Apr 16, 2018

Tee shirt quilt

I'm making a tee shirt quilt for a young man who's graduating from High School in May.
His Mom has been collecting his shirts since 
he was about 5 or 6 years old.
It would be really easy to cut all the logos out the same size, maybe 12" square.
The reality is that not all the logos are the same size!
When I made a tee shirt for my son about 4 years ago, it was completely custom and I thought it was so pretty.
A lot of work but worth it.
You can see his here and here :)

The secret to making a tee shirt quilt is to use an iron on 
"woven" stabilizer.
The stabilizer keeps those slippery fabrics (sports jerseys) and stretchy knits in place, as if they are quilting fabrics.
I cut out the logos, iron on the stabilizer, and then trim them with my rotary cutter to the size that looks the best, or fits the best.
Another secret, is to use a cloth when ironing the tee shirt logos at ALL TIMES!
I smeared the tip of the "y" on the Blue Jays a little 
because I forgot....
You can see it when the quilt blocks are laid out below.

The "Simms" block was a strip of fabric that was embroidered and then sewed to the jersey.  
I just cut off the embroidered section, that's what I mean when I say that I'm at the mercy of the logos, lol!
There is no way I could have cut this into a 12" square!

The blocks have all been trimmed, 
and I recorded the size of each block.

I laid the blocks out, mostly in chronological order.
I quilted the young man's name, 
using Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book.
I used red because it balances out the other two blocks.
(I received a few more shirts after I had the quilt puzzle calculated)
Garrett loves the NY giants (red and blue) and blue was the color of both of the high schools that he went to.
I used gray for the background of his name to make it look more like a jersey, but it looks a little brown :(

This architectural rendering took me hours!!!
I fit all the logos, added sashing, and I had to do it in a manner that I was still able to sew.  
For instance, the blocks had to be graphed into larger blocks.
I did this before I received the extra shitts, 
that's why it's good have an eraser close by :)

I had to cut the tee shirt at an angle because that's where the seam was.
I sewed some red Kona along the seam, pressed it away from the seam, trimmed it and it will never be noticeable :)

 Here's my redesigned architectural rendering, most of the adjustments were made at the top of the pattern.

Here are all the sashing pieces, I used 2 packs of Alpha Bitties.

The numbers are circled and I used double letters for the blue Alpha Bitties.
I crossed off the sashing pieces as I used them.

 Here is the quilt top all finished!
I added a 2 1/2" border to give it a NY Giants color theme.
I used white sashing on my son's quilt, but noticed that it got dirty very easily.
I like the "rich" look of the blue sashing, and there are quite a few white blocks that wouldn't have shown up very well if I had used white.
A few interesting things to note about the tee shirts.
Garrett is the young man's name, Simms is his middle name and Ruslin is his last name, all on the quilt :)
The reason I put his name at the bottom of the quilt is because I pictured the quilt laying on his bed in his college dorm.
When he walks into the room, he will immediately see his name and remember how much his mom loves him because she lovingly had this quilt made for him :)

I'll show you the quilt again when it's machine quilted.
That will be a challenge because the quilt top is heavier than normal because of the weight of the tee shirts!


  1. Oh Cynthia - this is beautiful! Love the blue sashings and how you arranged all the different pieces. My daughter keeps saving her T-shirts, and wants a quilt with them - someday - thank you for all your tips on how to put things together!

  2. Wow that is a lot of planning but looks great.