I am not a sewer and this is not a post that will explain how to sew a quilt – I need to be honest right off the bat. However, if you’re someone like me that’s held on to some old t-shirts and wanted to put them to good use, then you can certainly use this idea! Check out how I was able to repurpose years’ worth of (mostly) free clothing to create a custom t-shirt baby quilt.
Like I mentioned, I had a big box full of old t-shirts that I no longer wore. You know when you go to events, or play on sports teams and you get free cotton shirts? Well, I would wear them for a while as pyjamas or workout shirts, but eventually I stashed them all away, knowing I would be using them for some sort of sewing project.
(They were in a box in our basement, as seen in the tour here).
Now, first thing I did was find someone who could make a quilt for me. I knew I had a lot of t-shirts and I wanted to make a regular/adult sized quilt, but after seeing this image (below), I felt like I needed a baby quilt too!
I mean, how amazing are those colours right?
After searching for a few months, I was able to find someone who specialized in baby quilts! I shared the inspiration image, and we agreed on patch sizes, overall dimensions, etc.
Then I had to get to work! I assembled all my shirts, then started cutting them up. I do still want an adult quilt eventually, so I made sure to keep all the large designs for that.
I had a little cardboard square template and would cut up as many squares of material as I could get from each shirt. My hand really hurt after a while, and it took me a few days working on and off to finish everything.
Whenever I came across a small graphic that fit my square, I would cut those out as well and put them in a separate pile.
Finally, once all the shirts were cut up – I was left with a bunch of different colours… and a nice collection of rags too! Score!
This is when the magic happened I assume. I sent all my little cut squares off to be transformed into a quilt. You guys, I’m not going to lie – cutting all those t-shirts up took me days, and my squares weren’t even that straight. I can’t image what quilters have to go through to make the perfect patterns… but it’s a talent and they probably have hands of steel!
Finally, I received the finished custom t-shirt baby quilt, and I couldn’t have been happier!
While the design was based on the inspiration image, adding all the small graphics really made it unique and custom to me.
And I know it’s the middle of summer right now, but we could definitely make use out of this quilt in the cold winter months.
Or you know, just keep it for display purposes so it doesn’t get ruined!
Right now the custom t-shirt baby quilt is sitting neatly folded in baby’s crib in the nursery (and because he doesn’t take up too much space yet, we also house our other blankets there too). I can’t wait until he gets older and I can point out the significance of all the graphics on his quilt :)
One day I’ll get around to having a large quilt made with the remainder of my t-shirt remnants (or learn to sew… not sure which will happen first haha!). But until then I have a great quilt and I’m really happy I was able to recycle materials that had sentimental value to me (and they take up less space this way!).
Have you ever made a t-shirt quilt? What about a baby-sized one? You could certainly go crazy with the customization options (all one similar shade, only two colours, a specific pattern, etc!).
If anyone local is looking for a baby quilt maker (what is the correct term here? quilter? but baby quilter sounds like a mini quilt person…); anyways, let me know and I’d be happy to pass along contact info.