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T-shirts Quilt Tips

If you have kids or grandkids you know that they have a t-shirt for every sport, camp, club and walk they have done. They sit in the drawers and take up space. Why not make a quilt from them? T-shirt quilts are unique to the person whose shirts are stitched into the quilt. Making one is an act of love. Make sure the recipient will cherish their quilt for as long as possible with these tips:

1. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS stabilize the shirts!

T-shirts are knit and will stretch or roll once they are cut. Stabilizing will eliminate the stretch and the rolling of the edges.  You will save yourself so much time and effort if you take the time to stabilize all your t-shirts BEFORE cutting. I like to use a featherweight fusible interfacing. This keeps the t-shirts soft and does the job I need it to do.

2. Start by cutting the shirts up the sides and across the sleeves and the shoulder. This will allow you to center your image and cut across areas you might not expect to cut - like the collar ribbing and the sleeve seams.

3. When fusing the stabilizer - don’t use a really hot iron! It’s better to start cooler than to go hot right away. Sometimes too much heat will evaporate the adhesive and it won’t stick to the shirt - or worse - stick to your iron! Use a damp pressing sheet. This will protect your iron and helps the adhesive stick.

4. Use caution when fusing interfacing onto the back of a t-shirt with a really thick imprint on the front. Use a silicone pressing sheet to lay the t-shirt face down on before adhering the fusible interfacing. This will save your ironing surface and your t-shirt. Let it cool before picking it up off the silicone sheet.

5. You don’t have to quilt across the screened images on the t-shirts - but you DO have to quilt in every block. If you leave the squares or blocks with only quilting around the edge, the batting inside will eventually shift and bunch up. It won’t take long before it will make your quilt lumpy and uncomfortable to use.

I hope these tips are helpful! If you would like more information on shop and guild lectures please contact me at

Quilt with joy!


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