…out of something old.

That is what my motto for this year is going to be. I’m not doing resolutions. I’m not doing anything kind of “bucket list” or all that mumbo jumbo that comes with the beginning of a new calendar year. What I am doing is I’m going to make old things into something new.

I’m going to take old toiler paper rolls and make them into new wall art. I’m going to take this old body of mine, and make it into a new body. I’m going to take all of my old Sigma Kappa/College t-shirts and make it into a new quilt. I haven’t worn any of my letter shirts since I actually graduated from college and I could always use a new blanket. I’ve dabbled in quilts before, so this will be pretty simple. Even if you’re a newbie to sewing, you can do this quilt. I’ve decided that making a quilt and writing a how-to on it in one post is really overwhelming. I hope to make this at least a little bit easier. I would like to show you all of the steps and hopefully not leave you wondering.

So, I pulled out all of my t-shirts from college. I have enough shirts from Sigma Kappa alone to make one quilt as well as enough t-shirts from my college to have a KWC quilt. I’ve decided to do my Sigma Kappa one first. I found this absolutely beautiful fabric at Hobby Lobby on clearance. Usually you would like to have once large piece of fabric for the back of the quilt, but I just couldn’t pass up this for anything. It cried out my name, “LISA! PICK ME! I’M PERFECT FOR YOUR QUILT!”

Back Fabric

Back Fabric

When I was also shopping at Hobby Lobby, I got the batting for the quilt as well. I bought the queen size quilt. I know that my quilt won’t be as big as queen size, but it will be big enough to cover up in. So I laid down the batting, and I put down the back fabric on top. This will give you an accurate idea of how big this quilt will be.

Batting and Back Fabric

Batting and Back Fabric

So next comes the t-shirts. I laid down the t-shirts on top of the quilt to get a sense of what it will look like. I didn’t lay down them in any specific order yet; that will come later. Please remember that the space at the top of the picture will be filled by the backs of some of the t-shirts that are shown below.

T-shirts

T-shirts

Next came the cutting of the shirts. Because most of my shirts were XL or XXL, they were pretty big prints. If you wear a small…well…you are going to need way more shirts than I have… haha!

Steps for cutting up the shirt: You may do this any way you like, but this is what I have found works best for me.

1  1. When you cut your shirt, lay it down flat with the front of the shirt facing you.

 

 

 

2. Cut off the sleeves. I know this picture is hard to see, but make sure that you cut it off at the seam.

2. Cut off the sleeves. I know this picture is hard to see, but make sure that you cut it off at the seam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. Cut up the sides of the shirt and around the color. Make sure to follow the seam so that you can get the maximum use out of the fabric. Save all of the scraps, the sleeves, and the back of the shirt.

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4. This is what your shirt should look like now that you have cut the front off of the back. This is a lot of cutting and you may get tired after this. I then went on to cutting them up even more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If some shirts had a small decal on the front, I cut those into 6×6-inch squares. I will be making one square of the quilt out of those little squares. I then measured the shirts again and roughly cut the shirts to be 16×16 inches. See below on how to cut the shirts. You will have excess fabric that you can use later in your quilt to add spacers or to keep for scrap.

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1. Find the middle of the image.

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2. Fold in half.

 

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3. Cut off the top where the collar was. Make it straight and even.

 

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4. Flip the t-shirt to the other side and measure 16 inches.

 

 

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5. Cut excess off.

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6. Fold into fourths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7. Cut to make all sides straight, or as close as you can.

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8. This is the pocket squares, the excess fabric, and the fronts and backs of the shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will take you a solid day to cut all of the shirts up. I know it took me a day to cut all of it up (and I’m not even a perfectionist when it comes to cutting). In the next blog, I will show you how to lay, pin and sew it all together. Trust me, if I can do this quilt, then you can as well. I have seen some tutorials on Pinterest, but I never read any of them to see how they cut up their shirts or sewed their quilt. I plan on using the extra fabric from the shirts to use as spacers and borders.

Instead of making resolutions make a lifestyle change. I’m changing by using the things that I have instead of buying things that I want or need. I am making old things into new things, and I couldn’t be more excited. Some people call this up-cycling, but I like to call is resourcefulness and creativity. I hope that you all have had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Do you have any lifestyle changes or resourcefulness tips that you would like to share? Have you done a t-shirt quilt out of your old college shirts? Do you have resolutions that you are going to keep this year? I look forward to showing you the finished product soon! Keep in touch!

Love in the Dove,

–Lisa

 

 

 

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3 Responses to Something New…

  1. Anne says:

    Love this and can’t wait to see the result! We have saved all my daughters Hello Kitty tees for this very project!

  2. Alexandra says:

    I have about 3 boxes of t-shirts and sweaters for this exact purpose! I try to be crafty, but this seems like such a daunting process. Any tips/advice you can provide on how to sew this sucker? Let me know – I want to be creative and resourceful this year too!

  3. Rebecca Pope-Ruark says:

    Yay for alternative t-shirt uses! I’m definitely going to need to clean out my closet and do this in a few years…but I wonder what I’ll wear when I do!

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