T-shirt quilts are so fun because you can repurpose something that you don’t wear anymore and make a new garment out of fabrics that you previously loved.
The more t-shirts you have that you don’t want to wear anymore, the larger you can make your quilt. You will need a few other materials to bring the quilt together, and let us warn you that it’s not always a quick and easy job.
Your t-shirt quilt might take some time to perfect, but if you do it correctly and carefully, then you should be able to make an amazing quilt to use for many years to come.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get into how to make your very own t-shirt quilt!
Things You’ll Need
- T-shirts (and lots of them!)
- Non-woven fusible interfacing – you’ll need 17″ squares for each t-shirt you’re using.
- Your chosen bordering for your quilt – you’ll need 2.5″ strips between blocks, for the border, and additional amounts for binding.
- Scissors or a fabric knife
- An iron
- Backing for your quilt
Making Your Quilt
1. Make sure that your t-shirts are clean and ready to be made into a quilt. It is much more difficult to wash a handmade quilt than it is to wash some t-shirts, so don’t skip this step for a later date.
2. Make sure that you also wash and dry the fabric you’re going to be using for the border, binding, and sashing. This will prevent any colors from running and ruining your quilt.
3. Cut the front of your shirt from the back so that you only have one layer of fabric to use on your quilt. You might want to iron each of your shirts to make it easier to sew them together.
4. Fuse each t-shirt with interfacing. This is to prevent them from stretching overtime. Use the instructions for your interfacing to secure it onto the t-shirts. Most will require you to put the shiny side down onto the wrong side of the t-shirt and apply heat to make it stick.
Try to avoid wrinkles in your interfacing as much as possible as these cannot be removed once the t-shirt has cooled down. Also, try and center your t-shirt’s design as much as possible so that it is centered on the final design.
5. Once your reinforced t-shirt squares are cooled, cut each of them into 15-inch squares. You can either cut with scissors or a fabric knife. Try and keep the edges as smooth as possible to avoid bumps in the end result.
6. Arrange your t-shirt squares to how you want them to look on the final product. Make sure that you’re completely happy with it before moving onto the final steps.
7. To pull your quilt together, sew the sashing strips onto the t-shirt squares. Sashing is the vertical and horizontal strips that sit in between the t-shirt squares and break the quilt up. Each sashing strip should measure 15 x 2 inches.
Sew the sashing to the bottom of all of the t-shirts except for the final row. Sew the tops of the t-shirts to another square’s sashing, making long columns of t-shirts.
8. Now add sashing to the columns too, leaving the edges of the final quilt without sashing. These strips should be slightly longer than the t-shirts, so make them 16 x 2 inches. You can use this sashing fabric to attach all of the columns together to make your final quilt.
8. Now you have a basic quilt thanks to all of the t-shirt squares being attached, you can add your border. Cut this fabric to 2.5 inches wide and add more if you need excess for sewing. Pin the border to the edges of the quilt and sew the border onto the quilt.
9. Pin your backing and quilt top together. Finally, bind your quilt to finalize the edges and corners. That’s it! You will now have a finished quilt made of all your old t-shirts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many T-Shirts Should I Use?
The number of t-shirts you should use will depend on how many you have going spare, and how large you want your quilt to be.
12 shirts will make a quilt around 48 x 64 inches, which is the size of a throw. You will have 3 t-shirts across and 4 down.
20 shirts will make a quilt around 64 x 82 inches, otherwise the size of a twin quilt. It will have 4 squares across and 5 down.
30 will make a full size quilt around the size of 82 x 96 inches, and it will have 5 squares across and 6 down.
Using 36 shirts will give you a 96 x 96 inch quilt, roughly the perfect size for a queen size bed. The squares will be 6 across and 6 down.
Finally, using 42 shirts will give you a quilt suitable for a king size bed. It will be approximately 110 x 96 inches and have 7 squares across and 6 down.
Hopefully, this guide helped you learn how to make a quilt from old t-shirts. This is a great craft for people who want to make something new out of their old shirts instead of throwing them away.
You can make a quilt as large or as small as you want. Happy crafting!