I've had a box of t-shirts sitting in my cupboard for a few years now, saved with the idea of one day making a t-shirt quilt with them.
Well, this week, I decided that it was time to just do it!
I read plenty of blog posts from other people who had made t-shirt quilts, and listened to various pieces of advice, then launched into trying it out for myself.
I decided to go the simplest way possible. I only used the t-shirts and a large piece of knit fabric I had in my stash for the backing. I chose not to add any 'extras' like batting, interfacing or sashing.
I used the current needle in my sewing machine - which I found by checking after I made the quilt was a denim needle!
And I cut the t-shirts with just regular dressmaking scissors and sized the pieces by eyeballing them, no measurements.
The quilt turned out the size of the t-shirt pieces I had, finished - roughly 1 m x 1 m 60 cm (39 x 63").
So here is how to make your very own super simple t-shirt quilt in 10 steps.
There are no measurements in this tutorial. The size of your quilt will depend on the number of t-shirts you have, and the size you cut them to with the logos and designs you have!
I made my first ever video tutorial for this t-shirt quilt. You can watch this, or scroll down for the photo tutorial.
1. Collect your t-shirts
2. Cut the logos/ designs out from the front of the t-shirts, leaving as much space around them as you can.
Lay them out flat. Do this often to see what you have and get an idea of your layout, size and order.
3. Now take each piece in turn and trim to make the edges straight and the corners square.
Note - I had a piece with a rounded top as it was from a singlet.
You can still use pieces like this - I simply laid this on top of the piece above it and ran a tight zig zag stitch around the edge to hold it in place.
4. Lay your pieces out again, this time matching them up by width. Try to make each row using pieces of a similar width. You can do this either down or across. I went down here.
5. Shuffle and move your pieces around until you're happy with where they are. I moved mine lots, added and took away pieces until I was happy with the layout and it looked even.
Then trim each row of pieces to make them all the same width.
You can see in this picture I have 4 rows (going downwards) each row being the same width.
6. Now pin then stitch the pieces in each row together one at a time, right sides together.
Once you have all of your rows finished, then you join these rows to each other one by one. Simply pin and stitch.
When stitching with t-shirt fabric, use lots of pins and don't push or pull the fabric through the machine. Hold your work loosely and let the machine feed it through.
7. Now lay your backing fabric flat on the ground face up. Smooth out any wrinkles.
Then lay your t-shirt quilt top face down on top of the backing and smooth out any wrinkles.
8. Put plenty of pins around all four edges - but leave a gap of about 30 cm (1') to turn the quilt right sides out.
Roughly trim the edges of the backing and stitch around your quilt edges, remembering to leave that gap!
9. Turn your quilt right sides out through the gap, then top-stitch all the way around, closing that gap with the edges folded inwards.
I used a dark thread for the top and a purple thread for the bobbin to match the backing fabric.
10. To finish off your quilt, stitch around the edges of your t-shirt pieces. This is called 'stitch in the ditch' as you're stitching along previous lines of stitching, which provide your guide-line!
Now you can admire your super simple t-shirt quilt!
So do you have a pile of t-shirts saved? Is it time you jumped in and made a start on that quilt?
You could choose to add batting to make the quilt warmer, or interfacing to make the t-shirt fabric firmer, or to add sashing or binding. There are so many ways to make a quilt - but this is the easiest method I found and I'm really happy with how my little t-shirt quilt turned out!
My daughters love it - it's made from their t-shirts, and my youngest daughter asked me to show me how to make one so she can start saving her clothes to make herself one!
For the free downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.
If you liked this tutorial, I have over 100 free sewing tutorials here for you to browse through. They are for making all kinds of things and for all levels of sewing abilities. Do go and take a look at:
And I'd love to know what you think of the video. I'm just learning and playing around with this at the moment!