Sewing Tutorial: T-Shirt Quilt Part 1

Sewing Tutorial: How to cut t-shirt squares to make a keepsake quiltI have been planning this project and saving the materials for at least 10 years and am quite excited to finally be working on it!

When my daughter was in elementary school, I thought it would be neat to make a quilt out of all of her school, sports and activity t-shirts as a high school graduation gift. I had a feeling it could be a really cool keepsake that would be a cozy reminder of home when she headed off to college.

Now, with graduation a few short weeks away, the time has finally come for me to start cutting and stitching. The finished quilt is 68x88 inches and is large enough to fit on a standard sizes dorm bed.

This a rather large project, so I am go to break it up into three posts, starting with how to prepare and cut the t-shirt squares. The materials listed are what you will need to complete the entire quilt.


  • 15 clean t-shirts
  • 7 yds of lightweight Pellon fusible interfacing
  • 1 3/4 yds red flannel
  • 1/2 yd white flannel
  • 7 yds black flannel
  • thread 
  • straight pins
  • twin size low loft batting
  • 2" satin blanket binding
  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • quilting grid ruler
  • iron and ironing board
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • curved safety pins


Wash and dry your t-shirts.

Use a rotary cutter, mat and grid ruler to cut the fusible interfacing into fifteen 16x16 inch squares.
Lay a shirt out on a work surface. Use scissors to cut up each side of the shirt and remove the sleeves.
The shirt I am using has images on the front and back that I will be including on my quilt.
Place the cut shirt, face down, on an ironing board. Press out the wrinkles. It’s very important to make sure the shirt is pressed smooth before you apply the interfacing.
Lay one fusible interfacing square onto the wrong side of the shirt and press it according to the interfacing directions.

Repeat the process with the remaining shirts.
Place your shirt onto a cutting mat.
Set your cutting grid over the image you are using. Position the grid so that the image is centered beneath it.
Use a rotary cutter to cut around the grid.
Sewing Tutorial: How to cut t-shirt squares to make a keepsake quilt Repeat the process with the remaining shirts so you have a total of fifteen 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 squares.

Next, in Part 2, I'll show you how to cut the flannel borders that will go between the squares and piece the quilt top.

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The Chilly Dog: Sewing Tutorial: T-Shirt Quilt Part 1
Sewing Tutorial: T-Shirt Quilt Part 1
Sewing Tutorial: How to make a keepsake quilt out of your children's school, sports and activity t-shirts.
The Chilly Dog
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