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!


41 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:


    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 #

    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 #

    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?

  20. Lindy January 14, 2018 at 9:47 pm #

    I am a beginner and what if you want to use different size blocks – like some bigger and some smaller

  21. Lilah Gillis May 21, 2019 at 2:14 am #

    How did you finish the edges? Did you bind it?

    • Nann February 14, 2021 at 10:17 pm #

      Sew and clip around the entire quilt to fringe outside edges.

  22. mahedi14hasan February 16, 2021 at 5:05 am #

    That is awesome. I am going to do this in my home. Thank you.

  23. mahedi14hasan February 16, 2021 at 5:28 am #

    Awsome post, I hope it will helpful to me in real life. Thanks.

  24. Rajib February 21, 2021 at 10:06 am #

    Nice information. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Techno ratan March 12, 2021 at 12:21 pm #

    Great ideas. Cool!

  26. Shakil Ahmed June 4, 2021 at 5:04 pm #

    this is awesome concept.
    I will try for my kids.
    Thanks for sharing

  27. Arman Ali June 11, 2021 at 5:47 pm #

    Very nice T-shirt Rag Quilt

  28. SewMamaSew November 2, 2021 at 7:07 am #

    great article indeed, i love it very much

  29. Evelyn J Lovering December 19, 2021 at 5:07 pm #

    Won’t the interfacing show thru where the fringe is?

  30. ORDNUR March 9, 2023 at 4:52 am #

    I feel like you tutorial is so much easy to understand and follow the instruction to finish the quilt.

  31. Guanghong Nonwoven June 1, 2023 at 10:09 am #

    Excellent article! We’ll be putting a link to this particular article on our website. Keep up the excellent writing.

  32. Textile Mentor August 13, 2023 at 2:09 pm #

    Nice designs thankyou for sharing this idea amazing

  33. Oh Crocs October 12, 2023 at 4:03 am #

    I am truly grateful for your article. It’s an outstanding piece, and I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge from it. I believe anyone with a passion for fashion will share my sentiments. As a devoted fashion enthusiast, particularly when it comes to t-shirts, I often turn to TeeBeat – King of T Shirts, No1 Store POD T Shirts, my preferred online store. I extend an invitation to you and all those reading this article to explore TeeBeat.com.

  34. Mashhur December 3, 2023 at 11:39 am #

    What do you mean by “quilting an x”? I’m a beginner.

  35. Mayedul Islam January 21, 2024 at 1:51 pm #

    Nice to your mind-blowing content. Really helpful it is. Thank you so much.

  36. Maria Khatun January 21, 2024 at 1:55 pm #

    Really helpful.

  37. Stylo Jeans February 9, 2024 at 9:05 pm #

    Great idea. Keep it up
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