For those of you who don’t know me I have a slight ObSeSsIoN with sewing. I’m always looking for new patterns of fun, cute things to sew. A couple years ago my sister-in-law asked me to tackle a project for her graduating son, a t-shirt quilt made from some of his junior high & high school sports shirts and jerseys. This year her youngest son was graduating and she asked me to make one for him too. This time I decided to document it so I could share it all with you! I think if you have a basic-moderate understanding of sewing you should understand what I’m talking about just fine. So, let’s get started.
What you need:
20-24 of your favorite shirts, if you use the front and back of shirts you’ll need less than 24
Fusible Interfacing – Apparel or Lightweight (due to width I had to get about 10 yards of this, b
ut it’s pretty inexpensive)
3-5 yards of fabric for back (depending on the width of if)
2/3 yard for binding (or you can pull the back fabric over to the front)
Batting (optional, I didn’t use it in mine)
Rotary Cutter and Mat
Once you have all your shirts picked out you can start cutting! This is one of the longest, scariest and probably most tedious parts. And let’s just be honest, who doesn’t screw up and cut stuff out wrong? OOPS! So make sure you have a few extra back-up shirts in case this happens…or have an awesome aunt and amazing mom help you double check all cuts before you make them. I cut 16 squares 16″x16″ and then 8 rectangles 9″x16″. If you are good with numbers and patterns you could definitely adjust the sizes of the squares/rectangles which will ultimately change the overall size of the quilt. Thankfully I have an AWESOME aunt, I literally take pictures of quilts to her and say “help me figure out what size to cut this”. She’s helped me create countless quilt patterns just from looking at a picture. Yes, she’s just that good 🙂
Now that all the shirts are cut you’ll need to iron fusible interfacing to the back of each one. I would recommend an apparel or lightweight interfacing especially if you are going to use batting and/or have a thick fabric on the back. You don’t want the quilt to be too bulky. Pay special attention to your heat setting on your iron and to the fabric. I was doing jerseys so I had to be really careful not to burn any of the fabric.
After the interfacing is all attached it’s time to lay everything out and determine your pattern. This was also pretty hard considering I’m the type of person who likes lots of input on this sort of thing. I bombarded my mom and aunt with texts and pictures asking their opinions. There was a lot of white shirts in this quilt and I sort of struggled keeping them all separated since I’m a little OCD about that type of thing. So keep that in mind when you are picking out shirts if that sort of thing would bother you.
After it’s all laid out it’s time to sew! I always start on the top and work my way left to right. I do one row at a time until all the rows are sewn. Then I go back and sew all the rows together. If you already have a system that works for you then just stick with it!
Now that you have it all sewn together you’ll want to measure the width and the height of it to see if you need to piece the back of your material together. I think the fabric I got was 65″ wide and it was a little stretchy so that helped and I didn’t end up having to piece it together – PHEW!
I decided to let a professional take it from here. Sorry, no instructions on quilting or binding from me. I’m obsessed with quilted quilts so I took it to a local quilt shop and let them work their magic. I also discovered a few years back that they do binding. SAY WHAT?! I LOATHE binding with just about every fiber of my being so this was heaven-sent. No matter how many binding tips or tricks I find I just can’t figure it out nor do I have the patience for it. So it’s totally worth it for me to pay someone else to do it and have it look amazing.
I’d say it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself 🙂 These types of quilts are so fun and are definitely a keepsake. I’ve heard and seen quilts made out of old baby clothes…SO FUN! I could do that right?!
Hmm…I’m sensing another quilt coming on!