How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt: DIY Guide for Quilters & Sewing Enthusiasts

How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt: DIY Guide for Quilters & Sewing Enthusiasts

Ever wondered how to make a tshirt quilt from old tees? This DIY quilting guide will walk you through essential steps from preparing tshirt fabric and interfacing to sewing machine quilting your memorial blanket or quilt. With some basic sewing supplies and cotton shirts, quilters can create a homemade quilt to display shirts telling unique stories.

Key takeaways:

Materials Needed Steps Overview Tips & Tricks Benefit Highlights
16 sentimental t-shirts
Fusible interfacing
Cotton batting
Binding, backing fabric
Sewing supplies
1. Stabilize and cut shirts
2. Arrange blocks
3. Sew rows
4. Add batting
5. Quilt layers
6. Finish edges
Properly fuse interfacing
Trim blocks evenly
Map layout ahead
Align corners precisely
Dense quilting for durability
Preserves memories
Creative Upcycling
Fun, achievable DIY
Cozy customizable blanket

Is it hard to make a DIY T-shirt Quilt?

Making a DIY t-shirt quilt has a moderate difficulty level and requires sewing skills, but provides great sentimentality. This quilting project involves cutting, arranging, and sewing t-shirt fabric together.

The time commitment varies depending on the quilt’s size and complexity. It demands a proper understanding of seam allowances when cutting shirts and assembling the quilt top.

However, the ability to creatively repurpose beloved shirts and memorialize memories incentivizes learning how to make a t-shirt quilt. With proper backing, batting, and binding, these homemade statement pieces become cozy blankets or decorative quilts for showcasing special stories. The high potential for customization also makes DIY t-shirt quilts an enjoyable challenge.

What do I need to make DIY T-shirt Quilt?

To make your own DIY t-shirt quilt, you will need the following supplies:

  • T-shirts – The central component! Choose old t-shirts with sentimental value or special graphics you want to memorialize. You’ll need around 16 shirts.
  • Fusible interfacing – Woven interfacing that is ironed onto the back of t-shirts to prevent stretching. It stabilizes the knit fabric.
  • Cotton batting – The filling that goes between the t-shirt quilt top and backing to add warmth and loft.
  • Fabric for backing – Coordinating cotton or flannel yardage.
  • Binding – To sew around quilt edges for a finished look.
  • Rotary cutter, ruler & mat – For uniformly cutting t-shirt squares. A 12” ruler is ideal.
  • Sewing machine – For piecing the quilt top by stitching the t-shirt blocks together.

Optional supplies include colored sashing strips between blocks, fabric markers for customizing, and embellishments like buttons to personalize your memory quilt.

The key tools include fabric to stabilize stretchy t-shirts, batting for thickness, a backing layer, and basic quilting supplies for cutting, arranging, and assembling the DIY throw or blanket.

How to Make a T-shirt Quilt (Step-by-Step Guide)

Creating a memory quilt from old t-shirts is simple with just rudimentary sewing abilities. By following these key quilting tips illustrated in the 9-step DIY tutorial below, you’ll transform meaningful t-shirt graphics into a cozy custom blanket to cherish.

With a few basic supplies, stabilizing tricks, and a square layout arrangement, craft a quality t-shirt quilt that displays nostalgic logos telling unique stories through the fabric.

Here is a step-by-step guide for beginners on how to make a t-shirt quilt:

  • Step 1: Choose T-Shirts
    Decide which t-shirts you want to use and cut them up. Cut the t-shirts up the sides and across the top, leaving the collar intact. You can save the scrap pieces in case you need smaller sections later.
Decide which t-shirts you want to use and cut them up
  • Step 2: Roughly Cut Out Sections
    Take a large ruler (15-16 inches) and roughly cut out the t-shirt sections. Make sure to leave enough room at the top near the collar where images tend to be.
Roughly Cut Out Sections
Take a large ruler (15-16 inches) and roughly cut out the t-shirt sections
  • Step 3: Apply Interfacing
    Apply fusible interfacing to the back of each t-shirt square to reduce stretching. Place it rough side down and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse it, using an iron or heat press.
Apply fusible interfacing to the back of each t-shirt square to reduce stretching
using an iron or heat press.
  • Step 4: Trim to Size
    Take a rotary cutter and trim the t-shirt sections to 12 inches square, using a smaller 12-inch ruler. Line up the ruler close to the collar at the top. The t-shirt should now feel less stretchy and easier to work with.
Take a rotary cutter and trim the t-shirt sections to 12 inches square
  • Step 5: Arrange Layout
    Arrange the t-shirt squares attractively based on color placement. Take a picture from far away to get an overall sense of the layout.
Arrange the t-shirt squares attractively based on color placement
  • Step 6: Assemble Rows
    Sew the t-shirt squares together in rows using 2.5 inch sashing strips in between. Press seams open.
sew the t shirt squares together in rows using 2 5 inch sashing strips in between
  • Step 7: Join Rows
    Join the t-shirt rows together to form the quilt top. Add borders if desired.
join the t shirt rows together to form the quilt top
  • Step 8: Make Scrap Blocks (Optional)
    Use scraps to make additional blocks using foundation paper piecing. This allows you to use smaller shirt sections.
use scraps to make additional blocks using foundation paper piecing
  • Final Step: Finish Quilt
    Finish the t-shirt quilt by layering backing, batting, and quilt top. Bind edges to complete.
finish the t shirt quilt by layering backing batting and quilt top

With just basic sewing skills and these simple steps, you can repurpose treasured old t-shirts into a cozy custom quilt to enjoy for years.

A Comprehensive Check-list for Your DIY T-shirt Quilt

Assembling a quality t-shirt quilt depends on precise details. Use this comprehensive checklist to thoroughly evaluate your finished blanket from seams to edges for serviceability and neat presentation of meaningful graphics. By meticulously inspecting each construction facet before gifting this DIY quilt displaying nostalgic logos, you’ll feel pride in a tidy masterpiece built to last.

The Perfect T-Shirt Quilt Checklist:

❑ Quilt sandwich is flat and wrinkle-free

❑ T-shirt blocks are evenly sized rectangles

❑ Motifs are neatly centered in each block

❑ Side and corner seams align precisely

❑ Batting loft is even and smooth

❑ Quilting lines are evenly spaced, uniform

❑ Quilting stitches penetrate all layers

❑ Binding attached straight and taut

❑ Binding mitered corners are crisp

❑ Label affixed to backside

❑ Hem facing surround edge neatly

By methodically inspecting each facet using this checklist, you can feel pride in a well-constructed DIY t-shirt quilt you’ll enjoy for years.

Things to keep in mind

When undertaking a sentimental DIY t-shirt quilt, small details impact the quality outcome. From fabric preparation to dense quilting, applying key tips at each step prevents issues. Keep these 8 handy tricks in mind for smoothly piecing together a snuggly blanket heirloom from well-loved tee graphics you’ll enjoy for years.

When undertaking creating your own t-shirt quilt, some helpful tips to remember include:

  • Stabilization – Properly fuse interfacing to every shirt piece to prevent distortion or stretching during piecing.
  • Fabric Prep – Wash, dry, and neatly press all shirts first for accurate cutting and sewing.
  • Seam Allowance – Account for a 1⁄2 inch allowance to smoothly join blocks.
  • Quilt Layout – Map out an arrangement to evenly disperse colors, logos, and designs.
  • Batting Loft – For maximum coziness, choose a batting with a plush loft to cushion shirts.
  • Backing & Binding Fabric – Select coordinating solid colors that allow shirt blocks to shine.
  • Corner Alignments – Pin carefully to ensure row ends match up for straight edges.
  • Quilting Density – Stitch every 3-5 inches for durability and to “tack” down shirt layers.

Keep these handy quilting, prep and design tips in mind for crafting an heirloom-quality t-shirt blanket you’ll enjoy snuggling with for years.


Repurposing cherished t-shirts into a homemade quilt is achievable for sewers of all skill levels when taking the project step-by-step. By following this beginner-friendly guide to constructing your own custom t-shirt blanket filled with nostalgic memories, you now have all the tips and tricks for how to make a tshirt quilt you’ll proudly display and enjoy snuggling under for years to come.


1. Why are t-shirt quilts so expensive?

The cost of t-shirt quilts mainly comes from two things: the work put into them and the materials used. Quality t-shirt quilts are made by experienced quilters.

2. Are t-shirt quilts hard to make?

Making a t-shirt quilt can be a bit tricky. But don’t worry, our quilts can include up to 64 t-shirt panels. The more shirts you use, the larger and more impressive the quilt. Just pick your shirts (make sure they don’t have holes or tears) and wash them one last time.

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