T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial

I was asked by dear cousins to create a memory quilt for their VERY active daughters. They wanted something they could take to games to keep them warm, as well as for snuggling and watching movies at home.

A twin size quilt fit the bill. Not too cumbersome to tote to games and still big enough it covers the top of a full size bed (Twin is usually 60″x90″)

So, where to start? The girls helped their mom decide which shirts and where to lay them out. You can tell they were pretty thoughtful as the colors balance very well from top to bottom and side to side.

Masking tape on each helped keep t-shirts in order and then stacked to ship without worry of things getting mixed up.

Very active girls! Look at all those team sports!

From there, they arrive in a big box all sorted by row and numbered. That was a really big help in the process. Huge time saver. If you are going to do one for someone else, have them help with this time saving task because these are quilts are labor intensive.

Next, taking each row, iron on stabilizer on the back of each shirt; medium or heavy is best. Stabilizer keeps the stretch from happening as you cut and sew. I pre-cut 13″ squares which gave me a little wiggle room when I came back and cut down the 12×12″ squares.

Using 2 – 6″ quilting rules allowed me to move around to find the best part of the logo. You can use a 10″ or 12″ square. 12″ seemed to work best to get the most logo possible. When you look at the finished product you will see that still some parts are cut off. If these gals were High school football players, we would have done 16″ and fewer squares.

The center filled the top of a full size mattress. Sashing between squares would look nice, but, it would have been too big in the end.

A BIG work space makes things easier and keeps frustration down. Backing fabric is ironed well, batting is worked to make sure back and batting are free from lumps before adding the top. Notice the large extra overhang on the bottom? Instead of doing a separate binding, I cut that to an even 2″ after quilting to create a border by folding over the top. This gave nice weight to the edges and cut down on time.

After pinning the centers of each, the sides are rolled so it can be quilted on a standard sewing machine. If you take a look in the bottom corner, you can see my dumbbell. The weight of the quilt made things a little difficult, so, I used my weights to keep things in order. Start your quilting from the center blocks to discourage the fabric from creeping. I also prefer to quilt the length first. If this is your first attempt at a quilt, you NEED a walking foot. Take the time to look it up on YouTube. It could be the difference from “why did I”, to “I can do”. (This is a great tutorial on a walking foot that really explains it in basic bits!)

And, the final reveal!!
Seeing smiles on these young ladies faces is priceless!
The family dedication to supporting their community
and following through with their teams is complete inspiration.


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