New Orleans House Project

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursdays: T-shirt Quilts

I made my first t-shirt quilt in 1996.  It was something of a collaborative effort, as a group of online friends donated t-shirts and the finished quilt was raffled off as a fund-raiser.  This is the quilt top before quilting.  I'm amused to see I used a multi-color, pieced inner border - a technique I'm still using today!

This quilt also traveled to Key West, Florida with our group and the lucky winner got to take it home.  I don't remember what group received the money raised by the raffle.  For a closer look at the t-shirts, click on the picture.

I so enjoyed the t-shirt quilt process - I made another one almost immediately!  This one features an assortment of Caribbean Soul Jimmy Buffett t-shirts.  

I pieced together some of the smaller designs to make a block that would fit in with the other, larger t-shirt designs.

One of my favorite Caribbean Soul designs - I don't have to worry about the t-shirt being worn to shreds, it will always be a part of my quilt!  You can't see it real well, but the background fabric was an early batik featuring multi-colored fish.

I also used the pocket designs as border cornerstones. 

Five years ago, I dug into the collectible t-shirt bin to make a quilt for our camp.  Most of these shirts are from the mid-1990s and commemorate music and road trips between Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

Another favorite shirt, from Mi Tierra's Restaurant in San Antonio, Texas.
(Ha!  I just looked at their website and they still have the same t-shirt!)

It seems using the pocket designs for cornerstones is one of my signature techniques!

I still have a LARGE basket full of already cut t-shirt fronts & backs, plus drawers full of my kids' t-shirts.   I need to get busy and make more t-shirt quilts!!




  1. I love these t shirt quilts! Your pocket cornerstones are awesome. I think you should definitely trademark that technique.:)
    I like the way the Jimmy Buffet colors all look together. Very beachy and fun in a laid back sort of way. I love anything beachy though. Thanks for the TBT reminder. I always enjoy them and need to get back to doing them on occasion.

  2. What great quilts you made with the t-shirts! I'll have to start saving off some of my kids special ones for eventual t-shirt quilts.

  3. T-shirt quilts are full of so many happy memories. Like a scrapbook that can keep you warm. Beautiful variety of techniques.

  4. Those are AWESOME!!! I keep making T-quilts for others, but haven't made my own... YET.

  5. I really love your t shirt quilts, but I don't quite get it! I'm English I can only apologise! Do you just square up your old t shirts and appliqué them to a quilt? What ever you do they are great!

  6. These are all wonderful. I'm working on a onesie quilt right now. Quite a different experience from big t-shirts.

  7. these are so awesome and FUN