DIY: Simple T-Shirt Quilt

I know this is mainly a fashion sewing blog but I got a crazy response to this t-shirt quilt I made for my husband...mainly from people wanting me to make them one :). Because I can't do that I wanted to share a tutorial on how I made it so maybe you can try it yourself.

The story behind this t-shirt quilt starts 15 years ago. I was 18 and just started dating my then boyfriend, (now husband). We both met at the University of Colorado where we were on the Track and XC teams.  He had on this old t-shirt from High School and I remember commenting on its condition. He semi-jokingly told me he was saving it so I could "make him a t-shirt quilt." Well, years went by and we married, had 3 children, and moved to 4 different states. Through out all the races, career moves, and life, I continued to save t-shirts that I wanted to add to the quilt one day.  After a successful running career and his 4th Olympic Trials, my husband decided to "retire." This Christmas I decided it was time for me to begin his quilt. As a bonus I included my son's first race (following in our footsteps...) and one from when I ran in high school (when we first met).

This was the perfect time too as I just updated my cutting/measuring sets with the new Omnigrid products from Prym Consumer. Their products are durable and versatile in use for all types of sewing. The fabric scissors are my favorite to date. If you're a seamstress then you know scissors are just as important as the sewing machine you use. The combination of the cutting mat and grid ruler together provides the most accurate cutting system available. Get the details below on how I made this memory quilt with Omnigrid products.


DIY instructions
  • Cut the front portion of the t-shirt out where the logo is leaving a large border for the quilt blocks.
  • Using the cutting mat, grid ruler, and rotary cutter to cut even blocks. Now this can be hard because the t-shirts and logos were all various sizes. I did have to add borders around some of the logos and did a few blocks that were different sizes. It was a big puzzle quilt. It's easiest if each block is the same size even if the logos/t-shirts are different sizes. You can always add borders if necessary.
  • Once you've cut all the blocks, use a fusible interfacing on the back of each block. This will ensure the t-shirts hold their form over time from the washing/wear and tear, etc.
  • Now you can lay the blocks down and finalize their placements for the quilt top. 
  • For me I began sewing/serging each block in vertical rows. 

  • Once you've sewn the vertical rows together you will want to sew/serge the finished rows together to complete the quilt top. 
  • Place the quilt top onto the batting.  I made sure the batting had a 3-4" perimeter around the top. I then pinned the quilt top to the batting and sewed the outer perimeter of the quilt top to the batting. 
  • Remove any excess batting from the quilt top.
  • Create a backing to measure the quilt top. I did have to piece and sew together fabric to create the backing. 
  • Place the backing and quilt top (with batting) right sides together, pin, and sew all the way around leaving a 6"-10" opening at the bottom depending on how big your quilt is.  Most quilts traditional use binding on the edges but I didn't want that for this one in case I want to add to it one day. 
  • Pull right sides out through the opening. Sew up the opening. 
  • To finish the quilt I used the tying method with yarn and a needle (again if I ever decide to add to the quilt I can simply remove the ties). I tied a knot in the corners of each block. 

That's it. It may sounds simple enough but it was a process of getting all the t-shirts together and creating this memory quilt. It was so fun to see my husband's face when he opened this for Christmas. His comment, " Nothing says retirement like a t-shirt quilt!" ha.

*In collaboration with Dritz. 

I received compensation from Dritz®, and some of the materials featured here or used in this project were provided free of charge by Dritz®. All opinions are my own



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