Tips for Making a Tee Shirt Quilt

By leaving those 1″ borders around the image you can line up all the shirts easily and they will be easy to read.

There are just so many different ways to set up a tee shirt quilt and they all have their pro’s and con’s.  To me one of the very first steps is cutting out the images from the tees that you really want in the quilt.  Now you can accomplish this in all sorts of different ways, but the way I recommend is to be sure that when you are cutting out the images you leave a 1″ margin all around the outside of the image.  The image may be a 10″ x 10″ image so you want to be sure to cut 11″ x 11″ centering the image if at all possible.  This brings me to another important point.  When I cut out my images I really try to cut all images on at a full inch size with no 1/2″ or 1/4″ cuts.  This will make it so much easier when you start to put them all together.


tips for making a tee shirt quiltThe next thing I am going to do is I am going to iron my pieces to a woven fusible interfacing. I typically use the Pellon SF101 which works really well for me. After I iron the image to the interfacing then I want to cut the image to the size that I think I am going to use and again I try to always use inch increments so I have 12″, 14″, 10″ 6″ etc which will make the layout so much easier. Yes I use all sizes of images in one quilt.

Take time to layout your different pieces trying to keep like sizes together in a row.  Your rows can run vertical or horizonally it just depends on what looks good to you.

Pick your sashing by auditioning different colors and patterns behind your images to pick one which looks pleasing to you.  This next part is not the easiest thing you will ever do until you’ve done it a few times.  Where you have images that are different sizes in a row you need to add some sashing to make all of the images the same width.  You do not have to make them the same height unless you are doing the horizonal rows.

Piece your rows together and then make sashing to go between the rows and the size is strictly personal preference again.  You may want to use 2″ sashing or 2 1/2″ sashing or you may want to have 3″ sashing.  Use the sashing to put your rows together.  Next you are ready for borders.

Just a word about borders…..You will likely want one narrow border of a contrasting fabric and often times I use black.  Almost every shirt you use will have some black in the image and the dark color just stops the eye when looking at a quilt.  The narrow sashing is often cut 1″ to 1 1/2″ and goes around the entire quilt.  Next you can add a larger outer border of whichever color you decide looks good and appeals to the person for whom you are making the quilt.

As you can tell…..every tee-shirt quilt is individual and unique to the person who wore those tee’s.  They are always loved and when you use cotton fabric and 100% cotton batting they are 100% machine washable and dryable so they are truly wonderful.  Enjoy making your tee shirt quilt and please let me know how they turn out!

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