For my brother-in-law’s eighteenth birthday, I decided to make him a t-shirt quilt showcasing some of his most beloved childhood shirts. This is the fourth time I have completed this project. This quilt is great for graduations as it captures so many memories and repurposes outgrown and worn-out t-shirts that have been tucked away.
For Joe’s quilt, I used nine of his favorite t-shirts. Some of them had a few holes, so I backed them with interfacing. I cut each t-shirt out in a 12 x 12 inch square. You can use as many t-shirts as you want but this one made a nice-sized throw. I backed it with cozy polar fleece.
To read more about how this project came together, click to the jump.
Why I wanted to do this project: I wanted to do something nice for my hubby’s baby brother. Given that he turned eighteen in April and graduates from high school in June, I thought the quilt would be a nice way to mark these rites of passage.
How long it took me: These big projects take me awhile because I work on them for a day and then take a month or so break before forging ahead in the process. I started cutting the t-shirts out in January and didn’t finish the quilt until last week. All in all, the whole quilt probably takes about 10 hours. Keep in mind, I tied the quilt and did not bind it.
Bumps in the process: Old t-shirts get stretched out and can be difficult to work with. I recommend using a cotton quilting-weight fabric for sashing to avoid too much aggravation with the jersey knit. Also, because I backed the quilt with polar fleece, I used embroidery floss to tie the quilt, as yarn was too thick to pull through all of the layers of the quilt.
What I learned: T-shirt quilts are a satisfying project and a fun gift, but not worth agonizing over! The materials used in the quilt are already worn out and beloved, so I don’t think it’s worth it to sweat over irregularities in the quilt. I hope it will be used and washed frequently, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.