How to Make A T-Shirt Quilt: Adding Sashing

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This is the second blog post in our t-shirt quilt series. I’ll note, it is a photo heavy tutorial. If you prefer videos, I’ve also included my YouTube video tutorial at the end of the post.

Last time we prepped our t-shirts with interfacing to make it stiff and non-stretchy.

When you are considering piecing your quilt top, remember that you need to have your shirts laid out in the order that you want them placed when your quilt is complete. A good tip is to tell a story with how you lay out the t-shirts.

Some of the t-shirts that I am using on this is Alpha Omega sorority quilt had a front side and a backside with designs and text that my client wanted me to use. Considering this, I chose not to put them right beside each other because I wanted to have a variety of colorful shirts on the quilt. I did, however, put them diagonal to each other so they were easy to read but still had a design variety. In another post in this series you will see how it’s actually laid out.

After you have determined the order of your quilts, we then want add a 2.5″ sashing to the inner edges of the t-shirt blocks.

Ensure that the right sides of the fabric on both your shirt and the shirt are facing each other.

Line it up along the edge.

Once it is placed how you want it, you’re going to sew using a quarter inch seam.

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You’re going to go all the way to the end of the shirt block and then you’re going to trim it.

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Continue assembling the sashing only on the inside squares. Do not add sashing to the outer edges of the row.

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Now that your rows are assembled we are going to add a long strip the row

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Only the top row will have you adding long strips of sashing to it. The rest will just be the bottom. Remember, put right sides together and use a ¼ inch seam.

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For subsequent rows you will only have sashing on the bottom. If you do the top and bottom to all of the rows you will have doubled up the sashing when it is pieced together and we don’t want that.

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Remember to not add fabric to the outer edges yet.

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Your sashing is done on the inside and now on the top and bottom of each row. Time to sew the rows together!

As there is material between the rows, you have to be careful to line up the shirts so they look straight. To do this, place one row on top of the other so you can see the t-shirts on both rows.

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You can use a ruler or a straight edge to ensure it is lined up. Get your pins and mark on the sashing where the t-shirt on the previous row sits. As you sew, ensure that the t-shirt edges line up with these pins.

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Now that you have pinned or marked, you are ready to sew the rows together with the fabric right sides together. Be sure that before you sew that your t-shirts are in the correct direction.



Now you should have a nicely gridded quilt top.

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I hope that this tutorial has helped give you confidence and the tools you need to attempt your own t-shirt quilt. If you have created one and you are unsure of how to quilt it, please check out my longarm quilting and binding services.

If you’ve been inspired to recycle your t-shirt collection but you don’t want to tackle the quilt on your own, I also create t-shirt quilts for my clients.

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Other posts in this series:
How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt: Preparing the Shirts

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Elizabeth Ruth

Elizabeth Ruth

Elizabeth is a children's book author and designer of knit and crochet character hats under the brand The Ruthless Crafter. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, spend time with her family, and swim. She lives a full, happy life in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband and their two children.

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