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T-Shirt Quilt Mini Class

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    T-Shirt Quilt Mini Class

    Jean has graciously offered to teach a class on quick and easy method of making t-shirts quilts. She will be doing and overview of how it is done. Then for anyone who is wanting to make one during the retreat, she is willing to help guide the retreater with the quilt. Below is requirements for various sizes. Plus some pictures of quilts.

    Requirements for t shirt quilts

    This method for making a t shirt quilt is similar to the tutorial Natalie did a number of years ago ( back in the original quilt shop!). I have made several changes to her technique, mainly to accommodate larger screen print motifs which I have found on some of the t shirts I had been given to work with. All of the t shirt blocks on my quilts are sashed with cornerstone blocks between each block and row. Cornerstones make lining up the rows so much easier! I also added 3-1/2” ( 3” finished) borders on my quilts to pull them together visually.

    Natalie’s tutorial:


    You need: t shirts, sashing ( Fabric 1), cornerstones (fabric 2), border fabric ( fabric 3) , binding( fabric 4), backing ( Fabric 5) and quilt batting. You will also need fusible interfacing applied to the Back of each t shirt section to keep it from stretching while cutting and sewing it. I will give approximate yardage for the fabrics, you choose the appropriate size quilt batting.


    You will need a 12-1/2” square quilting ruler, plus pins, regular scissors, pins, iron. I also use an electric scissors to rough cut my shirts to save my hand!


    The shirts are rough cut, then interfaced. Then cut to specific size for the blocks, 12-1/2” wide by 13-1/2”long. If you have long and skinny motifs, or small pocket size motifs, you can combine them to make a 12-1/2” by 13-1/3” block.. sometimes backs are more interesting than fronts, so consider all of this while choosing t shirts to use. You can also add quilt blocks to fill in missing spaces if your motif ends up too small or you don’t have the right number of shirt blocks to fill out each of the rows. Then rows are made with sashing between blocks, then rows put together using sashing with cornerstones. Then borders, quilting and binding.


    I have used lightweight Pellon fusible P44F on most of my quilts and it works fine. You can use Pellon woven fusible sf101 but it is heavier and more expensive. Both of these are 20” wide. Basically I rough cut my fusible interfacing 15” wide and fuse it to the back of the t shirt motif.


    Note: for the smaller lap quilts, the most cost effective backing is 42” wide which will be pieced. Many of my customers have chosen minky for backing their quilts. The regular width for minky is 58 “ wide, it also comes in 90” width. Just buy the length of the quilt plus the extra needed for quilting ( 8” longer recommended for long arm). Or you can use extra wide backing with no piecing needed for all sizes up to king. You will need extra yardage to add to width for quilts wider than 104”. I have found some 120” wide backing, but it usually is a plain muslin, NOT pretty prints.

    NOTE: I don’t do two sided quilts with t shirts on both sides mainly because it is difficult to quilt with so many seams. I also don’t do what I call “puzzle quilts” with lots of different size blocks pieced together. However, my daughter did one for her husband and it turned out really nice, so it is possible to do, but takes more time to put together. I can give advice on how to put together a puzzle quilt, but know it takes longer to make.


    Lap size. 12 shirts. 52” x 70”. 4 rows, 3 shirts in each row
    5-1/2 yards of 20” wide fusible interfacing
    Fab 1 3/4 yd
    Fab 2 1/4 yd
    Fab 3. 3-1/2” wide border. 1 yard
    Fab 4. 1/2 yards
    Fab 5. 3-1/4 yards, 42” wide

    Large lap. 16 shirts. 66” x 70” 4 rows, 4 shirts in each row
    8 yards of 20”wide fusible interfacing
    Fab 1 1 yd
    Fab 2 1/4 yd
    Fab 3. 3-1/2” wide border. 1 yard
    Fab 4. 3/4 yards
    Fab 5. 4 yards 42” wide

    Twin. 20 shirts. 66” x 85” 5 rows, 4 shirts in each row
    10 yards of 20”wide fusible interfacing

    Fab 1 1-1/4 yd
    Fab 2 1/4 yd
    Fab 3. 3-1/2” wide border 1 yard
    Fab 4. 1/2 yard
    Fab 5. 5 yards 42” wide

    Full. 25 shirts. 80” x 85” 5 rows, 5 shirts in each row
    12 yards of 20”wide fusible interfacing

    Fab 1 1-1/2 yd
    Fab 2 1/4 yd
    Fab 3. 3-1/2” wide border. 1 yard
    Fab 4. 3/4yard
    Fab 5. 5-1/2 yards 42” fabric

    Queen. 30shirts. 80” by 93” 6 rows, 5 shirts in each row
    15 yards of 20”wide fusible interfacing

    Fab 1 1-3/4 yd
    Fab 2 1/4 yd
    Fab 3. 3-1/2” wide border. 1-1/4 yards
    Fab 4. 3/4 yard
    Fab 5. 5-3/4 yards. 42” fabric

    King 42 shirts. 94” x 115” 7 rows, 6 shirts in each row
    21 yards of 20”wide fusible interfacing

    Fab 1 2 yd
    Fab 2 1/3 yd
    Fab 3. 3-1/2” wide border. 1-1/2 yards
    Fab 4. 1 yard
    Fab 5. 9 yards. 42” fabric

    Extra wide king. 49 shirts 108” by 115” 7 rows, 7 shirts in each row
    24 yards of 20”wide fusible interfacing

    Fab 1. 2-3/4 yards
    Fab 2. 1/2 yard
    Fab 3. 3-1/2” wide border. 1-1/2 yards
    Fab 4. 1 yard
    Fab 5. 10 yards. 42” fabric
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