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T-shirt quilts – Quilting rulers that make the cut!

T-shirt quilts – Quilting rulers that make the cut!

by Paul Leger

Yesterday, I prepared T-shirts for making a quilt with the help of the Hemline Gold 45mm Rotary Cutter and the Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat – 24″ x 36″ (61 x 91.4cm). I started by cutting off the sleeves, the shoulders and the side seams of each T-shirt. I separated the front and the back of the T-shirt.

A Hemline Gold 45mm Rotary Cutter is placed on a gray Heirloom double-sided cutting mat.

Hemline Gold 45mm Rotary Cutter on the Heirloom double-sided cutting mat

Today with the help of the Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat – 24″ x 36″ (61 x 91.4cm) and my Oliso Pro TG1600 Pro Plus Smart Iron, I’ll explain how to cut the designs from T-shirts to make usable squares or rectangles like these.

A yellow square with an image of a gecko and a red rectangle with an image of a sewing machine were cut from two separate T-shirts.

Quilt square and rectangle cut from T-shirts

After you press the T-shirts, it’s time to start cutting.

Note: The unfinished squares for this quilt will be 12½” x 12½” and the rectangles will measure 6½” x 12½”.

My process for making a quilt out of T-shirts is a bit different from making a quilt using quilting cotton. Please read the entire post before starting.

When you cut a T-shirt, the edges will roll a little or a lot. To help with that, I start with the Sew Easy Square Ruler – 1512″ x 1512″ (39.3 x 39.3cm). The first square I cut is always larger than what I’ll use in the quilt; that’s because of the curling of the edges of the fabric and centering.

Center the 15½” x 15½” ruler on the T-shirt.

A 15½” x 15½” ruler is placed on a yellow T-shirt before cutting

Cut a 15½” x 15½” square.

After the ruler is in place, cut along all four sides.

A square ruler is placed on top of a yellow piece of fabric with the image of a bicycle; Sew Easy Square Ruler – 15½” x 15½” (39.3 x 39.3cm), Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat - 24″ x 36″ (61 x 91.4cm)

Cut on all four sides of the ruler.

When the T-shirt design is wide and narrow, I measure it using the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 14″ x 414″ (35.6 x 10.8cm) to ensure it’s less than 6” tall.

The 14″ x 4¼” Sew Easy quilting ruler is placed on a white T-shirt with a quilting motif to measure its height

Measure to ensure the height falls within the desired size.

Place the 15½” x 15½” ruler on the T-shirt and center and cut a rectangle measuring 8¼” x 15½”.

The 15½” x 15½” ruler is placed on the T-shirt to cut an 8¼” x 15½” rectangle; Sew Easy Square Ruler – 15½” x 15½” (39.3 x 39.3cm), Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat - 24″ x 36″ (61 x 91.4cm)

Place the ruler on the T-shirt to cut an 8½” x 15½” rectangle.

After all the squares and rectangles are cut from the T-shirts, it’s time to move on to the HeatnBond Woven Fusible Interfacing.

Why the need for interfacing? Because T-shirt fabric stretches and the edges curl, using interfacing stops the stretching and curling to make sewing the squares together a lot easier.

Cut 14½” x 14½” squares and 7½” x 14½” rectangles. The quantities needed for each will depend on how you cut the T-shirts. For my quilt, I need 12 squares and eight rectangles.

Using a Hemline Gold rotary cutter and the Sew Easy 15½” x 15½” ruler to cut a 14½” x 14½” square from HeatnBond interfacing; Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat - 24″ x 36″ (61 x 91.4cm)

Cutting a 14½” x 14½” square form HeatnBond interfacing

Center the 14½” x 14½” HeatnBond squares and 7½” x 14½” rectangles on the wrong sides of the T-shirt squares and rectangles. Following the HeatnBond directions, press into place.

Using an Oliso iron, the white interfacing is pressed to the back of a green piece of fabric.

Press the interfacing to the back of the T-shirt.

After all the HeatnBond interfacing pieces are pressed into place, center the Sew Easy Square Ruler – 1212″ x 1212 on the front of the T-shirts and cut them into 12½” x 12½” squares and 6½” x 12½” rectangles.

A 6½” x 12½” piece of white fabric is next to a Sew Easy 12½” x 12½” ruler which is on a cut yellow T-shirt; Heirloom Double Sided Cutting Mat - 24″ x 36″ (61 x 91.4cm)

Cut squares and rectangles.

With all the squares and rectangles cut, today’s work is done. These three rulers made it quick and easy, and are must-haves for any studio.

Sew Easy Square Ruler – 1212″ x 1212″ (31.75 x 31.75cm)

Sew Easy Square Ruler – 1512″ x 1512″ (39.3 x 39.3cm)

Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 14″ x 414″ (35.6 x 10.8cm)

The Sew Easy 121⁄2″ x 121⁄2″, 151⁄2″ x 151⁄2″ and 14″ x 41⁄4″ rulers on a blue Heirloom cutting mat.

The Sew Easy 121⁄2″ x 121⁄2″, 151⁄2″ x 151⁄2″ and 14″ x 41⁄4″ rulers

Tomorrow the quilt top comes together. Join me!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Making a quilt starts with choosing the right tools

Go to part 3: Pinning a quilt – It’s the little things that count

 

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