T-shirt Rag Quilt Tutorial

I wanted to share with you all a t-shirt quilt that I made as my husband’s Christmas gift. I used all of his old punk rock t-shirts that he had saved over the years. It’s a simple tutorial and makes a really cozy quilt!

This is after he opened it on Christmas morning!

For his quilt I used a total of 20 t-shirts. For cutting, I simply laid a t-shirt flat on a cutting mat and positioned a 12.5″ square ruler over the main print, then used a rotary cutter to cut through both layers of the t-shirt. This gave me two 12.5″ squares from each t-shirt.

For the batting, cut 20 11.5″ squares using needle-punched batting. I highly recommend using Pellon brand (i.e. Legacy by Pellon) because it’s needle punched making it easy to trim squares from, but also it’s not too thin and has a cozy fluff to it.

Then, follow this tutorial (starting at step 1) except use your 12.5″ squares cut from your t-shirts and your 11.5″ batting squares.I recommend using a walking foot when quilting and assembling this quilt. If your t-shirts are wearing thin, I recommend using an iron-on cotton interfacing by Pellon for a quick fix.

After you’ve quilted an ‘X’ in all 20 of them, rearrange them on the floor in a 4×5 layout. Then assemble the squares as described in step 4.

After the quilt is assembled, I recommend using  Fiskars ‘Razor Edge’ scissors for snipping the frays along the seams. These scissors are incredible sharp and slice through layers of the fabric like butter.

(do you see the ham in the background?) :-p

After you wash and dry the quilt, the frays will become all soft looking like this:

This is a great way to reuse old t-shirts and preserve keepsake shirts.

And btw, my husband absolutely loved it!

 

20 Responses to T-shirt Rag Quilt Tutorial

  1. crazydazy January 6, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    great idea

  2. Lisa Walsh January 6, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    This would be a perfect gift for my son -he has so many concert T shirts! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  3. Minna Cleggett January 6, 2014 at 6:07 am #

    That is awesome. going to do this for my kids. Thankyou xx

  4. Julie Crooks January 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    This is how I plan to do the t-shirt quilts I have planned. I like spring-loaded snips and have a pair of Fiskars I love, these:

    http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-12-71777097J-Softouch-Titanium-Scissors/dp/B00114TK46/ref=sr_1_18?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1389034409&sr=1-18

    I have arthritis and really need the spring for help. I also use some electric scissors for rag quilt snipping. It just depends on the fabric I used and how many layers there are.

  5. cottonreel January 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Great , I like it too

  6. ramdin khan January 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Hi,
    i like the post.
    all the images are very clean and nice.
    thanks for sharing such a nice information of t shirts online

  7. Amanda Scott January 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    I am so thankful for this article! I have one question- would you use the interfacing on both sides of the t-shirt?

  8. Carla February 12, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    I had never thought of making the t-shirt quilt as a rag quilt. Pretty cool.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Kimberly February 15, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Awesome! I've been hoarding my kids' t-shirts for years. I'd better get them sewn before the girls move out!

  10. Anonymous November 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    OMG. I just found your site and I love it and your little dog too.

  11. Barbara Mazzocca November 22, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    What do you mean by "quilting an x"? I'm a beginner.

  12. Joyful Grandma Nancy November 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    She means that after putting the three layers of material together, you take the squares to the sewing machine and with a med-long but not basting stitch, you then stitch from one corner diagonally to the other and then do it the other way, therefore making the X. Make sense?

  13. Carol Z Foerch August 8, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Love the photo with dog! He knows how to be the center of attention 😉
    Thank you for the tutorial. My First T Shirt Quilt is only a few days away

  14. Search2 September 3, 2015 at 10:48 am #

    Hi,
    Nice t shirts designs, thanks for sharing.

    We are leading manufacturers clothing items like underwear, t-shirts, trunks, briefs, shirts, etc.

  15. Md. Abu Sayed September 4, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Very useful tutorial on T-Shirt rag quilting. Your creative works will inspire all. Everybody should try to do something new from the reusable fabrics.
    Thanks for sharing among us.

  16. lu February 23, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    Very clear directions! Has anyone used flannel for the batting? I’m thinking it would stabilize the t-shirts.

    • Evangeline July 2, 2016 at 11:34 am #

      Yes! When making rag quilts, my sisters and I always use flannel for the batting! It holds up nicely when laundered and doesn’t bunch up like the batting does, especially when you use large squares.

  17. Crwf305@aol.com April 29, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

    I’m getting ready to piece all of mine together. If I’ve used interfacing – French Fuse – on each piece of shirt, and am using flannel between, do I still need to sew an “x” on each square?

  18. Julia A. Garcia January 30, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    Thank you..I love the t-shirt rag quilt you made for your husband..I want to make one for my grandson for a graduation gift. I love all of your work.

  19. Carol February 10, 2017 at 11:45 pm #

    love this quilt. am i correct in assuming the back of the quilt is smooth?

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