How to Make T-Shirt Quilt (Part 2)

So it’s been a few days since I’ve worked on the t-shirt quilt, and I finally took a trip to the fabric store. My local store is closed from Saturday at 1pm until Tuesday at 10am, which means I sometimes get stuck in the middle of a project over the weekend, lacking some thing I need, and the store doesn’t open again until Tuesday. WAH. 

BUT! Some of my most creative and inspirational solutions have come from this desperate need to continue working with what I have on hand. In this case, I worked on another project until I was able to get to the store.

Missed Part 1? Check out How To Make A T-Shirt Quilt Part 1.


Part 2 begins after you’ve finished preparing all your t-shirts.

STEP 6: Cut the sashing into 2.5″ strips. Cut your strips into 12.5″ pieces. You will need 31 strips.

STEP 7: Cut your cornerstones into 2.5″ squares. You will need 20 cornerstones.

STEP 8: Sew your quilt in rows, with a sashing starting and ending each row, and one in between each block.

Rows

Sew the Rows

STEP 9: Sew your rows of sashing, with a cornerstone between each strip. You will have 5 rows of sashing.

Sashing

Sew the Sashing

STEP 10: Sew together your assembled rows and sashing.

top

Sew the rows and sashing together

STEP 11: Cut border 1 at 3.5″ wide. Piece border together and sew on to quilt.

IMG_1984

Cutting the first border

STEP 12: Cut border 2 at 6.5″ wide. Piece border together and sew on to quilt.

I ended up using a 2.5″ inner border (white) and 4.5″ outer border (navy) on the my quilt, because I thought it looked better proportionally. My quilt ended up being 58″ x 72″, so slightly smaller than I had originally planned. You could make your borders any size you like — just go with what feels right.

STEP 13: Sandwich, baste, and quilt.

I used Pellon Nature’s Touch batting and a flannel backing that was 108″ wide. I quilted on my Bernina 770QE using the Bernina Stitch Regulator. I started towards the middle of the quilt with the straight lines in the sashing. When that was done, I tried making flowers in the center of each t-shirt, but they didn’t turn out well. I actually did most of them before deciding that I really couldn’t live with it, so I had the tedious task of tearing out all the stitches. I ended up doing a meandering pattern in each block that I’m much happier with. In the white border, I tried bounce back circles, and I think they turned out well! So now I can add that to my (limited) repertoire of free motion quilting patterns. In the navy border, I marked off some large arches.

STEP 14: Add your binding and a label, and you’re done!

Because I had marked the quilt and taken out a bunch of the quilting stitches, I decided to machine wash and dry the quilt before I turned it in for the auction. I did this in a large machine at the laundromat. This photo was taken after the washing, so it’s all crinkly and a bit wavy:

IMG_1972

The outer border is navy, it only looks black in the photo.

———–

This project took me about three weeks. Now that I’m done, I can tell you that I’m pleased with the interfacing method. The quilt really wasn’t any stiffer overall. Sure, the interfacing takes time, but it’s the therapeutic, keep-your-hands-busy kind of work that I enjoy. I caught up on the NPR Politics podcast and listened to a 2009 Depeche Mode album. What’s not to love about that kind of a day? Plus, I saved lots of time not fighting with fabric that is stretching out of shape when I was assembling the quilt top (which happened to a certain degree with my mom’s method).

Have you made a t-shirt quilt? What tips do you have?

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