T-shirt quilts can be a great way to use up boxes of old t-shirts and keep them as mementos. While quilts are generally made from 100% cotton fabric, and t-shirts are general knit or some other kind of fabric, they can be easily combined into a quilt if the right preparation is done to the t-shirt first. Colleen Tauke explains how to wash, prepare, stabilize, and cut blocks and pieces from t-shirts to be used in quilts. She then shows several examples of finished quilts.
Colleen begins by explaining how and why to wash the t-shirts prior to adding any stabilizer or cutting any pieces. This is especially important if the shirts have been stored in boxes for years, or if you are receiving these shirts from someone else and you are unsure of how they have been stored or washed. Colleen then talks about some of the different types of stabilizers that can be used on the shirts and why it is important to have those shirt pieces stabilized. She then talks about how to look over all of the shirts you plan to use in a quilt and decide what areas of the shirt are going to be used- like a large back logo or smaller logos or designs from a front or sleeve area. Once you’ve decided what to use, Colleen shows how to cut apart the shirt to get the most workable area. She explains that you can even use ‘plain’ areas of a t-shirt in a t-shirt quilt if you are wanting to make the quilt larger or just use up the entire shirt. She also shows how to fuse the stabilizer to the wrong side of the shirt and how to protect the shirt while doing so by using some kind of press cloth. Once the shirt areas have been properly prepared, Colleen explains how to then cut them down to the desired size and then sew them into a fun t-shirt quilt. Colleen finishes the tutorial by showing several finished t-shirt quilts and explaining how to add fun borders, sashing strips, and other elements to the quilt.