T-Shirt Pocket Quilts

Austin QuiltA t-shirt pocket quilt uses the logos and pockets from t-shirts to create a memory quilt.  Here are the instructions for a queen size quilt (my friend Austin’s swim team t-shirt quilt is pictured).  You need 20 t-shirts, cut into about 15 x 15 square inches.  Frame the picture or saying in the middle.  If they have pockets or decals on the front, cut those about 4.5 x 4.5 inches (I used Dr. Seuss fishes for the pockets from boxer shorts).  The material you use to frame the t-shirts can be the same as the back of the quilt (I’ve used cotton ocean batik for the swim quilt).  Cut out material strips for the framework between t-shirts and pockets, same width as the pockets (4.5 x 4.5 inches).  Work in rows; assemble the first row (from left to right) t-shirt, vertical framework, ts, vfw, until you have 4 t-shirts across.  Then the next row is about 4.5 inches wide (from left to right) horizontal framework, pocket, hfw, p, until you end with framework flush with the first row.  Complete this pattern until all 20 t-shirts are incorporated.  Then match the edges of the t-shirts and sew the rows together to make the face of the quilt.  You will make a “sandwich” with the backing on the bottom (right side down), low-loft cotton batting in the middle, and the t-shirt face on top (right side up).  I use quilting safety pins to hold things together.  If you cannot find material that is wide enough for the backing, a sheet works well (I like to use flannel).  To hold all three layers together, you can top-stitch them on your sewing machine, or tack them in the t-shirt corners.  Thicker crewl yarn works well for tacking (usually by the embroidery floss).  Then use the same material as the framework to make bias tape (1.5-2 inches) to surround the quilt.  I usually do a double zigzag on both edges of the bias tape to make it stronger.  Remember to pre-wash material with some Color Catchers (by Shout in laundry isle) to remove the un-bound dye.  You don’t want your colors to run!  And if you are going to sew, invest in a good pair of scissors!  I usually make these for graduation gifts; it is a nice remembrance of school events and it’s a gift that’s personalized.  If you have any questions, let me know!  Happy trails!



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