I’ve dreamed of making keepsake quilts for my kids. Quilts that will capture each child’s personality, interests ... their T-shirts. Yep, a T-shirt quilt! It’s a great way to clear out the closet and put those old but special shirts to good use. Plus, I’m recycling, too!

1. Selecting Shirts – Shirts should be clean and in good condition. You may want to select a theme or color family to unite the quilt.

McKinney How To: T-shirt Quilt

2. Interfacing – Each shirt must be backed with non-woven fusible interfacing to prevent it from stretching. Fusible interfacing needs to be non-woven, glued only on one side.

3. Sashing/Border/Binding – Cut the fabric strips which form a decorative grid between each T-shirt block. Sashing, border, and binding fabrics should unify the quilt and complement the T-shirts.

4. Cutting Shirts – Separate the front of the shirt from the back. Make sure the shirt is smooth, iron if necessary.

5. Fusing – Cut interfacing into squares - one for each shirt. Position the interfacing with the resin side down on the wrong side of the T-shirt, center the design as much as possible.

6. Cutting the Squares – Square up each fused shirt, center the design and lettering.

7. Arranging – Lay out squares, alternate light/dark, busy/not so busy. Make sure the blocks can be read from the desired direction.

8. Completing the Quilt – add sashing strips between blocks.

McKinney How To: T-shirt Quilt

9. Sewing – sew horizontal strips to the bottom of each block, except the blocks in the bottom row. Sew blocks together to form columns.

Head to the closets and start pulling together those beloved shirts. A beautiful quilt is waiting to emerge! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, visit Happiness Is ... Quilting! to learn more about how to make your very own T-Shirt Quilt.

Happiness Is ... Quilting! was recently selected as one of the Top Ten Quilt Shops in the United States. It will be featured in the September 2011 issue of Quilt Sampler, a Better Homes and Gardens publication.

Happiness Is ... Quilting!

217 N. Kentucky St.

McKinney, TX 75069




About the author: Simri Davis lives to read and loves to live in McKinney with her husband and three children. All photos by the author.


(This story is reprinted from the September 2011 issue of McKinney Magazine)