Tips for Making T-shirt Quilts

T-shirt quilts make a great gift for graduates. If you have one in your future, these tips will help you make a cherished tribute blanket!


The June Taylor T-shirt Transformation Bundle is on sale until April 15 and it has everything that you need for making T-shirt quilts. The square ruler helps with centering block sizes of 10”, 12”, and 15”. It also includes a pressing cloth and interfacing.


Here are some T-shirt quilt tips shared by Sew Inspired by Bonnie:


Wash Shirts

Make sure that the t-shirts are clean and have been washed.


Keep Shirt Backs and Sleeves

Add embroidery to blank shirt blocks for unique personalization or to fill in where needed. Use back pieces to build smaller pieces up to block size.

Rough Cut Shirts to Start

Use standard scissors or a rotary cutter. Don’t worry if your cut lines are not straight, you will straighten them up when you cut out the actual blocks.

Press, Don’t Iron

When applying Interfacing, press but don’t iron (or use a heat press) to keep shirt fibers from stretching. Since your iron has a triangular head, alternate its direction when pressing for good, overall adhesion.

Use a Pressing Cloth

Screen printing on shirts can damaged by an iron unless you use a pressing cloth.

Determine Block Size

Think in terms of one block at a time. See which has the biggest design because you want all the blocks to be the same size. Sometimes  oneshirt will stand out as the center of attention. A squaring ruler helps center designs.

Arrange Blocks Before Sewing

Use a bed, the floor, or back patio. It is much easier to get your arrangement just right if you lay out the blocks before sewing. 

Take a Photo

Once you have blocks arranged to your liking, take a photo with camera or phone. That gives you a visual reference when sewing the blocks together.

Use a Walking Foot

Because everything has a tendency to shift, use a walking foot when sewing your quarter-inch seams. Stitch with a 75/11 sharp, no need for a ballpoint needle.

Press Seams

When adding sashing, press seams toward the sashing to eliminate bulk.

Embellish and Personalize

Add important dates and names using fonts and embellish with embroidery.

Debbie SewBlest

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