Summertime is T Shirt Time! How to make a quick T shirt quilt.

June 14, 2017

Summer vacations and mini trips seem to always include a new t-shirt or two and after a few years we seem to have so many, each attached with some special memories. Rather than throw them away, collect 20 of them and make a memory quilt. Here’s how we at PNQS make a really quick one.


The Summer T-Shirt Quilt

First gather up a bunch – 15 to 20. Use a 14 inch square ruler or make a 13 inch square cardboard template, Mark and then cut the design you want to use. If there is a design on the back cut up the sides first and cut the front and back separately.

You will have a lot of scraps. If the sleeves have something you want to keep, set them aside – do not cut apart yet.
Cut up to 20 fronts

If you do not have 20 fronts, then add some t-shirt backs.

If you still need more, then cut the sleeves apart

You can use other parts too, if there are logos on other parts or smaller images elsewhere you can use some of those as well

Back everything with Shape Flex, This is a ight woven fabric that irons on to the back to add stability to strethchy T shirt knits.

 IRON ONLY FROM THE BACK SIDE OF T SHIRTS.  Many of the logos and pictures are made with a rubbery surface and these can melt (ask me how I know this!)

Trim down as many as you have, or want to 12 1/2 blocks – there are 12 1/2 inch rulers that make this so much easier to square up and get your design on the T shirt centered.  Do the backs as well, getting the design centered as much as you can, sometimes the neckline gets in the way – then your design will be centered more toward the top, but this is OK.

Put your small pieces on shape flex and cut out squares, just remember that you will be using these together to make a finished 12 inch block, so the must measure 12 1/2 inches before you begin sewing the blocks together in the quilt.

Cut them apart

Some might be different sizes – just remember you can use your imagination to combine these into 12 1/2 inch blocks as you wish, and of course you can use ALL T shirt fronts for the quickest and simplest quilt as well.


I used some of my smaller pieces for the T shirts to make a few simple churn dash blocks.

And some are simply square in a square (this is the easiest to do.  You can see that I added these with the churn dash blocks to make a 12 1/2 in block ready to add to the other blocks.

Sometimes, if a seam allowance would distort your design, then you can simply applique with a blanket stitch.

When you blocks are all ready, you should have 20 12 1/2 inch blocks, all backed with shape flex and arranged in a manner pleasing to you, with 4 across and 5 down.   Many folks like to put the most special T shirt block in the middle of the quilt.

Sash the quilt with 12 1/2 in strips and square contrasting cornerstones (as shown above)  I used 2 1/2 inch strips to cuts these, but you can make them narrower or wider for smaller or larger size quilts.  Add an other border if you wish, here too the width is up to you, add two or three in varying sizes if you want a larger quilt.  Use sashing and corner stones so all four sides of each block are uniform.

You will sash the horizontal rows of blocks, then add between, top and bottom rows of sashing and cornerstones, Sew together all the rows.

After it is all put together press seams to one side or the other FROM THE BACK SIDE of quilt.  Add borders if desired, Add one two or three, whatever pleases you, borders will also make the quilt bigger if you are wanting to use for a bed quilt.

Quilt and bind. You have a fantastic one of a kind memory quilt to be used and loved.  

The guys in my family are into tractor pulling as much as Suzie and I are into quilting and sewing!


It is a great combination, Con’t you think?


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