T Shirt Quilt Tutorial

Tee Shirt Quilt 

A friend at work wanted my mom to make her a tee shirt quilt and gave her these tees.  Unfortunately, mom never got a chance to complete it before passing away in July.  I knew I had to finish it for her.  Tee shirt quilts are my least favorite quilts and I knew if I was going to do it, it had to be interesting or I would be miserable making it.  I decided to use the colors of the tee shirts, see below.  I bought bright primary colors to compliment the tees.  Below is a tutorial if any of you happen to have a bunch of tees you have saved and are ready to do something with them.  Hope you enjoy the tutorial, let me know if you have any questions!  

T Shirt Quilt Tutorial 


  1. 8 - 16 tee shirts 
  2. fabrics of varied colors, I used 10 different fabrics (8 fat quarters and 2 fabrics measuring 1/2 yd).
  3. Pellon 821 Quilter's Grid On Point or Pellon 820 Quilter's Grid or any type of one sided iron-on interfacing, thin or light weight.  
  4. thread to match your fabric, I used yellow, blue, red and white (white in my bobbin)

Pellon 821 Quilter's Grid On Point
Pellon 820 Quilter's Grid
is what I used to back the tee shirts, it worked great!

  • Cut out the designs from the tee shirts that you want to use in the quilt.  I cut out each design roughly and left as much fabric around the design as possible.  I used designs from the front and back of the tee shirt and from the pockets.   

  • Trim the designs down leaving about 2 inches around each design using a rotary cutter and ruler.  You will notice that the fabric rolls.  This is why you have to put a stabilizer onto the back of the tee shirt designs that you want to include into the quilt.  
  • Cut a piece of Pellon just smaller than the tee shirt design.

  • Iron the Pellon onto the back of your designs using a pressing cloth.  I use a piece of an old sheet.  

  • Trim the tee shirts down to the size you want them, leaving ample room around for seam allowances.  I only cut off enough to make the similar sizes.  All the small ones I cut to the same width and the larger ones I cut them down to 2 inches around the design on all sides.  

  • Plan your design.  I played around with them before settling on the final layout.  
  • I cut strips of fabric to go around all the big squares.  Each strip was cut 3.5 inches wide.  
  • I then sewed the strips around the big squares and then layed on the design wall to see how they would look.  
  • I then pieced the squares together by centering the squares and trimming off any extra strips that were bigger than the rest.  
  • In the center square, I decided to put all the small designs together.  

  • Quilt it anyway you like.  I did a simple stitch in the ditch to protect the tee shirts.  I didn't want any quilting to interfere with the words on the tee shirts.  

  • I used all the left over fabric and pieced it to make the back and the binding.  

 the finished quilt 

 I love a folded quilt! 


Gene Black said…
Thanks Steph. So many people are not aware that you have to stabilize those knits to make it work.
Joanne Lendaro said…
Great quilt!! Love those t-shirt quilts!
Pat said…
GREAT job, Steph...and your mom is looking down with pride that you finished the job she was unable to start!
elsie123 said…
Doesn't it feel great to get a project completed? Thanks for the tutorial. I've made a few t-shirt quilts, and its always nice to get another viewpoint on what works.
Chris said…
Nice job Steph!
macallan 25 said…
great i love this site and the information i grabbed here is sweet. nice work
crystal meth kaufen

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