Putting My T-Shirt Quilt Together

I did it!

After many years and several false starts, I’ve put my T-shirt quilt together and tied that sucker down tight. It only took two trips to the craft store, but I got there in the end.

Honestly, I started cutting up t-shirts for this quilt when I was in grad school, which means most of the shirts are from around that time and before in undergrad. Please note the heavy scientific theme throughout. So many rock jokes. So. Many.

I took every t-shirt piece and ironed it onto a piece of stabilizer because I didn’t want to let them get stretched out. Once I got things laid out in a way I was happy with, I began sewing my blocks together to form rows. There ended up being five. I did not add sashing between the blocks or rows. I sewed the rows together to finish the top and pieced the backing together out of a dark-blue woven. For the batting, I dived deep into my craft closet and came up with a large enough leftover piece from another project.

After that, it was a matter of breaking out the century-old quilt frame, four straight back chairs, and some C-clamps. I set up in our living room as that’s where we have the most open space. And plants.


With a really long needle and some yarn, I started to tie the quilt sandwich together at the corners of my blocks. I had some furry help along the way.


So regal. So majestic.

After I secured some corners I tied the rest of the quilt at somewhat regular intervals, but kind of randomly throughout, wherever I felt like it.


Is it perfect? Heavens, no. My blocks don’t line up and I’m not sure how square it is, but it’s almost done. Yep, ALMOST. I still have to bind it. Not my favorite part of finishing up a quilt, but I wouldn’t want anyone else to do it. It’s the part of quilting that’s closest to actual magic. I bind all the pieces together and try to think happy thoughts like I’m happy I’m using a sewing machine for this part.

Did I need another blanket? I mean, sure. Did I have to do it myself? Apparently not. There are places out there that will make them for you, for a fee of course, but they may be worth it.

I started this (crazy) project years ago and now it’s (almost) done. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. I began with a bunch of random t-shirts and ended with a blanket my kids can read and ask me about as they get older. I look forward to explaining the rock jokes. There are a lot, after all.


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