How to make a t-shirt quilt:
I’ve gotten several random requests about these lately, so I thought I’d share what I did with my college t-shirts. I’m an alumni of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, and so is my husband. So not only did I have a million t-shirts from so many great events… my husband had the exact same shirts! Since we didn’t really need so many shirts, I decided we needed t-shirt quilts.
The process is very simple. You just buy iron-on interfacing and iron it to the backside of each of your t-shirts. I went ahead and cut them open first, because I planned to use both the front and the back. My pattern was just to use 14 inch squares and set it off with sashing, so I cut that size from each shirt. You can do it in any design you want though!
Ironing on the interfacing makes it much easier to work with the knit fabrics. You won’t have to worry about them stretching or bunching strangely. Cut them to the exact size of your blocks after using the interfacing. I use a rotary cutter and plastic ruler for this. I can’t cut a perfect square with scissors. =)
I then cut two inch strips out of bright solids and sewed them around each square as a border.
The next step would usually be to add batting and a backing and quilt it… but I decided to cheat. Instead, I just made it into a duvet. This worked great because when I use it on my bed I just Velcro it right on top of my duvet. And it’s still heavy enough to work as a blanket by itself if I have lots of company. But quilting would work great too, especially machine quilting so you can toss it in the washer more easily.
If I did it again I think instead of making two duvet covers I would make one front and back, because I love the feel of the t-shirt fabric. I used flannel for my original backing, so it’s nice, but not as nice as well worn-in shirts.
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