 58 ½” x 2 1/2” sashing strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top, pressing to the sashing strips.
5. Sew the remaining two 72 1/2” x 2 ½” sashing strips to each side of the quilt top, again pressing to the sashing strips.
6. Sew a 58 ½” x 4 1/2” border strip to the top and bottom of the quilt top. Press out to the borders.
7. Sew an 80 1/2” x 4 1/2” border strip to each side of the quilt top, pressing out to the borders.
You can visit the following two tutorials I posted last year for step-by-step directions to quilt and bind your finished product:
A Quilt Sambo! – How to pin baste your layers together and stitch in the ditch
In all honesty, t-shirt material does not “quilt” very well. Be sure to use a walking foot!
Bound and Determined – How to assemble your binding and attach it to your quilt