Friday, August 26, 2011

T-shirt Quilt Tut




Do you guys remember the T-shirt quilt I made?
I know it was way long ago.

Here's a little picture to help get the brain juices flowin'!

Okay, remember now?
{Just nod your head and smile.
"Umhmmm, Jennie, I totally remember your cute little quilt."}
  

Great,
now that we are all on the same page let's move on.
I had Miss Shari come by and ask for a little tuttie on how I made it.
I have to admit, I'm feelin' a little nervous.
No, I am not Miss sewing queen of the Universe.
 I know quite a few of you are. Those of you who have mad sewing skills please leave the room. :)


{I do have to give props to my Momma. She sewed a lot while I was growing. I used to love watching her create. I still do. Thanks Mom for always listening to me as I talked your ear off over the hum of the machine. The best days ever :) }


 This post is for people who can sew a kinda straight line and who can cut with scissors without cutting off all of their fingers.
Oh, that's you....
High three sistah!
Won't you come and join me on my sewing a T-shirt quilt journey?
Okay, so no judging,
just kind thoughts from here on out.
Pinky swear?!

Here we go!
What you need:
Oh yeah, I brought out the big guns for this project.
This  is a fancy Fiskars rotary cutter.  I love it cause it cuts straight lines.
I found mine at Walmart.
If you don't have one, grab them scissors, you'll need them too!


Here's a full picture of the cutter. 
You will also need a mat to cut on top of if your using one of these. 



You'll need some flannel or "warm and cozy" fabric. 
We are using this as a batting.
 I used an old flannel sheet.


Old T-shirts



And obviously a sewing machine and pins.

How to make the quilt:
  • first: cut your shirts into squares. I cut mine into an 11in x12in square.  
Just cause. 
{Below is a picture of my template}
You make yours however big or small you'd like!


So, decide how big you want your quilt to be and
how many squares you will need to make it that big.
I know,
way too much Math!
Cut, cut
away your little squares until you have the amount you need.
Remember, watch out for those fingers! 


 As you can see, I cut right through both sides of the shirt,
all at once.
 You will end up with two squares. 
A front and a back.
Just make sure your template is lined up with whatever logo 
or picture you are trying to cut out. 



 I also used their old polo shirts from school. 
They are way too old to give away, but I hate to throw them away.
Here's to a new life little shirt!


Here they are all cut and fabulous...

  • Second: Cut out your flannel.  Use the same template you used to cut out  your shirts.  You need one piece for every set of squares you have.  It will be sandwiched between each front and back piece

  • Third: Make your TS & F sandwich. 
{T-shirt and flannel sandwich! yum!}
Pin them together.  Please take note: My pins are going the wrong way. 
Turn yours in, or your sewing machine will eat them!

FO REALZ!!


  • Fourth:  It's time to sew.  Each sandwich will get a big X sewn through the middle of it.  Just start at one corner and sew down to the other.
I have one line down in the picture below. 

 {My girlie sat at the table and talked to me as she played with her playdoh and I sewed away.
Making memories :) }
  •  Fifth: lay them out in the order you want them to go.
Pin them together.  With a small seam allowance on top with the right sides up.
Hope that makes sense!

Just look at the picture. 
 Pin it like this. 
Make sure you have all your sandwich layers in there.


  • Sixth: Sew your squares together. This time you will have to pay attention so all your seams are the same. I don't know exactly how far in I sewed them together.  Just eyeball it.  Make sure you have enough to cut little slits into later. I lined my edge up with this  piece of tape on my sewing machine. I knew as long as my edge was lined up to it I was going pretty straight.


 Here they are all sewn together!
I did 6 squares for each row.
  • seventh: MAN! This is one LOOOONNGG tuttie!
 PEEEUUUWW!


Cut your strings and then get to cutting the little slits along the seam. DO NOT cut all the way through the seam you sewed. You'll have a huge hole in your purdy quilt.



  •   eighth: Sew the rows together.  Repeat, until they are all sewn into one big fabulousness!
 Line the rows up square to square and pin them just like you did to the squares with a small seam allowance.
 


Oh and don't forget,  Snip, snip all along that seam too!

 Sew a small seam all the way around the edge of the quilt.
Then, you will snip around those edges to.
You will hate your scissors after this one!
Make sure your scissors are sharp.  Otherwise, one word,
Blisters!
Don't forget to throw it into the wash so all the snips can fray.
Here is our new row added to the rest of it's t-shirt friends.
Don't they look so happy together?!

I'm going to continue adding to the quilt I already made. 
I will keep adding rows until it's big enough to cover the whole bed!
Almost there!

UPDATE:

Here's a close up of the back. 
Pretty much the same as the front
except for NO frayed edges.




Hope this helps Miss Shari and anyone else who was wondering.
  Please email me or facebook me with any questions! 



Happy safe sewing! :)

  

78 comments:

  1. This is such a great idea! And it looks so very comfy, too!! Filed at thecraftersfilebox.com.

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  2. Adorable! I love this idea for t-shirts.
    xo jana

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  3. Love it! Going to make one out of all my sons old skater shirts! Think I'll give it to him for Christmas! Thank you so much for sharing! Found this blog through Pinterest!

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  4. A friend just recently told me that her son and daughter in law gave her a pile of old t-shirts they wanted made into a quilt, but she was nervous and wasn't sure how to proceed. Well, I'm sending along the link for your tutorial, which was very well done!

    I'm sure she'll get it done now!

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  5. I have saved all my daughters shirts from school years just for this reason.I LOVE IT!!! the only problem is I cant even thread a needle let alone use a sewing machine.I live in the Nashville area if anyone on here knows someone that can do this for me I will be happy to pay.You can email me at bonnie42160@gmail.com

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    1. Bonnie,

      Not sure if you are still in need of someone or not! This is a link to the Etsy shop of a woman I knew in the Smokies (in NC, but wayyyyy west... just outside of Cherokee). She does amazing work and I'm sure she could help you out!! She has her own T-shirt quilt, or could probably do this type for you if you wanted! :)

      http://www.etsy.com/shop/SongbirdStation?ref=ss_profile

      Kristin

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  6. YOU are my new crafting SUPERHERO! I love this, it's the most ADD friendly tutorial EVER! I have been wanting to make a t-shirt quilt for the longest time but every tutorial I've seen has looked so overwhelming. Thank you THANK you THANK YOU!!!

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  7. I found your blog through Pinterest too!!! I was just getting ready to make a T-shirt quilt and never considered the rag-style, but I love yours. Could you post a picture of the entire front & entire back. Also, does the quilt feel soft like you want to curl up with it? Thanks for such a great tutorial.

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  8. Oh I am so glad to have found this on Pinterest! I promised to make my son a tee shirt quilt about a year and a half ago...have all the tees, but was NOT ready to try it the tied quilt way I have done my other quilts. This way seems so much better, and my son loves the rugged look of yours, so BINGO. I am trying this! Thank you.

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  9. Found you via Pinterest while looking for t-shirt quilt ideas. I've made a "rag quilt" out of flannel and old denim before, but never thought to do it with t-shirts! Such a great idea! One tip for not hating your scissors: Buy some of the small shears that are spring loaded. They will do half the work for you and then all you have to do is squeeze down!

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  10. thanks for the tute! I have a couple bags of shirts of a friend's who passed away 3 mos ago to make a quilt for his bff and I wasn't sure how to proceed. She will love this casual style, so this is what I'll do!

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  11. What a great tutorial!! Thanks! I've got a bunch of my son's basketball t-shirts in a box in the attic and have been wanting to make one of these for years. These t-shirts are all from his middle school/high school years. He's almost 31 and will NOT throw away his t-shirts! I'm going to start working on this for a xmas gift for him!!! THANK YOU!!!

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  12. A tip worth remembering---I was told by the mananger at Joann Fabrics to always take these ragged quilts to a laundromat for their first washing so you don't ruin your machine at home.

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  13. Thank you so much for your awesome idea. I followed your directions and made a t-shirt quilt like yours. I LOVE IT!! It is such a great way to make one. I used 49 t-shrits, so it is big. You totally inspired me to tackle this project that I had put off for years. THANKS SO MUCH!

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  14. Saw this on pintetrest and I love it! I have too afraid to tackle a t shirt quilt but this rag style is perfect! Now I need to find where I stashed my old shirts... :)

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  15. Needed a good tutorial - I finally understand and totally think I can do it now! Thanks so much! Cant wait!

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  16. I'm almost finished with my sister's quilt. She wanted me to make one with all her school shirts as a graduation gift. I found your instructions on Pintrest too! Thanks so much!!

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  17. I am so glad that i found your tutorial. I was just about to take a big box of my kids' outgrown clothes which included over 40 t-shirts. I'm going to make them each a quilt for xmas and might have enough left over to make t-shirt scarfs that I saw on another blog, except I'm going to do them "rag-style" like the quilt.

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  18. Not only a great tutorial for making my daughter's quilt, but GREAT music to go along with it :)

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  19. I don't have a sewing machine nor am I a good sewer...I want to make one of these but am wondering if I could find someone around here to do it for me.

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  20. I found your awesome post on Pinterest as well. Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU! I just finished one for my son and can't wait to give it to him for Christmas! Yay!

    Thanks again for your fabulous tutorial!
    ;)

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  21. I found your post on Pinterest! I tried it today and was amazed at how easy it is. Thank you for making the directions simple to follow...and the pictures helped a ton. I finished 2 rows today and hope to do 2 more tomorrow!
    Thank you!!!

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  22. This couldn't have come at a better time. My daughter got a sewing maching for Christmas and has been wanting to make a t-shirt quilt with all of her 'cheer' shirts from competitions and teams she has been on. I am so excited to help he with this now! Now, if we could just figure out how to thread the bobbin...oops. We're working on it.

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  23. Thank you soooo much. I have looked at several tutorials for these quilts and this one by far The BEST! I have two daugther-in-laws that want to use there school shirts. I am super excited to report we will do this together. I can totally relate to your comment about sitting and talking to your Momma while she sewed. Many an hour was spent asking questions and I am so very grateful for those times and the knowledge I have from those times. Thanks again and Blessings!

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  24. I have wanted to make a t-shirt quilt for the past couple of years for my three kiddos. I plan to use their dad's old t-shirts for them to have as a keepsake (their dad passed away 3 years ago.) I have never quilted before and was afraid that I would ruin the t-shirts. You have explained it well enough that I feel very confident in making these for my kiddos....thank you!

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  25. Your quilt is beautiful and the tutorial is great. I have been making and selling this type T-Shirt quilt for years. I have one tip to add when making this type of quilt. Since T-shirts tend to stretch, I use an iron on stabilizer on the back of the T-shirts before I sew them together. This will keep the T-shirts from stretching in the future or after washing.

    This is not an interfacing but a stabilizer. I get it at Joanns and it looks sort of like a sheer fabric and it is iron on.

    I hope this is helpful to you.

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    Replies
    1. What a great idea! Thanks for the SUITE tippy!! You rock :)

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    2. Do you put the stabilizer on the flannel or middle fabric?

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    3. Debbie, friends and I are making a memorial quilt for another friend's wife. We put stablizer (med. wt) on each block, front & back. Rather than flanner, since the stabilizer added some bulk, we doubled up old bed sheets.

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    4. Did you put the stabilizer on the entire block? I wondered how it looked when fringed.

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  26. I have a wonderful friend who lost her son last July from a sudden heart attack at 32. Needless to say it's been very hard on them. She said she couldn't believe how many Tshirts he had. I mentioned to her that we could make a quilt with all his shirts. I like your idea of the triple layer with rough edge finish. I hope she will too.

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  27. /I luv luv the tut great way to save tshirts.
    Maggie
    http://passionatelyartistic.com

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    1. Thanks Maggie!!! So glad you stopped by :))

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  28. I saw this on Pinterest and want to thank you. I've had the idea to do this in the back of my head for a while now, but I didn't know how to make it work. I love this!

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    1. You are SO welcome!! PLEASE, I want to see it when it's all done :)

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  29. absolutely awesome-ly incredible tute! i have been saving T-shirts from my husband, myself, and our 3 kids for SIXTEEN YEARS! Everytime I pull out those totes and think "I should do something with these" I just get overwhelmed...not anymore baby! thanks, and oh---yes---btw---I just wanna hang out on your blog just to listen to your great tunes!!! <3

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    1. Awww yeah!!! Dust those t-shirts off and get to sewin'. Heeheee!! I NEED music to keep me going. Turn it up and sew away my sistah :) Thanks for being here! Smooches!

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  30. I can't wait to do this..both my kids are athletes and I have BINS full of t-shirts from school and summer tournaments!!

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    Replies
    1. WOOO HOOO!!! So exciting to get those bins cleared out for something else :) Thanks for bing here!!!

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  31. I am so psyched to find this and it is very strange that I did find it tonight....was cleaning out my daughter's closet over the weekend and wanted to save only the most precious of her tees for a possible quilt one day that showcases all of her interests, especially all of her ballet productions. This is too cool!!! She is only 10 so I am going to file this away and work towards one to make a fab tee quilt for when she graduates. Many thanks for the fantastic project details as well as the lovely music.

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  32. I was wondering about the previous post about ironing on a stabilizer..would that be needed since you are sewing a big X onto the fabric? Wouldn't that keep the shirts from stretching too much?

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  33. Jennie, I was wondering if you could combine fabrics. I have a lot of polyester uniforms that I would love to put in with the cotton t-shirts. Also, if you are sewing a bix X through the 3 layers, wouldn't that stop the fabric from stretching? I am a little intimadated by having to iron on a stabilizer..Thanks!! By the way, I showed by daughter what I was going to do with her t-shirts and she is thrilled that she will have her "memory" shirts to take with her back to school!

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    1. Hi Jill!!! I don't see why the polyester wouldn't work. It probably just won't curl after you snip the edges. It should be fine though. Maybe do a little trial square and wash it up and see what happens. I'm curious to see how that works. Let me know.
      About the stabilizer...I've never used it before. It sounds like a good idea though. I too used an old flannel sheet and it was fine. I didn't have any problems with stretching, that I know of??? I'm really not a pro at sewing. I can sew in a straight line :) Even that is a little questionable at times...Hehehehehe!!
      I hope this helps. Thanks for being here and YAY, for your daughters quilt :) Please send me a picture when it's done, I'd love to see how it turns out.

      Smooches!!!

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    2. Thanks for your answer so quickly!! I have all her shirts almost washed up and I will def let you know how it turns out..I'm so excited to get started. I'm the same way with sewing..straight lines, kinda! I've finished two quilt tops but never finished them off because I don't want to do the batting, backing, etc!! hahaha
      Thanks sooooo much for posting your blog!!

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    3. I heard about this and have wanted to do it. I'm so glad I found your blog. Your tutorial helps a lot. I had been saving things that have meaning or memories for my son and daughter. Thank you so much. This will help a lot. Love it! :-)

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  34. Have to tell you thank you. I have T-shirts from one of our grandsons that our daughter was going to donate after a yard sale. I am an admitted hoarder, but I did have this idea in mind! You have made it easier for me. Now when I go to the thrift store I'll look for a flannel sheet for the "filling." YES! Then another few of my hoarded "P.I.G.S." will be gone. P=project I=in G=grocery S=sacks Great Tute

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  35. Hey there! I've got a tip for you (not that I'm Miss Sewing Queen of the Universe, either). If you leave your batting intact so that the back, batting and face lay atop each other as three big sheets, then you can stitch in the ditch (i.e. along the seams) and you don't have to worry about getting your diagonal seams exactly perfectly straight. You will have to baste, or pin baste, though, so that the three sheets stay where you put them while you sew. Good luck to everyone! -Kate, quiltsbykate.com

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  36. Love this idea! I have been keeping favorite and memory tees to do something like this with and your method is my favorite of all I have seen! I am featuring this on my blog www.theorganizedwife.wordpress.com as my Saturday project for 2/25/12. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  37. I found your photo on Pinterest! Thanks for the DUH moment! I made all kinds of rag style things for my Grandbabys shower. I never gave it a thought for my son's tshirts. His wife sent me a bag, plus what I already had. All his cross country and attitude shirts from college. He asked me to work on the quilt while he was deployed! Now that I have worked through my brain fart I will get right on it and have it ready for him when his boots hit American soil next January!!! Thanks you made my day! Semper Fi.....Marine Mom Dilly

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    1. Dilly,
      That's awesome!! Thanks for making MY day! Please send me pictures when it's finished.
      I'd love to see it :))

      Jennie {Cinnaberry Suite}

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  38. So excited to do this with my box of keepsake t-shirts! I have a question... Since you cut through the front and back of each t-shirt anyway, could you use the back for the back portion of the quilt instead of flannel? I'm probably way off on my thought process here, but i'm wondering if that would work.
    Thanks!!!!!

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    1. Hi Jacy!!!
      Thanks for being here. YES, cut through the front and back of the t-shirt in one cut. Then, if you'd like, place the flannel between the front and back of the t-shirts.
      Thanks again for being here!! YOU ROCK!

      Jennie {Cinnaberry Suite}

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  39. p.s. I found you on Pinterest as well :)

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  40. Hi, stopping in on my way from Pinterest!

    I actually made a quilt like this a few weeks ago... I was amazaed at how quickly it came together! Mine ended up about 10 feet by 10 feet, big enough for my bed and to hang down the sides. In the words of hubby "It looks like a ranbow threw up, love it!" Its full of brights and patterns that I chopped out of my scrappy stash. What can I say, I love colours! I also used polar fleecein the middle instead of flannel. It added some nice bright colours coming through as well, which I loved.

    It did all come together quickly except... that whole snipping thing... that is taking forever! I sewed the whole thing together before snipping. In hindsight the snip as you go would be better as its not so bulky to deal with when snipping later. I am snipping a couple rows each night in front of the TV.

    Love the idea of using old tee's for this though, what a great way to keep those memories! Keep up the great work :)

    Lee

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    1. Hello Lee!
      Your quilt sounds amazing!!
      I love your idea of using the fleece in the middle. :)
      Thank you for stopping by!!

      Jennie {Cinnaberry Suite}

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  41. I love Pinterest! You've just inspired me to (finally!) purge all my old t-shirts into something useful.

    [I'm also considering doing this on a smaller scale with my daughter's old keepsake clothes - you know the ones you store in hopes that another child will wear them and then you have a boy and now they're nine year old clothes but you still don't want to just give away? Yeah, those.]

    Thank you!
    Jennifer

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  42. Great idea. How do you finish the edges?

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  43. Jennifer,
    WOOO HOOO!! I love getting tubs emptied and made old treasures into something fabulous!! As you know, I totally understand the whole hoarding thing. Haahaaa. This is a great way to kind of letting go. Heeheee! Thanks for being here girlie! Send me pictures when your all done. I want to see it.

    Jennie {Cinnaberry Suite}

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  44. OH MY! I am so glad I found this on Pinterest! I have BOXES and BOXES of my son's old baseball jerseys and t-shirts. I have wanted to make them into a quilt but to be honest, I was too intimated to try. NOT ANYMORE! Thanks you, your tutorial was great!

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  45. Found you on Pinterest and so happy I did. I've been saving my girls'(42 & 35) t-shirts from high school (!) with intentions of having quilts made (now for their children) and after seeing your tut I've decided to DYI. Bon Chance, eh? Merci!

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  46. Wonderful tutorial. Finding great ones like these have made me addicted to Pininterest. I don't have a collection of old tees so I will be collecting them on my trips to Goodwill. On a 2 fer day I can get two for the price of one and my kids won't notice one or two of theirs missing. ;-0 Thanks so much I see one for each of my kids and one for me backed with old denim. (I do have them).

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  47. Thanks so much for the tuttie :-) I'm ready to make my t-shirt quilt now...my high school shirts have been under my bead (avoiding the goodwill truck) for far too long! I can't wait!! <3

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  48. Love this, I want to do the same thing with baby outfits, all my favs that shes grown out of :) But line the edges with a silk ribbon, if only I had the time! Thank u for the tutorial, at least now I know its doable!

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    Replies
    1. Can you elaborate on how to line the edge with the silk ribbon? How does it work vs the snipped edge?

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  49. I tried my hand at this awhile ago, didnt turn out so nice. I ended up throwing it away. Thank you so much for the tutorial, now that I see how it's done, I cant wait to try again! Awesome t-shirt quilt!

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  50. I am so happy to find this on Pinterest! I do not quilt at all and I have been very apprehensive about other t shirt tutorials I've seen. This is the easiest and best one I've seen! I can't wait to finally make myself one!

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  51. Thanks for this tutorial! I don't sew at all either. I've been wanting to make a T-shirt quilt for years and had no idea where to begin. I did cut my T-shirts into squares a couple years ago when clearing out my closet, but I didn't keep the backs of the shirts. Any suggestions as to how I can adjust your instructions now that I just have a bunch of T-shirt "fronts"? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Leslie!!
      Thanks for stopping by. No backs?!?! Oh no!!
      I ctually ended up using a couple of old plain tshirts and pants to throw in the mix. You could always cut a few plain shirts and throw that on the back. I hope this helps :)

      Thanks again for being here :)))

      Delete
    2. If I have enough t-shirts, then will will use printed fronts on the back of the quilt too.

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  52. ADORABLE! I am a NEWBIE to sewing and I am so excited about doing this! I am using all the VERY old college party tshirts my parents kept for me. I love the way you instruct...so cute! High 5 for now...could be 3 when I'm through!

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  53. I was just about to tackle a t-shirt quilt for our niece with no really good plan. Right before I started cutting, I decided to flip through Pinterest for an idea, and found your tut. I nearly burst into tears because it solves soo many dilemmas -- how to stabilize the knit fabrics, how to make it warm, and how to back it--all in one shot. Thank you!!!

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  54. Thanks to your fantastic tutorial (geared perfectly to someone as craft challenged as myself) my 19 year old hoarder son now has the world's most amazing t-shirt quilt (and an empty closet shelf!). I was really impressed how quickly it came together ... and also impressed that I only had to unpick one seam in the entire project. Woohoo! No one who knows me is going to believe I really made this myself. You're the best!

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  55. This is fantastic! I can't get rid of my old t-shits for anything. We're talking original Ghostbusters tee from when I was six and my 8th grade gym shirt. Being new at sewing, this made me feel like I created something that I will cherish. I've already had friends ask if I would make them one. I came up with 42 shirts and used a 12 X 12 square because I used an old piece of glass from a table that I had for a template. This worked great because I could see exactly how I was cutting the pattern on the shirt and with 6 shirts wide and 7 long, it's plenty big. Thank you so much for a "tuttie" that wasn't intimidating and gave me the confidence to think I could do this!

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  56. Found this on Pinterest and am ready to turn 20+ years of t-shirts into comfy couch quilts. I am not sure I quite follow on the snipping as you go and sewing the rows together, but will think about it and re-look at your pics. Do you have a Flickr stream for people to post their finished quilts to? I would love some more visual inspiration!

    Thanks for posting this tutorial!

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  57. An awesome post with some skillful ideas and designs.

    t-shirts

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  58. I wanted to you to know that I am training women in a micro-enterprise in Costa Rica to make these quilts for orphanages and human trafficking safe houses...people purchase them as a donation and contract the women in my micro-enterprise to create them. This is a much easier set of skill training than many other quilt versions out there. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

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  59. I have several tshirts that I have had for years. Some of them from High School Reunions, college t's, etc. Just like everybody else. This is a perfect way to make them useful again. I didn't want to have to do all the tying, quilting, binding, etc. This is a great tut, thanks so much. I recently won first prize in a salad making contest from Starkist tuna. Part of my prize is a Charlie the Tuna tshirt. A perfect addition to my quilt. This quilt is being made my for my husband and me. His tshirts and mine. All our kids are married, we have 43 grandkids and 10+ great grandkids. If this turns out good perhaps I will volunteer to make some of the rest of the family members a quilt with their tshirts. We picnic a lot with them and this would be so fun to take our quilts on the picnics. I am excited to get this one done.

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  60. I love your tutorial! I finally had some spare time and created my own quilt. Thank you for the inspiration! BTW, I found you on Pinterest. And linked back to your tut on my (brand new) blog... http://hops-and-crafts.blogspot.com/2013/08/t-shirt-quilt.html

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