How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt

Learn how to make a t-shirt quilt with this simple pattern.

| September 2014

  • T-shirt quilt
    Learn how to make a t-shirt quilt with a modern twist in this project from "Quilting with a Modern Slant" by Rachel May.
    Photo by John Polak
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 1: Gather and prepare your T-shirts.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 2: Pin the neck cuff of the T-shirt over the contrasting memory lane cloth and sew in place with a blind applique stitch.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 3: Trim away excess cloth on the wrong side and across the top from shoulder to shoulder.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 4: Create a base-cloth that roughly matches the size of each T-shirt section.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 5: Layer the T-shirt logo under the base-cloth, right sides up, so the top edge of the base-cloth overlaps where you want to make the first cut.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 6: Cut the same line horizontally across and through both pieces of cloth.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 7: A couple of inches below the first cut, make another horizontal cut, this time layering your T-shirt section on top of the memory-lane section.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 8: Gather all your cuts, keeping them in order.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 9: Pin the first two strips with right sides together and sew.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 10: Attach the third strip in the same way and continue down the strips until you're done.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 11: Assemble your memory lanes, and don't worry if the sides are unequal.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
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    Figure 12: Once arranged, match up the outer edges by overlapping sections that will be next to each other and cutting them so that they mirror each other.
    Photo by Sherri-Lynn Wood
  • T-shirt quilt
    Figure 13: Make the quilt sandwich and quilt.
    Photo by John Polak
  • Quilting with a Modern Slant
    “Quilting with a Modern Slant” by Rachel May is full of quilting tips and tricks, as well as ideas on how to make a quilt that builds on the aesthetics of traditional and art quilts.
    Cover courtesy Storey Publishing

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  • Quilting with a Modern Slant

Quilting with a Modern Slant (Storey Publishing, 2014) offers a glimpse into dozens of unique visions, with profiles of quilters and artists who have developed their own aesthetic and quilting tips and patterns from author Rachel May. Modern quilting offers the freedom to play with fabrics, patterns, colors, stitching and the way in which they all connect. With photographs of finished quilts, quilting tips and tutorials on natural dyeing, machine quilting, appliqué, finishing, improvisational piecing and even starting a blog, this book is chock-full of ideas to inspire quilters of every level. Sherri-Lynn Wood contributed this project from “Chapter 2: Improv,” which will show you how to make a t-shirt quilt.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Quilting with a Modern Slant.

How to Make a Modern Memory Lane T-Shirt Quilt

T-shirt quilts are all the rage, probably because T-shirts with logos of all sorts have become a staple of the American wardrobe. More often than not, the T-shirts’ logos are centered and cut into large uniform squares and sewn into a grid. This approach effectively concentrates sentiment by gathering all the memories in one place, so let’s take it to the next level by adding more visual interest.

When I’m working with memories, I want to create a quilt that is as beautiful as it is meaningful. So when I make a quilt with lots of T-shirt logos, I like to mix it up. To do this I combine a contrasting mix of fabrics with the T-shirt to create what I call a memory lane. Even though this process fragments the logos, they are still readable, because they are held together in a path of color.



What You’ll Need

• T-shirts
• Contrasting fabric from your stash or other meaningful clothing
• Iron-on interfacing for knits (optional)
• Spray starch (optional)
• Backing fabric
• Batting

T-Shirt Quilt Instructions  

 

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