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Making a T-shirt Quilt

Category Quilting
Photo of a quilt made with tshirts.
Making a t-shirt quilt is a great way to preserve memories. Those old concert shirts or other neat shirt you no longer wear can be turned into a cozy quilt. This is a guide about making a t-shirt quilt.
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By 15 found this helpful
October 17, 2011

Through our teenage years (OK, still to this day), my brother and I went to hundreds of concerts. It's all we'd ever spend our hard-earned chore money on. We've collected many a precious T-shirt while following our favorite bands on tours.
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Now we have outgrown them, but wanting to keep them alive for our memories, we've had our mother turn the T-shirts into quilts. This one here is the first quilt my mother ever tried making, so trying with old T-shirts was good practice for her and just an amazing recycled gift for us! Even though it's a bit crooked, we cherish it more than you can imagine. All our favorite bands now keep us warm at night. Sweet dreams.

By attosa from Los Angeles, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 15

August 29, 20051 found this helpful

As I was getting ready for college, I realized two things: one, I had too many t-shirts. Two, I loathed parting with said T-shirts. Here's how to keep those well-worn memories fun and useful.

  1. Gather materials: approximately 20 T-shirts, a sewing machine and thread, scissors, a 10.5X10.5 in. cardboard square (a calendar back), and enough material to span 5X4 of the cardboard squares (I purchased 1.5 yd. of green faux suede material from Wal-Mart for a bit over $10.00. Use whatever you want, though.)
  2. Using the cardboard as a pattern, snip out twenty squares of T-shirt (fronts, mostly, but if backs have something memorable, use them, too.)
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  4. Sew four squares across, alternating colors. (Place faces of fabric together and sew down the side, leaving a small margin.) Repeat four more times, until all squares are incorporated.
  5. Sew rows together, forming a rectangle of 5X4 squares.
  6. Place face of giganto-rectangle to the fuzzy side of the faux suede and sew zig-zag around the perimeter, leaving one corner unsewn.
  7. Turn right-side out by pulling fabric through the gap.
  8. Stitch up corner by hand.

So there you are, commemorate life events without donating or throwing out your past.

By Sarah

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
March 21, 2013

I would live to learn how to make a t-shirt quilt. I have all the materials that are called for "except" a sewing machine. at this time I am unable to afford one. Can anyone explain step by step how to make one by hand; no machine please?

By Melonie S.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 25, 20130 found this helpful

The following link takes you to pages and pages of quilting info, including how to do it by hand:

http://quilting.about.com/

The guide there even has pages with hand stitches to get a sturdy quilt from piecing to binding. Enjoy, quilting is one of the most relaxing and creative of the textile arts:)

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March 30, 20130 found this helpful

Thank you

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By 0 found this helpful
April 22, 2011

How would you make a t-shirt quilt?

By georgie300 from Waco, TX

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 24, 20110 found this helpful

I googled how to make a tee shirt quilt, and found sites with directions. The site that seemed easiest to follow was called Quiltbug.com.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 27, 20110 found this helpful

Here are the basic steps I followed to make mine (also I'm no seamstress so the terminology isn't going to be right):

1) Find the shirt with the biggest pattern / section that you want to keep in one piece and draw a square on a piece of cardboard that is about an inch larger than the design on all sides.

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2) Using that cardboard square, draw squares on the wrong side of the other T-shirt pieces and cut so you have a stack of squares. (I used a few 'front' sides also if I needed some to fill in or just liked them for whatever reason.

3) Lay the sections out on the floor to see what looks good. Make sure you don't put two white squares together, etc.

4) Sew them together one row at a time using 1" seam allowance (or whatever seam allowance you like) and then sew the rows together in the same manner.

(Disclaimer: I'm a little bit fuzzy on exactly how the rest went because it was awhile ago, but I think these instructions are right:)

5) If you are using batting, cut batting to the size of the quilt and sew around the edges. You may need to use two pieces. You should just sew around the edges at about 1/4" seam allowance. ( I actually don't remember using multiple pieces so I must have had batting that was as wide as the quilt).

6) Sew together fabric that will make up the underside of the quilt (if necessary) and cut fabric so that you have one large section of fabric that 1" larger than the t-shirt section on all sides

7) Press 1/2" hem around the underside fabric (folded in towards wrong side).

8) Lay the underside fabric wrong side up (so you see the raw edges of the hem). Lay the t-shirt section right side up on top, centered (a measuring thingy will help). Then fold fabric edges to make a border and sew in place as close to the edge of the hem as possible ( so about 1/2" from edge of quilt).

The seam allowances are approximate, you may want a larger or smaller border... it might be easier without the border but I think it looks nice. The rest of the quilt is pretty simple, no fabric in between the t-shirts or anything but that could be added pretty easily as well. I love mine. Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
March 7, 2010

I'm looking for advice on making a T-shirt quilt using polar fleece. My daughter is thinking we can fuse the back of t-shirts, sew them to a fleece square, then tie the squares together for one side, then tie that side to the backing. Any ideas if this will work?

By Marcy from NE

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 7, 20100 found this helpful

Why not just cut the front of the t-shirts off and just sew the front to the square of fleece. I have seen pictures of quilts where the squares are tied together, but they have used different materials. My thought is that the t-shirts might be more stretchable than the fleece, and you could end up with something that gets out of shape.

Different t-shirts also have a different amount of stretch. I have seen where people make quilts out of t -shirts but they just use the fronts of the tee shirts cut into squares and sewed together and then proceed like for any quilt. If this is because your daughter wants to use some of her t-shirts in a quilt for keepsakes, I have used some of my daughters t-shirts and made throw pillows out of them. I cut the front and back parts into the size square that I want and sew them together, leaving one end open in order to either insert a pillow form or to stuff it with fiber fill and then sew the open end up.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 22, 2009

I'm looking for instructions for making a t-shirt blanket. Does anyone have any?

By Angela from Waurika, OK

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Answers

October 22, 20090 found this helpful

Here is one from right here on thriftyfun:

http://www.thri  f293441.tip.html

or: http://www.stra  s/teequilts.html

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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