My husband is a fan of a good graphic tee, especially if it has a comic book character or symbol on it (he’s also a huge comic nerd). However, he is hard on shirts – he gets holes in them in the randomest of places, and they seem to sprout overnight. When I would make him clean out his drawers every few months, he would hand over the hole-riddled shirts, thinking I would donate them to the textile recycling here in NYC. But I hated to toss them, especially the ones with his favorite comic logos on them. So I saved them up, and over a couple of evenings this summer made them into a “quilt” (which he now loves!)
The best part? No sewing involved! Here’s how it’s done.
- 10 L or XL old t-shirts for a 50″ X60″ blanket
- Sharp scissors
- Quilt batting (I ordered this online for $13 and only used half)
- An old flannel sheet or other material for backing (fleece, more t-shirts, etc.)
Cut squares from the front and back of the t-shirts – 2 squares per shirt. My squares measured 16X16 (I also used a cardboard square [cut out from an old pizza box] to help me keep the squares uniformly sized.)
Cut 2 inch strips around the periphery of each square, 1-1.5 inches wide, like in photo 1.
Lay out all your squares on the table or floor to figure out how you want them to be arranged (photo 2)
Take a photo so you know how you want them to go together.
Now sit down, watch a movie, and tie all your squares together. At the corners, criss-cross like in photos 3 and 4.
Remember, the periphery of the blanket remains untied – you will tie these to the backing later.
Now comes the hardest part – lining up and trimming your quilt batting and whatever backing you are using (you could use more t-shirts; I used an old stretched out jersey sheet). To keep everything in place, I put straight pins all around the periphery, then trimmed the batting and sheet to size. The sheet should be the same size as the tee-shirt front; the batting should be smaller, fitting inside the soon-to-be-tied-together sheet and tee-shirt front.
Now, cut 2 inch strips around the periphery of the backing sheet, 1-1.5 inches wide.
Tie up all the strips around the edge of the blanket.
Remove all the pins from around the edges (I might have missed one… or a few… which my husband discovered the hard way.)
Now, you can stop here, but the quilt batting might not stay in place inside the t-shirt layer and backing (much like a duvet inside a duvet cover). To avoid this inevitable bunching and slouching, I untied 1 or 2 pair(s) of strips in the middle of each square, as in photo 5.
Then I cut little slits in the backing and batting, shoved the un-tied strips through, and re-tied on the back of the blanket, holding the batting in place. The back of the blanket now looks like photo 6.
Now the blanket is done, and both hubby and cats are very pleased with the end result!