Have I mentioned how much I love t-shirt quilts. If I haven’t, I will now….I LOVE T-SHIRT QUILTS!!! I have one at home from my husband’s and my old t-shirts that the boys use constantly. I am currently saving the boys t-shirts as they out grow them for a big t-shirt quilt when they are older. It will be for me when they no longer want to cuddle up on the couch with the mom….*sigh*…*tear*. I am also saving my husband’s AF OSI shirts for a gift when he retires. They are so comfy and nostalgic.
So you can imagine how happy I was when I was asked by a friend to make a t-shirt quilt for her husband. I had actually made one for them before with all their old sports jerseys (they met in high school when she played softball and he played baseball). I guess i did a good job since she wants a second one! He is a fireman on Travis AFB now and he has a lot of t-shirts related to firefighting. She gave me 6 shirts and asked that not only the large design be used, but any smaller designs as well.
So I started with the basic step on interfacing. This is the most important part of making a t-shirt quilt work. If you don’t have the right interfacing, your quilt will stretch and pull and look all kinds of weird. I get mine at A Quilted Heart. It is French fuse and comes in 60″ widths. I like that it stays put once ironed on and doesn’t affect the hand of the material. It comes in black, beige, and white. I used black since the shirts were dark. The interfacing will prevent the stretchy t-shirt material from curling and stretching.
Cut the seams of your t-shirt and iron on the interfacing. It is also important to not that an pressing sheet or towel should be used for two reasons. One, you don’t want to melt your t-shirt designs. An iron on high will melt one off in seconds. Two, the interfacing will gum up your iron. I have learned the hard way to use my pressing sheet.
Once the interfacing is attached you can treat the material like cotton. The next problem a lot of people have is centering their block. I wanted to cut the blocks to 16 1/2 inches, but I had two tank tops that prevented me from doing that. This is fixed by adding material and cutting to size.
First, Cut the square as best you can.You can see in the picture where the arm holes started.
Next, cut some pieces with interfacing attached. I cut the sides straight and pin it with wrong sides together.
Next I sew and trim to size.
I added some chevron blocks made of t-shirt material and did a simple sashing and post design. I used fabric that made me think of a fireball. I then used the smaller designs that were om the front of the shirts with random squares as a border on two sides. I really like what offsetting the design did to the quilt.
Last, but not least, I added a border. The finished quilt top is 80″ x 80″. I still have to quilt it, but I love it and I hope my friend will like it too (fingers crossed).
I will leave you with this, a hint to my upcoming project.