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How to Sew a T-Shirt Quilt that Preserves Your Favorite Memories

A T-Shirt quilt is a great way to preserve your old shirts. Not only do you free up some space, but you create an exciting map of your life. Whether it’s the first foreign country you ever visited, the first concert you ever saw, or the first gift you ever received from a significant other, we’ll look at how you can sew a quilt that you can bring with you wherever life’s journey happens to lead.

Block Style

This is a common quilting style, and it just refers to the fact that your T-shirt pieces are the same size. Use an interface, like a heavy knit to make the T-shirts stiffer and easier to sew. Once everything is laid out, you can use cotton fabric to divide everything and then pull it all together with a 2mm stitch.

While this type of quilt might not be as comfy, it usually stands up to repeated wear and tear. If you aren’t planning to snuggle up with it very often or you’re thinking of using it as a focal point in a room (either on the wall or floor), this could be a good option.

Tips for Block Style

You can try omitting the cotton fabric dividers and interfacing to hold the shirts together. The only potential drawback is that the quilt will be more vulnerable, and you might accidentally ruin more than one T-shirt this way.

If the shirts have larger designs that don’t fit within the general block space, you can also try experimenting with larger columns for these shirts and interspersing smaller columns for shirts with smaller designs.



With a freeform quilt, you choose the size of every T-shirt, and then fit them together like a puzzle. There’s no columns or rows like a block quilt, so you get to choose the priority of each T-shirt. For example, maybe your favorite shirt gets center stage and is much bigger than any other block.

If you were a runner, you might put your marathon shirt in the middle and the crowd it with other T-shirts from smaller races you’ve finished. This random style makes it a little more visually interesting, though again, you might run the same risks of accidents if sewing directly on the shirts without the fabric dividers.

Or you might just cut out all of the designs on the T-shirts to create a mosaic. You’ll need to have some sort of sheet or fabric backing to hold the haphazard pattern. If you’re doing this crazy style, you’ll need some great sewing skills to pull it off.

T-shirt quilts are fun, but more than that, they’re a way to keep the things you love without creating mountains of shirts in the attic. Test your creativity, hone your sewing skills, and end up with a blanket that says so much more about you than you ever thought it could. And if you need help, Cathey’s Sewing and Vacuum can supply you with the tools you need to get it right.



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