{How To} Memory Quilt – It’s a Wrap

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We have gathered, prepped and stitched our favorite tees into this amazing story…. Now what?

Well, it is time to add  the batting, some simple quilting stitchings and attach our backer.

This project is for all levels.

Skill Level- 1 1/2 Buttons

Materials for completed quilt:

  • Tee Shirts
  • Tricot fusible interlining
  • Batting
  • Backer fabric (I like to use flannel)
  • * optional* June Tailors printable fabric (if including a photo)
  • Iron/Ironing board/Press Cloth
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Ruler or measuring tape
For today’s “how to” you will need your quilt top, batting, backer fabric, sewing machine and ironing tools.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Now that your quilt top is all stitched together, pressed and ready to go- let’s add the batting.  To back up a minute, I want to be clear.  For the best possible finished outlook it is critical to press your quilt top before you add the layer of batting.  Please do not skip this step!
  2. Find your big flat, open area of floor again and roll out your batting.  Depending on the type of batting you purchased there might be a right and wrong side.  If one side has many loose “fluffs” that would be what I call the “wrong” side.  You will want to match that to the wrong side of your quilt top.  This will make the machine stitching later much easier and prevent fewer fibers from getting caught in your machine.  Center your quilt top on batting and make sure that your blocks are lined up straight;pin in place.  These pins are to help keep everything stable when working on such a large project.  You can also use quilters pins but I am making do with long straight pins.
  3. Once everything is lined up, pick the blocks that you would like to highlight with top stitching.  I like to pick the center box of squares and stitch every other block. Using my standard straight stitch, I stitch all around the inside of the block.  Feel free to get creative here and play with your decorative machine stitches.  *This part can be tricky, you need to roll, twist and wiggle your quilt top through the well of your machine.  The 3rd photo does not clearly show it but the topper is twisted and tucked inside the machine, over my shoulder and hanging off a table.
  4. After all of your selected blocks are stitched, it’s time to add the backer fabric.  Depending on the finished size of your quilt you may need to piece your backer fabric.  But one thing is for certain- your backer fabric must be washed!  Trust me, it is not an option to skip this step.  Remember, the quilt top fabrics have all been washed many times and mostly likely will not shrink.  But if you are using flannel (my fabric of choice) it will shrink!
  5. With right sides together, pin your layers in place; all around straight stitch; leaving an opening to turn right side out.  Clip corners.
  6. Press! Fold under seam allowance of open area; press; edge stitch closed.
  7. Now, you can add all around stitching to finish it off.
  8. I like to go back and use my button attaching stitch to join all layers. I do this between every other block.
I know this is a lot of work but in the end, it is so worth it.  Just take your time.
Happy Crafting!
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  1. skyturtle (@skyturtle) says

    I always wanted to make one of these, but I can’t get to cutting the tees :>

  2. Julia lindsey says

    I am making a memory quilt with my sons childhood T-shirts for christmas. I want to include pictures in some of the blocks. Did you put your pictures on the backs of a t-shirt or did you use cotton? I am afraid the transfer will not withstand washings if it is on a T-shirt but i wasn’t sure if the seams would break if I used cotton and T-shirt. Does the fusible interlining keep the seams from breaking?

    • Hello Julia,
      I used a printable fabric for my photos. Since the paper is sized 8 1/2″ x 11″, I then added a boarder from the tee’s. This kept each block the same size. To my knowledge, I have not had seam breakage. However, please keep in mind that when applying the interlining you are stabilizing the knit and reducing the stretch factor.

      Please keep me posted on how your project is coming!

      • Julia lindsey says

        Thank you! I didnt know there was printable fabric. I found some today. I love the quilt you made from the mens jackets. It reminded me of the one i made from my mother-in -laws print shirts.

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