Different Styles of T-shirt Quilts

Pamela rented a longarm quilting machine to quilt this Rafting themed Tshirt Quilt

There are lots of different styles of T-shirt quilts and they are all the rage today. You can get a t-shirt at any event, sometimes included with the price of admission. Keeping all those shirts can really take a lot of room in your storage spaces and for what? You might never wear them again. The following quilts from our longarm machine renters are some great examples of ways to layout and quilt a t-shirt quilt.

With Sashing

Linda's Tshirt Quilt after she rented a longarm quilting machine at Quilted Joy

This is Linda’s T-shirt quilt and she chose to use sashing. You can see that the shirts were definitely from a sports person. We’ve got softball, basketball, soccer, and cheer represented. There are also t-shirts that were definitely from a child. She cut the shirts to heights that best fit each shirt but it looks like the widths were all the same. She then connected them with gray sashing. Gray is a great color for this type of thing as it can match just about any color. She quilted it with a pantograph called Cascade. It is a billowy design that reminds me of wind blown clouds. The backing she used is Whirlpools black. It has a batik look, but it is printed and lacks the batik stiffness. We carry this wide quilt backing fabric in several colors.

Without Sashing

Judy's tshirt quilt after she quilted it on a longarm quilting machine at Quilted Joy

This t-shirt quilt doesn’t have any sashing. Just like Linda, Judy cut the shirts to different heights but with identical widths. This makes it easier to sew columns that can then be sewn together to make the top. She quilted this with the Turbulence pantograph. It is a great swirly design that can add a lot of great texture to a quilt.

One Topic

Pamela rented a longarm quilting machine to quilt this Rafting themed Tshirt Quilt

This is another Turbulence quilt. Pamela felt it reminded her of the swirling white water she encountered while rafting. You’ll notice that is the theme of all the shirts on this quilt. She chose to use sashing, but unlike Linda and Judy, she cut all her t-shirts to identical sizes. She also used the backing fabric Whirlpools, but this time in light blue. It definitely fit the topic of her quilt perfectly.


Rebecca's Tshirt quilt after she quilted it on a longarm machine at Quilted Joy

Rebecca put her quilt together a little differently. The shirts were appliqued on top of the charcoal gray fabric. I like the thin yellow border the blanket stitches added around the shirts’ frames. It also allowed her a lot more flexibility to place the different sized shirts together without the look of a lot of different seams in the solid background. Downside, there were a lot of layers quilted together. Upside, Freddie could totally handle it! We’ve got some very strong machines here at the APQS store. Rebecca also used Minky on the back, so this quilt came together as a heavy, dense, soft and fuzzy quilt. The extra weight can really add to the sense of warmth and comfort.

As Accents of a Quilt

Lisa's Ball State Tshirt Quilt after renting a longarm quilting machine at Quilted Joy

This is a fun quilt for Lisa’s brother who is a Ball State graduate. She picked t-shirts with a single central theme and cut them to sizes that best fit their designs. She then added other fabrics to fill out the blocks and created this one of a kind quilt. To quilt it she used a pantograph that adds a lot of great texture without a lot of additional design. Square Spiral has always been a favorite with our renters for that reason.

All the Same Size Blocks

Laura's Tshirt quilt after quilting it on a longarm quilting machine at Quilted Joy

This is a t-shirt quilt Laura made for a client. She cuts the shirts into the same sized blocks and sews them together. With an added border that matches the back, it makes a very lovely quilt. She quilted this with Seamless, which is a great design for a T-shirt quilt. It is just a loopy meander that adds quilting without additional design.

With just a Hint of Sashing

Laura's Tshirt quilt after quilting it on a longarm quilting machine at Quilted Joy

This was also quilted by Laura, and it is a mixture of two different styles. She cut all the shirts to the same size, except one. That blue center square is covered with signatures. She didn’t want to cut off some of the signatures, but adding extra inches to each block would have made the quilt a little too big. So she compromised. That row only has sashing around the four blocks on the same row. You can also see that she took the four smaller designs, probably the front right top corner of the shirts, to create a single block. She quilted this with the same loopy meander as before, Seamless. 

Some of these quilts were made for hire. Others were made as gifts for family or friends. A few of these quilts were made for the very person you see in the picture. For whatever reason you have, making a t-shirt quilt can be fun and satisfying. T-shirt quilts are not only squishy and soft, but tend to be thicker because knit fabric is thicker than woven cotton. Add to that the interfacing needed to stabilize it all. These quilts are a great thing to cuddle under and a wonderful way to keep all the memories tied into those shirts. Gather your shirts, make a plan, and create something special, then share it with the world. Tag us while your at it. We’d love to see what you’ve created!

Leave a Reply

Angela Huffman- Triplet Momma. Quilter. Teacher. Thread Bimbo

I’m Angela- Co-host of the Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting PBS show. APQS Long arm Dealer and Educator. Triplet Momma. Designer. Thread Bimbo.

Wanna know more?

Blog Categories

Recent Posts