How to Make an Out-of-the-Ordinary T-Shirt Quilt: Part Twocomments (15) April 22nd, 2009
Last week I took all my old, beloved T-shirts and made them into a quilt front; this week I finish the quilt. This is the part that often seems to intimidate the novice quilter, like me. The quilt front is easy enough to fudge, but the quilting seems so permanent, so easy to mess up.
The first hurdle to quilting the T-shirt quilt was figuring out the backing fabric. I wanted something that complemented the jersey of the quilt front, and I found it in a set of T-shirt sheets. Check out your local thrifts for jersey top sheet. I found a gray T-shirt sheet set at Target for $20.
Now it's time to start quilting. The quilting technique I used for my quilt is super-easy. If you're making a T-shirt quilt for yourself, these simple steps and tricks will turn your awesome quilt front into the coziest quilt in your house.
|Get more T-shirt projects:
• How to Restyle a T-Shirt into a Ruffly Cardigan
• How to Upcycle a T-Shirt into a Cardigan
• How to Crochet a Rug out of T-Shirts
• How to Make a Headband from an Old T-Shirt
Here's what you'll need:
- Flat T-shirt sheet (queen size for twin/full-sized quilts, larger for larger quilts)
- Cotton or cotton-blend quilt batting
- 1/4-inch quilter's tape or chalk marker
- Quilter's grid or straightedge
- Saftey pins
- Sewing machine
- Walking foot
- Quilter's gloves (optional but super-handy!)
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
First, lay your quilt top out on a large, flat surface. For most of us, that will be the floor. If you have a table large enough for your quilt, use that. Oh, by the way, I'm jealous. Once your top is laid out, mark it for quilting. There are several ways to do this. You can use chalk or disappearing markers to mark you quilting lines, but I like using quilter's tape.
I decided to use a horizontal and vertical crooked criss-cross pattern for my quilting. This style was both quick and easy and went along with the rock-and-roll nature of my T-shirts. If this style is too haphazard for you, feel free to use another quilting technique.
Once the quilting plot is figured out, it's time to put together the layers of your quilt.
Make sure that the three layers are all flat. Once flat, the quilt needs to be basted. You can do this with loose stitches, but I like safety pins.
Don't throw out the fabric you trimmed from your backing. Save it to use as the binding for the quilt.
Once the quilt is basted, you can start quilting! If you don't already have a walking foot, run out and get one. A walking foot gives you a second set of feed dogs on the top of your fabric, allowing it to feed through evenly. This is super-handy on any sewing you might do using several layers (like quilting!). You should be able to get one for around $20, and it's a lifesaver!
You might also want to invest $5 for a pair of these bad boys:
Plus, these gloves are great for any impromptu musical numbers that might arise! They are, after all, jazz-hand ready. Anyway, back to the quilting...
Remove the saftey pins as you sew, making sure they stay out of the way of your sewing.
I wanted a criss-cross look to my quilting, so I followed the same taping and sewing steps vertically.
Once all the quilting is done, trim the excess backing fabric and batting from around the quilt.
Now it's time to bind the quilt. Since the whole project is made of a jersey fabric, I continued the theme and used the excess fabric trimmed from the sheet I used for the backing as the binding fabric.
You can sew these strips together, but I used four separate strips to bind each side of my quilt, starting first with the verticals and then binding the top and bottom.
Sew the binding down using a 5/8-inch seam allowance, sewing the two vertical sides first and then the top and bottom. Since the fabric doesn't fray, I left the corner raw but added a few locking stitches along the edge so that dirt wouldn't get under the binding and into my quilt.
And we're done and quilted!
Now, that wasn't that hard, was it?
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to rock in the coziest fashion possible!