A new tshirt quilt

I have mentioned previously that I have been making memory quilts out the wazoo.  See all my memory quilts here.

My happiest of customers are usually folks who has had me make them a memory quilt out of their child’s clothing.

Making them in the rag style way, makes things a little easier.  They are soft, cozy, and absolutely adorable.

I started making these around 2011 when I was already making rag quilts.  A lady emailed me and asked if I’d make a rag quilt with her daughters clothing.

I’ve been doing it every since.

They are THE most popular item in my shop by far.

I have had several ask me to make them a memory quilt, but not in the traditional quilt style and I’ve always turned them down.

Until now.

These are a little more complicated.  My customer requested that all the blocks be different sizes.  I didn’t use a pattern, I more or less puzzle pieced it together.

I had to break out my math skills.  When I do math, I have to turn everything off including music.  I need my full brain concentration to add and subtract.  I’m not the bestest at it.

All tshirts were backed with interfacing to make them sturdy and not sag (I’m not a fan of all those tshirt quilts with the sagginess).  The interfacing was key for this.

I did my all over meander quilting stitch.  This makes the quilt more sturdier and will also keep and sagging from happening.

I’m very pleased to now be offering these in my shop.  You can find them here.

They are more pricier than the rag quilts, but they are much more involved.

I’ve already been asked which is better and I’m not sure how to answer that, but I’ll make a list to try.



can use large blocks to fit the whole shirt on the quilt

the shirts pop individually more

uses less clothing

more open to being creative and unique

gets bordered with a fabric that blends with your clothing


not as soft (though this might change after several washes)

more expensive

can’t use baby clothing (I actually can, but it would be a little pricier due to the amount of clothing I would need)

Can’t use as many clothes



much more versatile as far as any fabric goes

can use substantial amounts of clothing

can use baby clothing

less expensive

has a floppy soft feel to it, ready to snuggle out of the box


all the blocks are the same size

Uses set size blocks so some of your graphics might be cut and not shown on quilt

Needs a substantial amount of clothing or I’m forced to use fabrics as filler

So I’ll let you decide for  yourself which is better for you.  If you have ordered both my style memory quilts, then please feel free to help me out with the pros and cons of each.

If you are wanting to make one of these yourself, I will give a brief description of what I’ve done.

there were MANY patterns on pinterest,  but I wanted it to measure a certain size and I also wanted all my blocks to be different sizes AND i only had so many tshirts to work with.  For that reason, I felt it was best to wing it on my own.

I decided on a size first.  The quilt in the picture measures 60×70″ and 5″ borders, so I needed my tshirts to measure across 50″.

Here were my rules to keep things simple:

All tshirts need to be cut EVEN sizes and on the 1/2″.  For example, all my tshirts measured 24.5″ or 14.5″ or 8.5″ and so on.

I interfaced as I cut up clothing instead of all at once. Here is interfacing by the yard, and by the bolt.  I always buy by the bolt.

first I cut the shirt, to utilize the graphics on it.  I cut, interfaced, and then stuck to my design wall across for the top row until they equaled 50″ across when sewn.

I did this very same step, but going down to measure 70″.  This kinda gave me a frame.

After that, I just added tshirts to square everything up.  It sounds complicated, but it was actually pretty easy to do it this way.  Once I got the frame done, it was just filling in.  Adding my tshirts together to make sure everything was the correct measurements to fit in the frame.

I used tshirts without graphics to use as fillers when two tshirts didn’t quite meet up.  I also, kept little slips of paper with each blocks measurement pinned to each tshirt so that I wouldn’t have to constantly measure them to see how wide I need to cut the next tshirt.

I’m sure there may be easier ways to make these such as set size squares and predetermined measurements, BUT this way every tshirt was cut into a different sized block and determined what was best for that particular tshirt.

Also, it’s very important to have SECTIONS.


In the picture above, I’ve added borders around my sections.  This is important so that you never have to sew any Y~seams.  Everything will fit together easily.  After you have each section done, then you piece by piece put them together.

I hope I haven’t been too confusing.  I’m happy to help if you need me to.

xo, Melanie


3 thoughts on “A new tshirt quilt

  1. This blog post is FABULOUS!! I also make t-shirt quilts but I haven’t attempted a t-shirt rag quilt combo yet although my daughter has requested one.
    Your quilts are gorgeous…all of them are so pretty!

  2. Pingback: a look back at 2016 |

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