Done done done done done!

This out of my usual wheel house project is now done. T-shirt quilts are pretty ubiquitous in the world of quilting. Usually they are of the stuff in a grid format. If you look at any sewing or quilting catalog you can buy directions for a t- shirt quilt.

I had begun my sewing life by making quilts.  I have done more than my share of class quilts for my kids’ various schools. For several years I had also made chuppot  made out of squares of stuff donated by family members. I have made lots of quilts that are things arranged in a grid. I hit my limit and resolved to never do another grid based quilt.


I constructed this throw in three long strips. Each strip was a different shirting fabric backed with a layer of cotton flannel. getting all of the shirt bits to work together was a fun challenge. I had to make the rhythm of each strip work both on it’s own as well as in relation to it’s two neighbors. Each of the t-shirt bits was sewn with a wide zig zag stitch. I liked the idea of a t-shirt quilt made on a shirting base.



After I finished each strip I added the backing fabric and then served up the outer perimeter of each long strip. I stitched the three strips together with the raw seams turned to the face of the quilt.  I had to figure out how to cover the raw ends. I purchased a shirting online and once it arrived hated how it looked with the quilt. I then sewed strips of the shirtings together made a long( 9 yard) bias strip about 3 inches wide.


I used the striped bias strip to cover the seams. I then top stitched with a a red multi-part zig zag stitch. A really large number of the t-shirts were red. This subtle detail made the piece hang together better.

My last problem was finding the right fabric for the binding. I had thought that a blue and white seersucker would be perfect. unfortunately, I wasn’t ale to find any that I liked in the garment district. this is where having a fabric stash comes in handy. I had purchased a heavy weight cotton plaid from  on a whim. I had thought I would make a sleeveless sheath dress out of it.

The plaid had all of the colors in the shirtings I had used in the quilt.


Making bias bindings used to terrify me. But sometimes I can just get into a groove and turn into a wild bias binding maker.

The heavy weight plaid cotton was nice to work with. it had a nice weighty hand. The fact that it is such a durable fabric makes it perfect for the area of the quilt that will get the most wear.




This quilt was heavy. I had to take frequent breaks to rest my arms.SAM_0699

It was nice revisiting the sort of project I haven’t done in a long , long time.


  1. Sarah, this quilt is so fun to read. What a great project!

  2. Elizabeth LemieuxJuly 19, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Always, always, always you come through. I'm certain your client is going to be over the top thrilled with this quilt. Loved seeing all the t-shirts you used. You should be suitably proud of your work. Liz in Tucson

  3. My client saw the piece minus the bindings, and was really happy. I loved the array of shirts as well. the girl who wore the shirts attended a camp i had worked at in the early 1980's. Some of her bunk mates and fellow staff members were children of friends. I loved being able to trace the threads of her life through the shirts. I didn't get every shirt onto the quilt. Some were just too fragile...the cotton had worn away and just the fine mesh of poly fibers were left. i was afraid to sew those onto the the dismay of my client.

  4. I am the one who is going to be receiving this quilt and I can't wait! Sarah - it looks AMAZING! Better than I could have even imagined. My mom was going to keep it all a surprise from me until she gives it to me in a few weeks when I see her, but she was just so excited she had to tell me about it. She sent me this link and I was SOOO excited to see it! I cannot wait to see it in person! I love that it provided some nice warm memories for you as well as it walked you down memory lane. Thank you thank you!!!

  5. Aleeza -

    It has been such a blast getting to know you through these t-shirts. I had spent fewer summers than you did at Ramah Palmer. I loved seeing the familiar names on the t-shirt backs...and also seeing the threads of your life.


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