My fiancé, Bob, had several t-shirts that were kind of sassy and hilarious, most of which had sat in a drawer since his law school days. I thought it would be fun to use those shirts to make a throw-sized t-shirt quilt.
Seriously, y'all. this was such a fun and easy project. I decided to make a rag quilt, with exposed seams and quilt-as-you-go techniques, for a cozy and homemade feel. It also meant that I didn't have to invest in a sewing machine.
The first step is pretty easy -- select the t-shirts you want to use. Wash them without fabric softener and determine the portion of the shirt that you want to use. (Pro tip: save the unused t-shirt material for dust cloths!) Make a square cut a little bigger than the size you want the finished panel to be. The beauty of the rag quilt is that your cuts don't have to be precise.
You'll want to select batting for the center of the quilt. I used white flannel, which I cut into squares the same size as the t-shirt panel.
The final layer is your backing; I chose solid red cotton to go with the darker t-shirts, and red and white ticking stripes for the lighter shirts.
Next, I put the pieces together for each quilt block. For this throw, it was 9 blocks cut to approximately 16 inch squares. For each quilt block, I stitched the three layers of fabric about an inch from the outside border, then sewed two diagonal lines, forming an X shape in the block.
Using the pattern I'd decided on (alternating light and dark t-shirt prints), I sewed the shirts together into three rows, with the exposed seams facing upward. I then attached the three rows together to form the quilt.
The final step was to cut the exposed seams into a fringe pattern, about 1/2" apart. I then washed and machine dried the quilt to remove excess lint and allow the seams to "puff up."
I love the way this one turned out! So quick and easy, and such a fun gift for my beau!