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T-shirt quilts – 4 ideas for layouts that work!

T-shirt quilts – 4 ideas for layouts that work!

by Paul Leger

Yesterday, we finished the T-shirt quilt using quality notions such as Hemline Gold Quilters Clips, SCHMETZ #4026 Chrome Jersey Needles- 90/14 – 5 count and a spool of GÜTERMANN Cotton 50wt Thread 250m in Ivory.

An open package of Hemline Gold Quilters Clips along with a spool of ivory colored GÜTERMANN Cotton 50wt thread and SCHMETZ Chrome Jersey needles.

Hemline Gold Quilters Clips, GÜTERMANN Cotton 50wt thread and SCHMETZ Chrome Jersey needles

Today, I’ll show you a few more layout options for T-shirt quilts.

1. Same width, different lengths

This quilt was made for my friend Jean. Jean wanted a quilt that was wide enough to wrap around him and long enough to tuck his feet under while sitting.

For this quilt, I used blocks of similar widths, but with random lengths so there’d be little to no seams to match. Then I played with the layout to get similar length columns. I only had to do a little trimming at the bottom of the quilt.

A quilt made of 30 multi-colored T-shirts. Each T-shirt was cut in a different length.

T-shirt quilt with blocks of different lengths

I fused HeatnBond Woven Fusible Interfacing on every T-shirt block, regardless of the size.

The end of a bolt of HeatnBond Woven Fusible Interfacing containing the quantity of interfacing on the bolt.

HeatnBond Woven Fusible Interfacing

2.    Lattice and cornerstones

If you don’t have enough T-shirts for the size of quilt you want, consider adding lattice between every block.

In these two quilts, I used regular solid-colored quilting cotton. Yes, you can use regular quilting cotton with jersey fabrics. It’s something I often do. I also added cornerstones using fabrics from the T-shirts. Some of these cornerstones were from T-shirts which only had little pocket-size designs on them.

2 different t-shirt quilts; one with a red border and lattice strips, and the other with a navy-blue border and lattice strips

Two more options for T-shirt quilts

There are two ways I use to figure out how wide to make the lattice strips. The first is simply to make a decision based on how wide I want the quilt to be. The second is by using my Sew Easy Square Ruler – 6½” x 6½”, and placing it on top of the logo to see how small of a square I can cut. Once I know the size of the square, I can determine how wide to cut the lattice strips. The lattice strip lengths depend on the size of the blocks.

A Sew Easy 6½” x 6½” ruler is used to measure an Ottawa police logo on a gray T-shirt.

Sew Easy 6½” x 6½” ruler measuring a logo

3. Border around each block

Instead of lattice, put a border around each block. This method is a great way to use fabric strips that may be in your fabric stash. By the way, this is a beautiful photo of the quilt taken by Gerry Allain.

A quilt made with 20 T-shirt squares. Each square has a border of two different colored fabrics.

T-shirt quilt with colorful borders

4. Using a long vertical block

Sometimes, the design on a T-shirt is too small for a large square, and too big for a small cornerstone. When this happens, place the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 24″ x 612″ (61 x 16.5cm) on the motif and see if you can cut a rectangle going vertically instead of horizontally. This is another fun way to use a T-shirt rectangular block.

A Sew Easy quilting 24″ x 6½” ruler is positioned vertically on a design on a white T-shirt. The motif says, “This shirt saves lives”.

Measuring a T-shirt design

This is what a quilt looks like with blocks of different sizes and different fabrics.

Note: The darker of the two large center blocks was made from a heavy poly/cotton mix fabric, similar to what heavier sweatshirts are made of. I used HeatnBond interfacing on the back of the poly/cotton fabric.  

Multiple squares made of various fabrics are bordered with medium blue fabric. The blocks are then separated with a light blue fabric

T-shirt quilt using long rectangular blocks

I hope you enjoyed this week’s quilt project and are inspired to create your very own T-shirt quilt with the easy and innovative ways presented today.

 And, remember…your quilt project will go nice and smooth when using quality tools and notions such as Hemline Gold 45mm Rotary Cutter, Hemline Gold Thread Snips, Hemline Gold Plastic Headed Pin (black or white), Hemline Gold Magnetic Pin Dish, Hemline Gold Quilters Clips (Pack of 30), Sew Easy Square Ruler – 12½” x 12½” (31.75 x 31.75cm), Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 14″ x 4¼” (35.6 x 10.8cm), Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat – 24″ x 36″ (61 x 91.4cm).

A Hemline Gold 45mm Rotary Cutter along with Hemline Gold Thread Snips, Hemline Gold Plastic Headed Pins (Black), Hemline Gold Plastic Headed Pins (White), Hemline Gold Magnetic Pin Dish, Hemline Gold Quilters Clips, Sew Easy Square Ruler – 12½” x 12½”, Sew Easy Quilting Ruler - 14″ x 4¼”, Sew Easy Quilting Ruler - 24″ x 61⁄2″ (61 x 16.5cm) and an Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat - 24″ x 36″

Hemline Gold and Sew Easy tools and notions

One last thing. Consider making quilts using the back of the T-shirts and the sleeves. Even if they have no designs on them, they still make nice and soft quilts that you can use at home, while camping, on a picnic, or anywhere else. You can also donate these quilts to a homeless shelter. Using up as much as possible from your T-shirts to make a quilt will also keep them out of landfills.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Stay warm with a quilt made with Fairfield batting



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