T Shirt Quilt

This is time of year of year to think about a T SHIRT quilt for that college kid. I know they have already left for school but it isn’t cold yet and you have time to make this really easy quilt. You will need at least 35 grown up t shirts (not little kid ones) to make a twin size quilt for a dorm room bed.


This is the one I made for my youngest child Erik when he went away to college. He wanted to take the quilt from his bed, and I realized having had two other sons go off to college that some things never return, or are badly used in the process. So I decided to make him a TSHIRT quilt to take to school. I didn’t really care if it got wrecked or spilled on or even never came home.

The process is really very easy. Use the large 15” square to rough cut out the front and back of the tshirts. You want to make it about an 1” bigger all around – so 16”. Then buy a batting for a full size bed and cut it also into 16” squares. Finally buy four or five different kinds of flannel and cut them into 16” squares.  I bought plaids and strips for the boy quilts and all different pinks for the girls. You will need 7 yards total of flannel.

Make two piles of the tshirt squares and the flannel squares. One pile is light in color and the other is dark in color.

Make sandwiches of the tshirt tops, batting and flannel.  I used 505 spray adhesive to hold all the layers together. It works really well.  Keeping the light and dark tshirts and flannel consistant when you make your sandwiches. You will see why in a minute.

Machine quilt each square. this is the perfect size to practice your machine quilting on. Easy enough to move around and quick to do.

Once you have all the squares quilted you will square them up to 15” . Now comes the fun part. Start arranging them out on the floor to get a good layout. since you divided them into lights and darks and did the same with the backing, if you just alternate the squares one light and one dark you will get a pleasing layout. Also on the back when you are done you will not get any of the same color flannel squares next to each other because you alternated those as well.


The back.


Emily’s quilt.


Jacob’s quilt.

I used my serger to serg all the edges together. The serged edges are on the front. Then I put a traditional binding on the quilt.

You could also do a rag quilt approach. It made it so easy to finish this quilt just serging the edges together and very very sturdy as well.

I think you could have all their friends sign the quilt on all the light colored squares. Send them off with a sharpie marker and let them use it to have kids at school sign it too. Use a plain tshirt in all four corners for the signatures. You have all the backs of the tshirts that are mostly plain. Don’t forget to put a label on the back for future generations to know who and when this was made.

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