Tips for Making a T-Shirt Quilt

At our September meeting, Janet solicited members’ knowledge on how they’ve approached making a T-Shirt Quilt. As usual, our members came through!

If you have a suggestion for making a t-shirt quilt, regarding design elements or construction, let us know in the comments.

Helene’s Tips:

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Helene made this quilt from her son’s tshirt collection
  1. This quilt has t-shirts, stabilizer, batting, and backing.
  2. Use iron-on stabilizer on all tshirt material (Karen recommends Pellon SF101); this allows using a 1/4″ seam and makes the material feel like quilting grade fabric
  3. Save scraps from the t-shirts, in case gaps need to be filled between the blocks

Trudy’s Tips:

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Trudy made this quilt from her Camp Tshirts
  1. This quilt has t-shirts and flannel (it’s really soft)
  2. Instead of using interfacing and batting, sew flannel to the back of the t-shirt blocks
  3. To create a boarder around the t-shirt block, piece the blocks so the seam is on the t-shirt side. Sew seam allowance open and down – a flannel border with raw edges is now visible on the t-shirt side of the quilt

Gail’s Tips:

Gail’s tshirt quilt is of her sisters work tshirts
  1. This quilt used t-shirts, stabilizer, batting, and backing
  2. Use stabilizer

Holly’s Tips:

Holly’s tshirt quilt in memory of a lost friend
  1. This quilt used t-shirts, stabilizer, batting, backing, and pieced blocks from quilting material
  2. Use a block pattern that can easily be adjusted in size to fill in any weird spacing issues due to different t-shirt block sizes.
  3. This type of pattern allows the quilt to be customized to the owner’s color preferences

Other tips:

  1. If the t-shirt has a plastic-y decal, do not iron over it! It will melt. Iron around it.
  2. Check Pinterest for ideas. Shannon found a schematic for using different block sizes.
  3. Use unique features of the shirt – special tabs/buttons – in the quilt design
  4. Browse Craftsy for classes on making a t-shirt quilt
  5. If the quilt will be a wall hanging, use flannel instead of batting to lighten the quilt. press the seams open, if you have to piece the flannel to make it big enough.

Suggestions for Making it Modern

  • Use all the same color t-shirts to create more negative space in the quilt
  • Cut t-shirts into strips, circles, hexagons, etc and piece back together randomly
  • Use different sized t-shirt blocks
  • Use a few t-shirt blocks as part of the overall design of the quilt
Lucinda’s in-process tshirt quilt in hexies

 

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