T-Shirt Quilt {Introduction}

A little note before we get started: I originally posted this tutorial on my old blog that I have since taken down. One thing that caused me to stop blogging was a hateful comment left on this tutorial because of a silly typo that I made. I am not perfect and have never claimed to be perfect. It took a lot of time to write this tutorial, and the only reason I did it is to help others make their own quilts. I hope you enjoy this tutorial, and I trust that you will keep your comments respectful :) Thanks, ya'll! Enjoy!

I've learned a lot from online tutorials, so I'd like to pass along my method for making t-shirt quilts. I'm a sentimental person, and I always knew a quilt was the perfect way to keep a neat record of some great memories. At the same time, I didn't want to just start cutting up my shirts...it's not like I could get a replacement if I ruined it! I searched and searched for a comprehensive tutorial that would meet my needs, and I never found it.

I combined several tutorials into my method, and here is what makes mine different than most: I do NOT use any interfacing (big cost-saver), I do not put any sashing between the quilt squares (mine was already going to be big enough and I wanted to keep this as simple as possible...plus, that's more fabric to buy, and I'm trying to be budget friendly), and it's not technically "quilted" (it's held together by tying embroidery threads through all the layers) .

If you can sew a straight line, you really can make your own t-shirt quilt. But hey, if it seems like this project is too big for you, just send off your shirts to someone who will make it for you. It should only cost $300-800. Or you could make your own for about $30-40. So let's DIY, shall we?

Materials Needed:
(if using both sides of a shirt on the quilt, you will also need some
other old shirts you can cut up to serve as "interfacing) (Free!)
Batting (Low loft is plenty because the shirts and fleece backing make it very warm and heavy. I used Poly-Fil traditional batting from Hobby Lobby. $9 after my 40% off coupon.)
Fleece fabric for backing (I used Northern Lights Solid Fleece sold at Hancock Fabrics for $3.99/yard. I needed 6 yards because my quilt was wider than the fleece)
Cotton fabric for binding (I used 1 yard of fabric from Hobby Lobby, about $4)
2 skeins of embroidery thread (for tying together instead of quilting, from Hancock Fabrics, about .25 cents each)
Coordinating thread for your sewing machine (An all purpose thread is good for this, about $3)
Sewing machine needles (I used a size 11 for the t-shirts and size 14 for the binding--already had these)
Hand sewing needles (Already had these)
Lots of straight pins and some safety pins (Already had these)

Total cost: $40.50

Full Disclosure:
I am not a sewing or quilting guru and there are other t-shirt quilt tutorials out there. In fact, one of those tutorials might suit your needs or preferences better. At the very least, they are probably a good supplemental read because they may explain something in a different way that makes more sense to you.

If you do not want all your t-shirt squares to be the same size, consider using this tutorial:
T-shirt Quilts

Or if you want sashing (strips of coordinating fabric) between your t-shirt squares, consider using this tutorial:

Once you've found a tutorial (or combination of tutorials) that works for you, get started on your t-shirt quilt! I know you can do it!

I've broken my tutorial down into three parts--ready, set, go!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


  1. I've never really used a sewing machine before (most sewing issues I've come across require a simple hand sew, like buttons or patches), but your instructions look clear and detailed enough that I think I could do this without too much trouble! I've been wanting a t-shirt quilt for a long time, but didn't want to shell out hundreds of dollars to have it made. Thanks for the very clearly written tutorial!

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  2. I initially "pinned' this from your first blog & then repinned it 30 weeks ago. I've been in the process of making a Twilight themed version for myself. I'm a huge fan of Twilight & I think I started out with about ten t-shirts. Just this evening my mom & I finished cutting the binding. I got a tip from an associate at JoAnn Fabrics when shopping for material to use as the backing. She suggested using a blanket as the material I initially selected wasn't wide enough of course. I'm so excited to see this project finished. I've followed your tutorial & made adjustments as I needed to. Thank you for sharing your process. It's been so helpful.

  3. Your tutorial is really nice. Don't let others drag you down, sometimes they are hurting & want to make others feel bad. I'm so sorry that happened to you. You are doing a great job and helping others. Thank you for what you do :) Keep it up :) I am loving your site.

  4. Lovely tutorial! Keep blogging!

  5. This is where my son goes to school:), thanks for the step by step.

  6. This is where my son goes to school:), thanks for the step by step.

  7. Thank you for taking the time to do this tutorial again. Its full of helpful information . Please Don"t let negative people stop you from helping others.

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