Starting a new T-shirt quilt

Finally decided that I’d better get to work on the t-shirt quilt for my niece, who graduates in June. My lovely sister-in-law, Paula, sent me 18 shirts back in December, and I finally opened the box today. All of the shirts are useable except one, which had the logo too close to the top. Starting these is always a crap-shoot. I’ve got a system going for me, which was developed after cutting a shirt too DARN small in a previous quilt.

First, I cut the shirts apart, taking off the sleeves and neckbands. I press them gently, making sure not to distort the wording (or straightening out the wording as needed) and apply the sheerest non-woven fusible interfacing I can find to the back of the shirt. Then, I’ll cut the shirts into as large a square as possible. A block of 15 x 15” is my preferred size for an adult quilt (I’ve not made any quilts with child-sized shirts yet). I’ll cut down any larger shirts to this size. I’ll add fabric to any smaller blocks to get them up to 15 x15”, preferably using extra fabric from the same shirt as I’ve done on this block:


I’ve now got 16 blocks ready to go. She wants the same blue used in the “Kentucky Wildcats” shirt as the sashing and borer, so I’m off to the store on Monday with a t-shirt scrap to find some Kona Cotton in that color. Oh, and zebra-striped fabric for the back. Wish me luck!



2 thoughts on “Starting a new T-shirt quilt

  1. i just downloaded your instructions on noobies making a tshirt quilt. i was very impressed with it. this is my first time in making a tshirt quilt. the instructions are very clear and us noobies are able to understand. thank u very much.

    • Tensie, What I do is put the interfacing on both shirts, then cut the shirts, allowing enough room for the seam. However, you can’t do this if the two shirts sewn together would be bigger than you planned block. Here’s what one of my pieced blocks looks like: Pieced Block

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