Demise of a T-Shirt – Step 2

Happy Pi Day!  We were asked by a good friend to make a t-shirt quilt out of some diving t-shirts.  We have never made one before, but I am always open for a new adventure.  Our first step was a scary one – cut the t-shirts to only the design area we want to feature.  I wrote about that first step The Demise of a T-shirt at the end of February.

A blogger friend, Dawn of Quilting by Dawn is also making a t-shirt quilt.  We seem to frequently be on the same path as Dawn quilting-wise.  We chose similar fabrics for the Regatta quilt, and are at about the same stage in our progress as well.  Dawn used a method for determining the layout of her quilt that I had not seen before:

Dawn’s Great T-shirt Layout Idea:

Dawns layout

She used blocks of paper to represent the different sizes of the t-shirts.  That is a much easier way to move the shirts around on the design wall, or to even get an overall idea of the sizes and shapes.  It looks like she has many more t-shirts to work into her design than we do.


Sue measured each t-shirt design  and added an extra inch on each side.  The biggest design is 23″ x 17″ and the smallest is only 4″ x 3″ from a pocket.  This is definitely a puzzle to piece together, and we are good at puzzles.  Soon we will be able to give our friend Pat some suggestions about the addition of sashing and color options.  We will also be able to determine the optimal size for what I assume will be a lap-size quilt.  Any tips or suggestions are welcomed in the comments!


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20 Responses

  1. Roseanne, sounds like a well,organized approach to your jig saw puzzle. This is going to be so cool to watch. Glad it’s you and not me. 😁

  2. Kate says:

    My best tip is 1/10th graph paper! (If you google, there’s a free site that lets you print that size.) Then you can graph it out in advance and make it all fit – like your 3×4″ might be better as a 4×4″ snugged up with an 4×8″ next to a 12″… Having scaled graph paper really helps me see the design in advance. Also, I only work with even number – that 23×17 would be a 24×18 in my layout. It’s easier for me to do the math. (Though I admit to using two 7″ blocks to fill in between 14″ blocks if I think it’ll look more even.)

    • Roseanne says:

      Hi Kate!
      That a great suggestion! I actually have 1/10th graph paper on hand, in the house. I used to create my own cross stitch designs . . . Anyway, great idea because I haven’t made all the pieces on real paper yet. I can sit in my chair, watch Survivor and play around with that. Thanks a bunch!! ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    The coolest t-shirt quilt I have ever seen (and I definitely have not seen them all) was one done by Molli Sparkles He used filler blocks and broke up the t-shirts really nicely.

    • Roseanne says:

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks for sharing the link. I never would have thought about using blocks to fill in the negative space. I will definitely keep that in mind! ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. Great idea. I have a box of T-shirts from my late husband. I want to do this, but am very nervous about it.

  5. Dawn says:

    Thanks Roseanne for the mention on your blog post today! I didn’t think it was such a profound idea as I have used that method to rearrange furniture in my house especially when I have to fit a new piece. Ü
    My t-shirt quilt top is basically all finished. Stop by to see it! Thanks again!

  6. Susan says:

    That’s a great way to determine a layout, and to figure sashing or filler pieces – thanks for the tip!

    • Roseanne says:

      Hi Susan,
      Just passing on the great idea Dawn had! I think it will help me immensely with this first t-shirt quilt. I am definitely a more visual person. ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Shannon Fleming says:

    The layout of the shirts is the hardest part. This is a great idea to play with the arrangement! I’ll have to use this next time!

    • Roseanne says:

      Hi Shannon,
      I thought it was brilliant when Dawn said that was how she was playing with the layout for shirts. I’m happy to pass on the great idea. ~smile~ Roseanne

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