T-shirt Quilt

I was pretty sick for a few weeks and completely lost my ‘sewjo’.  I had a T-shirt quilt to finish for a friend and the deadline was quickly approaching.  Luckily, I got it together and finished it up within 3-4 days.  I think I spent so much time agonizing about how to make this quilt, I just didn’t want to do it.  I had never made a T-shirt quilt before and the thought of messing up someone’s memories really concerned me!

Originally, I wanted to create a cool quilt where each shirt seemed to pop up in a 3D sort of way.  Once I started cutting up the shirts, I realized this was not going to work.  That began another couple weeks of agonizing because I was completely lost on how to put the shirts together.  I read and looked at a zillion blogs and pictures of other quilts, but I still could not commit!  Finally as the deadline was only 10 days away, I made myself get to work.  In the end, I fit the shirts together almost like a puzzle, figuring out which pieces fit best and where.

I had several “helpers” during this process: 








Once the top was put together, I spent another day or two deciding how to quilt it.  I finally decided on a simple grid, which I think worked out pretty well.  To start, I ran a piece of washi tape diagonally across the center of the quilt and then made diagonal lines out from there.  I repeated the process for the other diagonal direction, so the quilt design ends up with diamonds.  Here is a picture of how I started the process:

I just quilted following the line of the tape.  The nice thing about washi tape was that I could reuse it several times to create more grid lines.  The process was very quick and I was able to finish quilting in about 2-3 hours (including time to stop and remove/replace tape grid lines).

For the back, I purchased a $5 flat sheet at Walmart to keep it simple (and not too expensive!).

I cut the remains of Tshirts into 2.5″ strips, connected them and created a scrappy binding for the quilt.  I interfaced the strips just like the T-shirts using Pellon SF101.  I thought it was going to be too thick to sew through, but my Juki made easy work of it.  I do not have the patience for hand sewing binding!!

I will be delivering the quilt to its new owner next week and I hope she likes it.  It was stressful but hopefully the next one will be easier for me!  The good news is my sewjo has also returned so I am excited to get to work on other projects.  Any advice out there on conquering T-shirt quilts?