- Cut out t-shirts using a cardboard rectangle as a pattern (mine was 13" X 17")
- Line back of each t-shirt rectangle with interfacing
- Lay out pattern you want for quilt out of t-shirt rectangles (I had enough for a oversize queen)
- Pin together columns of t-shirt rectangles and sew (1/2 -1" seam allowance)
- Pin together columns and sew to create your quilt top
- Find a piece of fabric large enough to cover back of quilt or made quilt double-sided
- Putting right sides of quilt and back fabric together, place batting on top of quilt side
- Sew around entire piece leaving 2 1/2 feet opening at bottom of quilt
- Turn quilt right side out, using hold at bottom of quilt
- Pin and topstitch around entire quilt (I used a 1/4" seam allowance)
- Sew across top and sides of each t-shirt rectangle to finish OR outline each design on t-shirt rectangle OR both OR tie each corned or t-shirt rectangle in place using yarn, etc. (It is really up to you how you want to finish it as each way will yield a different look.)
- Put on a bed and showcase your t-shirt memories!
So my latest project has been a t-shirt quilt for my brother. It is made out of his t-shirts from high school and college. Starting on this quilt about 6 months ago didn't seem so bad. I watched Glee episodes as I cut out the front and backs of his t-shirts using a 13" X 17" pattern I made using a cardboard box. Once I finally finished cutting them all out (and a word to the wise here, jersey knit is REALLY difficult to cut without stretching it or cutting a jagged line on accident) I was ready to start assembling the quilt together.
Since I have never quilted before myself (both of my grandmothers were really into sewing and I think both did various types of quilting at some point or other), I was at a loss. Both of my grandmother's passed away, so I couldn't ask them for help; therefore, I went to the internet with my questions. In principle, it seemed an easy task to create columns of t-shirts and then to sew those columns together to form the top of the quilt. This seems to be a trend in this project for sure: thinking something will be easy only to realize it is not going to be a fun time at all. Just as jersey knit was difficult to cut, it was also a difficult material to sew on. I decided to add interfacing to the back of each piece of t-shirt panel (read: 2 times the amount of cutting results in one t-shirt panel). After cutting all those pieces out, I ironed them to the t-shirts to give them more stability when I got to the sewing part.
|Quilt Squares, laid out in pattern|
|3 layers pinned together|
|Used a chalk line to get a straight edge|
|Turning it right side out|
I realize this is a sickeningly long post, but this was a sickeningly long process, so it makes sense. There were a ton of mis-steps and errors that I had to correct as I went, but I learned a lot and know when I make my t-shirt quilt next, I will know a ton more and the process will go much faster. Hopefully. So, if you decide to try this project on for size, I would say estimate 3 times the amount of time you think it will take, but also know that you should be happy that all the hard work you put into it has paid off and now you have a beautiful, homeade and recycled quilt.