Creating T-shirt Quilts and Beyond Part 2: Cutting Blocks and Layout

T-shirt Quilts and Beyond: Part 2 from

Last time, we discussed getting your shirts ready and adding interfacing. This week, I am going to show you how to build up your t-shirt quilt blocks and get them organized before sewing your quilt together.

Cutting Your Blocks

 T-shirt Quilts and Beyond: Part 2 from

I wound up using both 12.5-inch squares and 15.5-inch squares, and even some 6.5-inch logo blocks. One of the reasons I like to use a 12.5-inch or the 15.5-inch ruler is because they are both easily divisible by two or three.

Save your back and arm pieces until you are done. Sometimes, you have to piece these things together in two or three sections. That way, the fabrics will match if you need to build a block up to size. Don’t add interfacing to the shirt backs until you know you will use them.

 T-shirt Quilts and Beyond: Part 2 from

Lay the interfaced shirt front on your cutting mat. Center it as best you can inside your square ruler. The design may not be straight on the t-shirt. It might be a little crooked, it might be a little stretched; no worries, just get it as straight as you can.

T-shirt Quilts and Beyond: Part 2 from

Cut around the ruler with your rotary cutter. When I get these "well loved" t-shirts pressed and add a little bit of interfacing on the back, I'm always surprised at how nice and neat these blocks look.

Adding Extra Blocks

T-shirt Quilts and Beyond: Part 2 from

You can also use the back of the t-shirts for blocks too. You could fuse some GlitterFlex shapes or applique, add a poem, add embroidery, or a combination

Arranging the Blocks 

T-shirt Quilts and Beyond: Part 2 from

After blocks are cut to size, start spreading them out in rows or columns, if that makes it easier. Often, if you are working with two different block sizes, you can easily put all of the same sized block in one column. If you have different sized blocks in rows, you will have to build up smaller blocks to be the same size as the rest. With columns, you can have one column of 15-inch blocks and one column of 12-inch blocks, it's fun to mix and match and adds interest.

I often arrange blocks on the bed in my spare bedroom because nobody disturbs that for weeks on end. Find a place you might not use to audition your blocks. If you're lucky enough to have a design wall, I'm a little jealous, but that works great too. See how the colors look and start thinking about how you want to put your puzzle pieces together.

 T-shirt Quilts and Beyond: Part 2 from

Make it work. You can cut blocks down for skinnier columns or add shirt sections from your scraps to build blocks up in size. Work one block at a time until you get it to the size that you need. Make sure you take quarter-inch seam allowances into consideration.

The rules with t-shirt quilts are that there are really no rules, so you're free to do just whatever you want.

You can see the full video here. Check back to see how we put it all together.

May your day be blessed with perfect stitches and GlitterFlex!!


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  • Bonnie Welsh - June 27, 2020

    Janice—I’m so glad you found the tips helpful. Yes, a lightweight interfacing will stabilize things and still leave a nice, soft, cuddly quilt. Much easier to handle. =)

  • Janice schrack - June 26, 2020

    Thank you! I looked at several Pinterest sites before I found yours and they drove me nuts. My daughter in law saved a bunch of my grandsons t shirts and expected me to make him a lap quilt. She thought No problem and I thought how much I hate t shirt material due to it stretching. I had thought to use a broad cloth or a cotton as a lining and you suggested interfacing so I go with experience, so interfacing it is. When looking at other sites they wanted me to join things and never could I find the information I was looking for until your site. Thank you so much more than you know. I’m a 66 year old woman who still has a full time job but I love to sew in my off times when I have the energy

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