Is your closet full of memorable running T-Shirts that you cannot simply throw away? Then how about turning the best of them into a celebrative quilt? You could hang it on the wall of your very personal running museum, or use it as a special cover on your bed so that at night you will facilitate dreaming again about those races that were milestones of your running career. From a professional quilter, Run The Planet brings you some basic instructions to transform your running T-Shirts into a sentimental quilt.
These instructions are based on a 12" square T-Shirt block. Check all your shirts to make sure that the designs will fit into a 12" square. If they won't you can either adjust the designs or make the squares larger - just modify the instructions to the dimensions you need. Remember, all the T-Shirt squares must be the same size. All seam allowances are 1/4". If you are not sure of the correct size, determine the largest design and cut all interfacing 2" larger than that size, then trim as needed.
Sizes - All sizes include 1 1/2" sashing and a 2" border and are based on a 12" T-Shirt block: 12 shirts will make a throw-size quilt, approximately 43" x 56" (3 across x 4 down); 30 shirts will make a twin size quilt, approximately 68" x 83" (5 across x 6 down); 36 shirts will make a double/queen size quilt, approximately 83" x 83" (6 across x 6 down).
Step 1: Select shirts - Shirts should be clean and in good condition. Avoid stained shirts.
Step 2: Fusible interfacing - Each shirt must be backed with fusible interfacing to prevent it from stretching. Buy enough fusible interfacing to make a 14" square for each T-Shirt. Select good quality, medium weight interfacing.
Step 3: Fabric for sashing/border/binding - Sashing strips form a decorative grid between each T-Shirt block. Plan on 2" sashing strips (1 1/2" when finished) between the blocks, 2 1/2" strips (2" when finished) for the border, and additional fabric for the binding. Calculate the amount needed and be sure to wash it before you use it - you want to be sure that the color won't run and that the fabric will not shrink after the quilt is finished.
Step 4: Cutting shirts - Separate the front of the shirt from the back. Make sure the shirt is smooth, iron if necessary.
Step 5: Fusing - Cut interfacing into 14" squares - one for each shirt. Do not piece the interfacing, it will show through. Position the interfacing on the back of the shirt, so that the design is centered. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for fusing to the back of each T-Shirt square. Make sure you use a press cloth so you do not get any glue on your iron! Beware of wrinkles - once cool they won't come out!
Step 6: Cutting the squares - Square up each fused shirt to 12 1/2". Make sure you center the design and lettering - measure twice, cut once! Cut with scissors or rotary cutter.
Step 7: Arranging - Lay out squares on the floor and arrange. Alternate light/dark, busy/not so busy. Make sure the blocks can be read from the desired direction.
Step 8: Completing the quilt - Add sashing. Sashing strips are the horizontal and vertical strips between blocks. The horizontal strips should measure 12 1/2" in length x 2" wide. Cut enough sashing strips to add to all the T-Shirts except the bottom row. Then sew horizontal strips to the bottom of each block, except the blocks in the bottom row. Sew blocks together to form columns. After all the blocks are sewn into columns, make long 2" sashing strips slightly longer than length of each column. Sew the 2" sashing strips onto the inside edge of the completed columns, one strip to each column (do not sew a sashing strip to the outside edges of the columns) and sew the columns together. Press toward sashing. Cut border strips 2 1/2" wide and add as desired. If you need to do a final pressing, make sure you put a cloth over the shirts - they may smear if the iron is placed directly onto them.
Finish - Layer backing batting and quilt top. Baste or safety pin together. Quilt or tie as desired. Bind your quilt and be sure to add a label.
Enjoy your quilt!
Run The Planet thanks Goose Tracks Quilts (www.goosetracks.com) for the permission to reprint the article "Basic T-Shirt Quilt Instructions". For any question or to order unique decorative quilts (including running T-Shirt quilts, custom and heirloom quality baby quilts) contact Cathy Hooley (e-mail: cathy(at)goosetracks.com).