How to Avoid Messing Up your T-shirt Quilt: A Complete Guideline

Whether you want to explore your creativity or give a meaningful gift to your loved ones, T-shirt quilts sound like a promising item. They can serve as mementos or declare your proud achievement. All in all, a T-shirt quilt better expresses the way you feel. Bring a smile to the faces of your family and friends by gifting a T-shirt quilt full of memories.

This post is here to guide you on achieving a perfect T-shirt quilt. Make it from scratch with minimum expenses following these instructions. Moreover, we are here to give you tips and tricks on how to achieve a flawless quilt without putting a burden on your purse!

Make Use Of Discarded T-Shirts

New to quilting? We suggest that you first try quilting using your ditched clothes. These can be T-shirts that no longer fit you or are not trendy anymore. Put your old clothes to good use! Do not make the rookie mistake of purchasing expensive T-shirts without considering your old ones. Old is, in this case, GOLD!

Make Memorable Gifts

An old T-shirt quilt can serve as a gift. These gifts indicate your favorite time with your loved one, making them the perfect souvenir. Create a comfort or commemorative T-shirt quilt using your imagination and creativity.

Types Of T-Shirt Quilts:

You already have the result in your mind, but we present you with some types of quilting you can do. There are various styles of quilting you can go for, depending on the theme chosen.

1) Traditional Block Style With Sashing

With a simplistic layout, it resembles a chess board. The size of the blocks is the same. Wide sashing is considered to separate each block. Moreover, it gives a stiff look and is stiff upon feeling due to the iron-on backing. It does not consider the design of the blocks but rather their length and width.

2) Traditional Block style without Sashing

Another simplistic design with no sashing separating the blocks from each other. Consequently, the blocks are of the same size and shape and sewn together. 

3) Changing Rows and Columns

This is an experimental design. The quilter utilizes different sizes and shapes of each shirt and cuts them accordingly. Depending upon the creation of the T-shirt, you can cut out blocks of varying conditions. 

4) Puzzle Style

It is also one of the experimental designs. Therefore, let your creativity take flight with this one. You will have rows and columns of varying widths sewn together with no sashing. It is preferable if you have blocks of differing shapes.

Quilt Designing Guide – Everything You Need To Know

This is a DIY T-shirt quilts guideline. Good quilting requires perfect execution while considering the constraints in planning and designing. You are bound to make some errors on your first try! However, with these guidelines, you will avoid them.

What you will need:

  • T-shirts (12 to 24 depending on your design)
  • Scissors – to cut out blocks/T-shirts
  • Rotary cutter – use instead of scissors to achieve better cuts
  • Backing Fabric – a flat sheet can be chosen, or you can purchase quilt backing at a fabric store.
  • Batting fabric
  • Fusible Interfacing 
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron 
  • Measuring tape or ruler

Once you have these materials, it is now time to start quilting! Here are important T-shirt quilt instructions you need to follow to draw up efficient results:

1) Map Out The Design – Envision What You Want To See:

It is important that you already have a design in mind. Choose the type of quilting you want to have, as mentioned above. Additionally, sketch out your design on paper and cut out the shape of the block. Paste the cut blocks over your old T-shirts to see how much a design fits them.

Select T-shirts based on your theme. Remember, this quilt is the product of your creation; express your artistry efficiently!

2) Cutting T-Shirts For Your Quilt:

Next up, how to make a quilt out of T-shirts? Easy! First, cut off the necks and sides of your T-shirt. Then, cut along the side seams of the T-shirt using a pair of scissors. Make sure that the design of the T-shirt is in the middle of the block. A square shape block of 13-15” measurement is better, but you can also choose a rectangular shape. 

Don’t forget to fit in an extra ½ inch on each side of the block! Besides scissors, you can use a rotary cutter to have better cut-outs.

3) Interfacing Your Blocks:

Use fusible interfacing that is cut out according to the size of your blocks. Put these interfaces on the wrong side of the T-shirt blocks. Please do not iron the interface as it will melt it! Instead, press cloth to achieve better results.

4) Sewing The Pieces Together:

Once you have completed the above-mentioned tasks, it is time to sew the pieces together. Lay out the pieces together to visualize your design. Then, it is up to you whether you want to sew with sashing. Use a 2” wide sashing strip to sew two blocks together. Do not forget to iron your seams to avoid wrinkles!

5) Fuse Quilt With Batting Fabric:

You can choose cotton, polyester, or wool batting material. However, cotton is preferable, as it is less expensive and warmer. Firstly, smooth out the batting material on the surface. Place your sewn quilt over it. Then, press your blocks over the batting via ironing. Press for several seconds to stack the blocks on your batting.

6) Making A Quilt Sandwich:

Once you have batted the fabric and merged it with the sewn quilt, it is time to add in your backing material. You must make a quilt sandwich; your batting material will be between the backing fabric and the quilt top.

Use a sewing machine to merge the fabrics. Moreover, use a quilting fabric that is 108” wide to achieve a flawless result.

It’s A Quilt, Not A Blanket! 

How to make a good T-shirt quilt? You first need to understand the difference between a quilt and a blanket. Frequently, buyers confuse quilts and blankets, while the sellers take advantage of this fact. Spot the difference by keeping in mind that:

  • A quilt is much heavier than a blanket. A blanket is usually a single-layer covering, while a quilt is a three-layer covering.
  • Quilts are sewn using the quilting method. Meanwhile, blankets are usually woven.
  • Quilts are warmer than a blanket due to their three-layer covering. In contrast, blankets are merely sheets and thinner than quilts.

Therefore, the next time you buy a quilt, keep these pointers in mind. 

Consider These Rules Before Making A T-Shirt Quilt

Even pros make mistakes! They underestimate the process of making a T-shirt quilt by neglecting these tips. Follow these T-shirt quilt instructions to avoid making a beginner’s mistake. 

Where To Get Quality T-Shirts?

Where to find the best quality T-shirts for your T-shirt quilts? Usually, the output of T-shirt quilts is unsatisfactory due to the lack of quality of the fabric. Remember, you should never compromise on the quality of the material. This post suggests the following brands to keep in mind:

  1. Gildan T-shirts – if you are looking into customizing your T-shirts, choose the Gildan brand.
  2. Bella-canvas T-shirts
  3. Jerzees
  4. Holloway
  5. Hanes

Moreover, choose your old T-shirts carefully. Avoid using degrading T-shirts or whose color is fading. Furthermore, consider the material of the T-shirt, as poor material will cause problems in sewing the pieces together.

Material Of Batting And Backing Fabric:

The quality of batting and backing fabric is important when considering T-shirt quilting. Choosing the best batting fabric requires feeling the loft, price, and warmth. Low loft means a flat appearance which is usually selected for wall hangings. Meanwhile, high loft means heavier weight, which is used for comforters. Batting fabrics are:

  1. Cotton – less expensive than wool, warmer than polyester
  2. Polyester – inexpensive, lesser warmth
  3. Wool – greater warmth but costly.

Avoid using 100% polyester batting fabric because it will clump up after several washes. Use cotton batting fabric to see desirable results.

Whereas for backing fabric, you can choose one of the following:

  1. Quilting fabric that is 108″ wide
  2. 100% Cotton broadcloth
  3. Flannel

Quilting fabric is preferable to the rest as it gives better results. However, you can use cotton broadcloth if it is too hard to find the former.

Choice Of Colors

It is important to keep your composition of the quilt relevant to the theme chosen. Do not use mismatched colors that are too bright or too dull. Instead, opt for a pleasant color scheme that accentuates your quilt design. You can draw inspiration by creating mood boards for your quilt.

Trim The Fabric

Trim your quilt using a sewing machine instead of hand sewing. Moreover, use a rotary cutter instead of scissors for better-trimmed edges. Add extra inches to your blocks to avoid cutting off your design. If you are using a sashing style, ensure that you have proper sashing fabric that highlights your design.

Practice Makes You Perfect!

Refine your work by taking quilting classes. Perfect the quilting techniques by practicing with several fabrics. Take sewing classes and play with different T-shirt designs and colors before settling for the final quilt.

To conclude…

T-shirt quilting is another way to let out your innovative side take control. These quilts can be given as gifts or make an amazing small business prospect. With our guidelines, you will create unique and trendy designs. Moreover, with our tips, you will avoid mistakes and have the best quilt for you to brag about!

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