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7 Tips to Make a Memory Quilt

October 19, 2020 4 min read

Have you wondered how to make a memory quilt from clothes? You’re certainly not alone in that regard. Not only are memory quilts a great gift, but they also present a challenging yet fun crafting task.

However, if you’re going to go it alone and produce a t-shirt blanket from scratch, there are several different points you need to consider before jumping in. The last thing that you want to do is butcher your tee shirts and turn them into scraps of unusable fabric.

To ensure you know how to make a memory quilt the right way, the following seven tips will help you achieve the goal.

Tip #1: Pick a theme

Before you start chopping up your t-shirts and sewing them together, you must decide on the theme or message behind the memory quilt. Is it going to be created for you to reminisce about your college days? Perhaps it will be a celebration of your child’s favorite sports team? Maybe you want to produce a baby memory blanket?

Whatever the case may be, the best tee shirt blanket ideas always follow a set theme. You can indeed have a hodgepodge of different t-shirts without any correlation between them, but the design will generally be lacking in terms of visual appeal.

Tip #2: Watch your fabrics

If you are curious about how to make a blanket out of old tee shirts, one factor not to overlook is the materials involved. Now it’s common for memory quilts to be made with a varied collection of fabrics, with different colors, styles, prints, and fiber content. It’s also okay for patterns or colors not to be in perfect sync with each other – the memories are the most important element after all!

Yet if you feel the blanket is missing out on a certain color or design, and your wardrobe is turning up a blank, don’t be scared to head to a thrift store. Yes, anything you purchase from here isn’t going to have a direct link to your memories. However, if you’re simply searching for, say, a splash of blue, there’s no harm bringing in a tee via an ‘external’ source.

When choosing fabrics, it’s also a big help to choose ones that are washable such as 100% cotton or polyester. Always walk away from fabrics which are dry clean only, as well as those which are particularly delicate like silk or lace.

Tip #3: Gather the right supplies

If you want to know how to make a memory quilt out of t-shirts, having the right equipment and supplies is imperative. Even if you’re only missing out on one piece of equipment, for instance, binding your tees together is going to be made even more challenging.

So what supplies are needed to make a blanket out of tee shirts? Below is a starter kit that is ideal for any beginner:

  • Sewing machine (a basic one will do)
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • Batting fabric
  • Memory fabric
  • Thread that matches your t-shirt fabric

The good news is that you’ll already have some of this equipment already lying around the house. Plus, all the other equipment – including the sewing machine – can be purchased relatively cheaply.

Tip #4: Preparing your t-shirts the right way

In every crafting type of task, there’s always one aspect that is less anticipated than the others. That’s the case when it comes to preparing your t-shirts.

First of all, you want to wash all of your garments. This is especially the case if your tees have been sitting in storage for an extensive period. Simply give them a quick wash, so they’re clean and fresh. 

Now the boring part: ironing. Unless you have a penchant for ironing, this is going to be a laborious process – but it’s one that needs to be done. In fact, it could be the difference between your memory quilt being a success or failure. Also, keep an eye on your iron settings. If you’re dealing with synthetic fabrics or cotton blends, for example, you could accidentally scorch or melt the fabrics if the setting is wrong.

Tip #5: Making the correct cuts

If the previous point was the most laborious, this one is arguably the most stress-inducing. Cutting up your tees, so they’re presentable and ready for stitching together is not a difficult task. However, it also requires precision and patience. The last thing you want is a load of t-shirt squares, which are uneven as this will make the blanket look unprofessional.

When it comes to the cutting process, there are several methods available. One of the most effective is to use a cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter. When making blankets out of tee shirts, it’s important to stick with the same measurements throughout – unless you’re going for an unconventional design. Memory blankets typically go for a square pattern, which at least helps to make measurements easy. A blanket made from tee shirts might go with 40x40cm squares, for example.

Tip #6: Putting together the pieces

When answering the question, ‘How to make a memory quilt from shirts?’ the overly basic answer is simple: stitch the shirts together. As you have gathered by now, there’s a lot more work involved than that!

Before you start sewing, ensure you have the right number of t-shirt squares. Also, arrange the tees into a nice pattern. Tee shirt memory blankets are meant to be aesthetically pleasing, so you don’t want any regrets once everything has been sewn together.

Tip #7: Receive professional help

As you have seen from the previous tips, there is no easy answer when pondering how to make a blanket out of tee shirts. Not only is a lot of work required, but the chances of errors cropping up at any stage in the process are a distinct possibility.

Well, maybe we were a little hasty with the previous paragraph. There is one easy solution to the ‘How to make a tee shirt blanket’ question. That’s by having your blanket created by the professionals at My T-shirt Blanket. Not only is it generally the cheaper option, but you’re also guaranteed to receive a premium quality product. Best of all, you can sit back and relax while we take care of all the work!


If you don’t feel comfortable sewing yourself, you could contact My T-shirt Blanket for professional help.

You can learn more about us and potentially become our new client!

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