Sewing Tutorial: T-Shirt Quilt Part 3

Sewing Tutorial: How to make a keepsake T-shirt quilt
It's hard for me to believe, but in just three days, my baby will be walking across the stage to receive her high school diploma. In honor of this momentous event, I have been working on a keepsake t-shirt quilt that has been years in the planning.

I started collecting the shirts for this quilt when my girl was in elementary school. I am including school shirts, sports and choir shirts and even a shirt from the school university she will be attending in the fall :)

In case you missed the beginning of this project:

Part 1 - Preparing the T-Shirt Blocks
Part 2 - Completing the Quilt Top

Now on to Part 3 - Quilting and Binding

The finished quilt is 68x88 inches and is large enough to fit on a standard sizes dorm bed. 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


After finishing the quilt top, you should have about 5 1/3 yds of black flannel remaining.  Cut the piece in half so you have two (approximately 2 2/3 yd) pieces. Create the back of the quilt by sewing the two pieces together, lengthwise using 1/2 inch seam allowance. Press the seam open.

Lay the quilt back, finished side down, on a work surface. I had to use the floor because I don't have a table or counter that's big enough.

Smooth out any wrinkles.
Unroll the batting and lay it over the back. Smooth out any wrinkles in the batting the best you can.
Next, you'll position the quilt top. It's easiest to do this by folding the quilt top in half lengthwise, right sides together.
Then you can line up the center seams on the quilt top and back.
Unfold the quilt top and smooth out any wrinkles.
Use curved safety pins to secure the layers of the quilt.
I pinned each of the four corners of the t-shirt blocks.

You can quilt designs into the sashing strips and borders if you feel like being fancy. Since I only have a standard sized sewing machine and a relatively small work area, I chose to "stitch in the ditch." If you haven't heard this term before, it means you stitch along the seams where two pieces of fabric are joined.

By doing stitch in the ditch to quilt this piece it will create a simple, inconspicuous grid of quilting.

I like to roll one side of my quilt toward the center. Then, starting with the center row, I stitch across the quilt, unrolling the quilt as I progress from row to row.

Repeat the process, rolling the quilt to the center from the opposite edge and stitching across.Then, repeat the process again, but roll from the sides of the quilt and stitch down the columns.
Once the piece is quilted, you can remove your safety pins.

You'll notice that the edges of the batting, quilt top and quilt back are all different sizes.
Carefully use scissors or a rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler to even up the edges so they are the same size as the quilt top.

Finally, bind your quilt with satin blanket binding.
Hopefully this t-shirt quilt will provide some warm memories of home while keeping my daughter cozy and when she heads off to college in the fall.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make a keepsake T-shirt quilt

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The Chilly Dog: Sewing Tutorial: T-Shirt Quilt Part 3
Sewing Tutorial: T-Shirt Quilt Part 3
Sewing Tutorial: The shirts have been blocked, the top is pieced and now it's time to assemble my keepsake t-shirt quilt.
The Chilly Dog
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