Then when I was at Spring Market I popped into the June Tailor booth as they were demoing a T-Shirt ruler. This totally perked my interest as I knew I still had those T-Shirts sitting in the drawer :) And it all led to today, finally getting to share this T-Shirt Memory quilt, a special finish for my sweet husband ;)
Okay, so how many of you have one of these on your bucket list?? Well excellent, because I took some pictures on the way to show you just how easy these quilts can be :) So let's get to it.
To start, you will need a pile of T-Shirts, and then the tools that makes life easy, The June Tailor T-Shirt quilt kit which includes a T-Shirt Transformation Ruler, T-Shirt Interfacing, and a T-Shirt Pressing Cloth :)
Grab your first T-Shirt and cut it along the side seams, shoulder seams, and neck seam.
Now you have just the design and it will lie nice and flat. Smooth all the wrinkles out with your hands.
Now, take your T-Shirt Transformation ruler and lay it over your design. This is where I decide what size I want to cut the design. The ruler has 3 different size guides (10 1/2", 12 1/2", and 15 1/2") and you could cut all your designs square to make them easy to sew together, but I wanted to just cut around each design, so I will use combinations of sizes. For instance, on this shirt, I decided to use the 12 1/2" guides on the top and bottom and the 15 1/2" guides on the sides.
So before I do any cutting, I want to add some interfacing to the back of the shirt so it doesn't stretch like crazy when I am sewing it. I decided on 12 1/2" x 15 1/2" rectangle so I will cut a piece of interfacing 1" larger than that so 13 1/2" x 16 1/2". Now center the interfacing over the wrong side of the T-Shirt and give the interfacing a super lite press just to stick it in place. Don't hold it long as you don't want to melt the design on the front of the T-Shirt.
Now, back to your cutting mat. Lay your ruler over the design once again. Using the diagonal lines ensure that your design is centered. I also like to use the gridlines to help me center the design. Once your ruler is in place you are ready to cut your design. Since I am using the outside of the ruler on the sides I can simply just cut along the sides of the ruler.
For the top and bottom, simply mark the guidelines in the groves using a water soluble pen.
Then remove the T-Shirt ruler and place a long ruler along the edges of the markings. Cut along the edge of the ruler.
And your perfectly cut t-shirt design is done. And with the wonderful T-Shirt interfacing adhered to the back you won't have to worry about your design stretching when you go to sew it into a quilt ;)
Repeat this process for your entire stack of quilts. Like I said before, I wanted to cut right around the designs, so I used a whole lot of combinations of sizes, for instance, this one uses the 12 1/2" along 3 sides an the 10 1/2" along the left side.
And I even did a few perfect squares in the mix. Like this 12 1/2" square :)
Now their were a few that because of their small size or super skinny nature that I had to pull out my quilting rulers for. But I just used the same concepts I had with the t-shirt ruler taking care to line things up well. They are a little easier to line up as they are smaller ;)
Once you have cut up all your T-Shirts you are ready to start making your quilt top. First, decide about what size you would like your quilt top. I went for a nice lap top size of about 60" x 75". Using a tape measure, mark this on your work surface, either the floor or a design wall ;)
Now play around with your T-Shirt designs until you have a layout that you like.
Once you have a layout in place, do a little mental calculating of where you are going to make squares and how you plan to sew them together. I used little pieces of tape to help keep track of these mental caculations. I plan to sew 1,2,3, & 4 together. Then do 5,6,7,&8. Sew 9 to the side of that. And then 1,2,3,&4 (the top) to 5,6,7,8,&9 (the bottom).
So, now to fill in the holes. And to do that, we need lots of scrappy goodness!! I love a good scrap busting project!! I choose to use 4 color scraps, the ones most used in the T-shirts.
So, staring at grouping number 1, simply start adding around the designs. Always use a 1/4" seam to add pieces. This is totally improv piecing. Don't stress to much about a plan, just add a slab and keep adding until your piece is large enough. Trim as your go to keep squaring up your design.
And you can work on more than one design at a time. Since I plan to sew these 2 together, I want to make sure I make them about the same width. I don't want them to line up perfectly, so I will add big sashing to opposite sides.
And no one says you always have to add a sashing strip. I threw in a few pieces here and there that were pieced and then added. Just adds another little scrappy dimension.
And once you have your two pieces about the same width, go ahead and sew them together.
And then, take the new piece to your mat and square it up. This is super important!! If you want your quilt to lay flat, be sure and square up each piece when complete.
Now lay your nice piece back in it's designated spot and make sure it is close to the size you planned. If it isn't add a little more, if not, move on to the next piece.
Just keep adding sashing and bits of piecing to each of your designs, incorporating a mixture of your scraps. Here I am finished with the units that will make up my "top". (I split the original 2 into 2 and 3). So now I just put 2 and 3 together and 4 and 5 together to make 2 rows. Sew those 2 rows together and then add 1 to the side.
And the top of my quilt top is all done!! Now I am ready to move onto the bottom pieces. Just keep sashing, and piecing, adding and trimming and before you know it. . . .
You have a completed quilt top filled with wonderful T-Shirt memories and scrappy goodness!!!
Now to finish your quilt just Baste it, Quilt it, and Bind it. I know, I make it sound oh so simple. If you are new to quilting you might find these Video Tutorials on the basics of finishing a quilt helpful :)
I decided to quilt around the T-Shirt designs with a scallop and in the scrappy areas I did this fun design that kind of reminds me of pom-poms. It is just a back and forth zig-zag in quarter, half, and circles. Seriously, so much fun to quilt!!
Now just sit back and enjoy your T-Shirt Memory Quilt!!! The fun thing about this is that my husband loves it because it has memories of High School and I love it because the scrappy goodness has memories of so many other projects I have made. Double bonus!!!
So that's it. I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial and I have inspired you to pull out those old T-Shirts and get quilting. And if you do, I would love to see them in my Flickr Group!!!
And I have one last little thing to help inspire you ;) The wonderful folks at June Tailor have been so kind as to send me 2 T-Shirt Quilt kits with the ruler, interfacing, and pressing cloth to giveaway to two readers!!! Yippee Skippee!!!
1 - Leave a comment here of whether you have a drawer, box, or closet, stuffed with old T-Shirts :)
2 - For a bonus entry you can follow Happy Quilting (any way you choose, bloglovin, email, facebook, ect.) and then leave a comment here of how you follow.
That's it. 2 entries max per person please. I will leave the giveaway open until August 29th and then announce 2 winners shortly after. Good Luck!!!
Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!!
Linking up to Amanda's and Sarah's