Capture Memories with a T-Shirt Quilt | OLFA - CraftOLFA – Craft

Capture Memories with a T-Shirt Quilt

Kids, grand-kids, and even adults are involved in many different activities these days. And it seems like every club, event, and team comes complete with its own t-shirt.

What do you do with all of those shirts year after year? Or trip after trip? After reading this – you’ll hoard them!

A t-shirt quilt makes a great gift. Whether you have a graduate going off to college, or have a collection of tees from traveling abroad, a t-shirt quilt is sure to fill many memories and help deal with homesickness.

Materials Needed:

Approx. 20 T-Shirts

3 yards French Fuse Knit Interfacing

3-2/3 yards fabric (sashings & borders)

2/3 yard fabric binding

Thread to match


Suggested Tools:

(beyond standard sewing supplies)

16-1/2″ Square OLFA Ruler

6″x 24″ OLFA Ruler

OLFA 45mm Rotary Cutter

OLFA 18″x 24″ (or larger) cutting mat

Large rotating mat


Project Level: Intermediate


  • Prepare t-shirt squares as follows:
  • Cut sleeves off of t-shirt, cut front and back apart. Do not discard the scraps.
  • Cut French Fuse into 16″ squares. Center this over the design area on the back of the t-shirt. Fuse to back of the shirt, ironing on the interfacing side. (Note: don’t iron on the front size because there may be elements of the t-shirt design that will melt if your iron touches the design directly.  If you do need to iron the front side, use a pressing cloth.)
  • Examine your t-shirts and determine what size you want to cut the t-shirt squares, then add your seam allowance. I cut my shirts into a 14 1/2″ square so that the finished square is 14″ in the quilt.
  • Helpful Hint: When cutting your square, determine the center point of your 14 1/2″ square on the 16 1/2″ square ruler, and place a dot at this point.  Use this dot to center your design, then use the straight edges to cut the top and side of your image, then rotate the t-shirt and cut the other side and bottom.

Layout the t-shirts, arranged so that the shirt and design colors are dispersed evenly. You will want to make sure that you don’t put all of the light or dark shirts together.

Prepare the sashings:

  • Cut 3 strips 14-1/2″ wide x the width of the fabric (approx 44″).
  • Sub-cut those three strips into 31 strips 3″x 14 1/2″

Prepare the cornerstones:

  • Using scraps of the t-shirts, cut squares approximately 4″.
  • Fuse interfacing to the back of the squares, and cut down to 3″ squares.

Cut 8 strips (10 1/2″ x width of fabric) for the quilt borders.

Use the attached T-Shirt Quilt Layout to assemble the quilt top.

Quilt and Bind the quilt top as you would normally.


T-shirts have been washed multiple times and will not shrink further, so pre-wash the other fabrics being used to avoid puckering from shrinking. 

Use a knit interfacing that will stabilize the shirt and not leave a bubbled look after the quilt has been washed.

If you have a smaller design on a shirt you want to use (such as a chest or sleeve design), you can make a 4-patch block. You can also add strips of leftover t-shirts in a coordinating color. Be sure to put interfacing onto EACH piece before sewing the block together.


Pattern designed by Sheila Reinke

Pattern can be reproduced for personal (not for sale) use.

For more patterns by Sheila, see her blog at: