Goodness, I have accumulated so many t-shirts over time from soccer tournaments to cross country races and beyond. I love wearing them all, but when they started to fray and well get those lovely stains, I know it’s time to retire them. So, what do you do with all those shirts? I didn’t want to throw them out, but wanted to display them. What about a blanket?
When I began the task of creating a t-shirt blanket, I had every intention of taking pictures of each step. Well, five or so months later, I plumb forgot. 🙂 But, I’m still going to share it with you and maybe my vivid descriptions will help paint a picture for you.
1. Determine how large of a blanket you would like. This will ultimately impact how many t-shirts you use, but I would recommend about 30 shirts, which creates a 5×6 rectangle. This is perfect to slide over a bed or wrap up in on the couch. Granted, at every step of the process, feel free to take some creative license with the decisions. I know I like to 🙂
2. Take a piece of construction paper or cardboard and cut it with dimensions (~15×15″). Let’s call this the “guide”.
3. Cut each shirt in half, saving the side that you would like to have represented on the quilt. Some of my cross-country shirts were dual-sided, so I needed to save both sides. The easiest way to do this is to cut simply along the sides of the t-shirt and through the shoulder parts.
4. Piece one t-shirt side over the guide. I would recommend pinning it down so that you get a clean cut. Cut the edges so that the t-shirt is left with a 15×15″ outline. Repeat with each shirt until you have 30 cut t-shirts ready to sew.
5. Lay out your shirts in the order you would like to have them sewn. Place one tshirt on its neighbor (images facing each other in) and sew along the edges. Make sure when you sew these edges, the back sides of the shirts are facing out. Repeat with each shirt until you have six strips of shirts (w/ 5 each) *This is a bit tricky, so if you need further assistance, feel free to email me 🙂
6. Repeat step 5 but this time folding one horizontal level on top of the other. At this point you should have one half of the quilt finished. If you are feeling up to the challenge. Iron the remaining backside creases (parts you sewed). This should provide a flat surface to sew the backing upon.
7. Obtain enough fabric to back your quilt. I selected two colors of jersey fabric (about 2 yards each to be safe). Take this home and WASH IT IN THE MACHINE. *I forgot this step and not only did the fabric shrink later on me, the red fabric turned my white t-shirts pink. Hmmm, oops.
8. Once the fabric has been washed, measure out enough to fit over your t-shirt side. This could vary from blanket to blanket, so I’m not giving an exact number. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants a lot of times, so it’s more of go with the flow.
9. Pin the front of the t-shirt blanket to the piece of fabric. Sew ~90% of the edges, leaving a little slot to flip the blanket inside out. Once you have done this (sew and flip), sew the remaining 10% of the blanket.
10. To add more stability to the blanket, sew horizontal and vertical lines, outlining the t-shirts. (See bottom picture)
“Far away in the sunshine are my highest inspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”
– Louisa May Alcott