Creating a T-Shirt Quilt

Getting all creative when making quilts, one can cross the border and try using shirts to fill up each squares of it. This is a good way to salvage the memories created and the stories behind each piece of clothing. Basically, a t-shirt quilt is consisting of 12 inch squares that are framed using contrasting fabric. In making a t-shirt quilt, one can just get on with the following procedure.

1. Choose and prepare the shirts. They should be in good condition and clean enough to come up with a neat output. Shirts that are too used are going to wear out faster. Plain fabric can also be used in place of some squares if there is not enough number of shirts available.

2. Attach an interfacing on each shirt. This is needed in order to prevent the shirt from stretching too much to fit the quilt. For this specific project, a medium interfacing is enough. Cut the front and back of each shirt apart before cutting a 14″ square of interfacing. Since this measurement is based on a 12″ square for each shirt quilt, the measurement for the interfacing can be adjusted according to the adjustment made to the shirt. Place the interfacing at the center of the back of the shirt design, and iron it unto the shirt carefully. Avoid any wrinkles on the fabric as well as on the interfacing.

3. With the interfacing in the proper place, cut each shirt design into a 12 ½” square with the ½” for seam allowance. There should be some space for seams around each single design.

4. Pick out the sashing fabric. This is the border in between each design that serves as a line of separation as well as distinction to highlight each design. Each sash should be 2″ plus ½” for the seam allowance. Do the same thing to come up with the border fabric. This can be the same fabric as that of the sashes or a contrasting one. A little bigger than the sashes, the borders can be 3″ of fabric, so we end up with 2 ½” when the sewing is done.

5. Arrange the t-shirt squares in columns and start sewing each square to a sashing strip with a ¼” seam allowance. Sew another t-shirt and sashing combo to make columns of squares. Continue making as many columns of squares as desired based on the preferred length of the quilt.

6. Assemble the columns into a quilt top, sew in long sashing strips to the side of the columns and attach the columns together. After that, add the border fabric on the outer edge of the quilt top with a ¼” seam allowance.

7. Place the quilt top with the wrong side up on a large and smooth surface like the floor. Start doing the layering, which includes the batting and backing processes. The quilt is insulated by the batting material. For machine quilting, low-loft polyester is most appropriate. A high-loft batting material can be used for a cozy and puffy feeling when using the quilt. The backing material, on the other hand, can be of any fabric. One can also use more t-shirt squares and end up with a double-sided quilt. Pin the quilt top, batting and backing fabrics together and tie them. They can also be quilted. Tying those means threading yarn through the three layers of fabric and closing it with a square knot.

5. Once the quilt is done, one can iron it to have a neat appearance.