T-Shirt Quilt - Stabilizing and Cutting T-Shirt Blocks

T-Shirt Quilt Block

Learn how to cut the t-shirt apart, how to stabilize and how to cut the t-shirt into useable blocks.

Click to watch the T-Shirt Quilt - Stabilizing and Cutting T-Shirt Blocks video in Youtube.

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Select the t-shirts you want to use for the quilt.

Wash and dry the t-shirts but do not use fabric softener or fabric sheets during the drying cycle.

You want to separate the front from the back of the t-shirt.

To do this, lay the t-shirt on a work surface and smooth the t-shirt until it is flat.

With a rotary cutter and ruler or a scissor, cut along each side from the hem to the armhole.

Remove the sleeves by cutting along the sleeve seam.

Then, separate the front and back by cutting along the shoulder seams. Do not cut out the neckline because you may need to use it when making the blocks.

Some t-shirts have designs on the front and back, you can incorporate both into the project.

To stabilize the t-shirt use a stabilizer or interfacing on the back of the t-shirt to prevent it from stretching. It should be a light weight stabilizer (interfacing), woven or non-woven.

Place t-shirt on ironing board, right-side down, and iron it so it is smooth and flat.

Cut the piece of stabilizer 1 1/2 to 2" larger than the block size you have choosen for the t-shirt quilt.

Center the stabilizer adhesive side down on the back of the t-shirt behind the image, checking to make sure the stabilizer is covering the whole design.

Iron the stabilizer to the t-shirt according to the manufacturer's directions.


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

The simplest shapes to use in t-shirt quilts are a square or rectangular shape. If this is your first t-shirt quilt, I recommend using these shapes because it will be simpler to piece around the blocks to build the quilt.

A T-shirt Transformation Ruler is a wonderful tool for making finished 10", 12" or 15" blocks. This ruler has a grid with X to easily center the image and slots for marking the cutting lines.

Center the ruler over the design.

In the video, I used a rotary cutter to cut slits in the fabric through the slots in the ruler. However, I have now decided that a simpler way to mark the block would be using a fine point fabric micro-pen or quilter's chalk to mark the cutting line through the slots in the ruler.

Line a quilter's ruler with the slits or pen/chalk marks and cut out the block.

After cutting all the blocks, begin piecing blocks together with or without sashing.

T-Shirt Quilt - Part 1: Stabilizing and Cutting the T-Shirt Blocks
T-Shirt Quilt - Part 2: How to Adjust Image Size
T-Shirt Quilt - Part 3: Deciding How to Quilt
T-Shirt Quilt - Part 4: How to Make A Quilt Sandwich
T-Shirt Quilt – Part 5: How to Machine Quilt – Straight-Line Quilting
T-Shirt Quilt – Part 6: Binding & Labeling

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