T-shirt quilt?

Kayla - posted on 03/14/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I've had this idea in my mind for awhile--maybe some of you quilting experts can give me some advice.



I'm a very amateur quilter. I'm currently working on my first quilt ever! It's going quite well and I haven't come across any problems as of yet.



I think I would really like to make a quilt ot of some of my son's onesies/t-shirts/blankets. How well would this go, if some of the things are made of different materials? I think this would be sort of an ongoing type of project--add a couple squares each year, as he grows out of stuff.



What do you ladies think? Yay or nay?

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17 Comments

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Sylvia - posted on 05/11/2010

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Sounds like a great idea. You should purchase an iron on grid from the fabric store; it looks like interfacing & one side is fusible; so what you do with it is to cut out the part of the t's you want & line it up on the grid & iron it down using an applique pressing sheet (found at quilt shops or fabric stores) & then just add to it each time you have a t-shirt to cut into.
You can also keep pieces of plain t's to fill in the gaps as well.

Next when it is all ironed down you basically fold your squares right side together & stitch about 1/4" all the way down to make each block & sew them a row at a time all the way across & all the way down & you have the quilt top completed & ready for the batting & backing next.
Hope that helps!

Diana - posted on 01/28/2010

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I saw one of those someone made a while back in a magazine. She used only stretchy stuff with similar washing instructions. Then she cut out the logos and pictures on them from Disneyland to University of wherever, and gave it to her son as a Graduation present. She used fairly big pieces, and when she put it all together, she used really fluffy thick batting, and just went through and back at the corners of the squares to hold it all in place/ My Mom used to do that. She called it a 'hand span quilt' because she made the tie throughs about a hand span apart.
How about doing a test quilt just pillow sized and running it through the wash a few times to see how it holds up?
Good luck and have fun!

Diana - posted on 01/21/2010

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Nancy, I'm also new at quilting (VERY) & I've been collecting t-shirt squares to make a t-shirt quilt. How exactly do you use interfacing? When you're talking about cotton strips as a frame, do you mean around each t-shirt square before you sew them together?

Carleen - posted on 01/20/2010

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It would work, as long as you use interfacing on the back of them so they don't stretch. Or you could just save them over the years and make a big quilt for his graduation. I've done them for other people for their child's graduation and I'm saving shirts from my 12 yr old (school, ball, band ...........that sort of thing) to make her one for when she graduates.

Gina - posted on 01/16/2010

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I think this is a wonderful idea! I vote "yay!" I've made several over the years. The way you get around the different weights in fabric is to iron interfacing onto the squares, using a lighter or heavier interfacing as needed. It stablizes the fabric, makes it more uniform, and helps keep the t-shirts from raveling or "running" like hosiery does. You can buy iron-on interfacing in different weights at any fabric store. Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 12/15/2009

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I made a t-shirt quilt for a friend of mine (and have plans to make one for each of my babies when I have collected enough well-loved material) and there was no issue with stretch b/c it was attached right to the backing ie quilted. Quilting along lines inside the larger pieces- along designs already in the fabric or along words etc- keeps stretching to a minimum. Also you could use a sheet or something the size of the finished product you are looking to make and applique the shirts to the backing. This also helps prevent the issue of making everything fit together (I personally like the randomness of everything not being the same size or fabric) if you have the backing you don't have to worry as much about ' the space between'.
Good luck and happy quilting

Renee - posted on 11/07/2009

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I just made a T-shirt quilt for a friend/client. I took 12 of her sons high school band t-shirts and cut them all 12 1/2" square making sure not to cut off the words etc. You must make then all the same size for this to work out. It turned around really cool since almost all the t-shirts had a black background. The schools colors were silver and cobalt blue. I used silver fabric for the sashing (like a window frame around each block). I did not quilt the t-shirts because the stabelizer makes the holes look so big and they don't close up very well. So I just quilted in the sashing and the borders. The back of the quilt was a tone on tone black and he loved it. He took it off to college this fall. Be careful with the fabric paint, put an inch of tape around the area where you need to sew so there is no paint there - it's really hard to sew through that stuff. Good luck!

Kristen - posted on 10/13/2009

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What an awesome idea! You could get some fabric paint and trace his hand on some of his shirts as he grows & have a really cool memory quilt.

Rachael - posted on 10/13/2009

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i was told to block the t-shirts with strips but not to machine sew it because it puckers that you really need to hand stitch it. let me know what works i'm going to start on one soon myself.

Kayla - posted on 07/17/2009

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Eep ... I forgot I even posted this. I haven't even finished the quilt I was working on at the time! Heh heh ... well, if I ever get around to it, I WILL make a t-shirt quilt! or ... I'll dream of it anyway ...

Cas - posted on 07/15/2009

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That is an absolutely beautiful idea. I'd like to give that a go as well. I'm dreaming about quilting but haven't actually attempted it yet. I'm a bit of a gunna... gunna do this and gunna do that...

Kayla - posted on 03/15/2009

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Oh, thanks!  I didn't even think of interfacing.



I really like quilting and sewing and stuff, but fabric isn't always in the budget.  A t-shirt quilt would be awesome--I think I'll start that as soon as I get some of my other projects out of the way.

Nancy - posted on 03/15/2009

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With t-shirt quilts, the trick is to use interfacing on the shirts to stop the stretch.  You would use this on any item taht stretches.  Otherwisse there shouldn't be a problem.  You might consider putting cotton strips as a frame (adjusting the strips to obtain a uniform block size), around the pieces of clothing.  Then when you are sewing the blocks together, they will be of the same fabric weight and the same size.

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