Heart Shape Applique Quilt


 This quilt is the result of several planets colliding ;)  I had pinned a heart quilt that was a traditional quilt several months ago and wondered if it could be translated to tees.  Then, Terri, our marketing rep had given me a Home Ec article from 1994 about making a memory quilt using heart shapes.  I was looking for the right project to use it on.  I remembered an email from a quilt purchaser telling me she was sending her daughters favorite shirts and that they might be too small to make squares from.  So, I pulled her box {I couldn’t forget it – it was taped with Hello Kitty duct tape!} and the tees were definitely too small for a regular 12 square.

 Here’s the great thing – I emailed the mama and told her my idea.  She told me yes, but later admitted she had no idea what I was even talking about but trusted me.

So, here is how I did it {and I have to tell you, since it was conceptually inspired but with no real instructions, I had to make it up as I went}:

First:  Take your shirts and split them up the back so you can lay them flat.

 Second:  Iron interfacing onto the backs of the shirts.

 Next, recycle some awesome alien drawings from your son to make a heart shape.  I knew my square would be 15″ and the heart needed to cover the graphics.  It took me several attempts to get the right shape.  Also, 4 of the tees were a larger size, so they were cut with a larger template.

 There are two ways to cut – one with regular scissors and one with a rotary cutter.  Use the method you prefer, but remember to use a disappearing ink marker or to cut inside your lines.

 or how I do it:

Set your hearts aside and prep your squares:

 For this quilt, I needed 12 each of backing, batting and top.

  The next step is to get your hearts onto your top white layer.  I use spray baste, but you could pin the heart as well.  To find my center, I gently folded the white square into fourths, unfolded and laid the heart on top.

Carefully zig zag around the edge.  This will require a lot of little adjustments, but once you get a groove going it is pretty straightforward.

 It is really important to baste the layers together to keep them from slipping.  I used minky dot for the back and it can be super slippery if not basted.

Now, take each square to the machine and outline the heart.  You could do this multiple times if you wanted more texture – if I used cotton on the back instead of the minky dot, I probably would have.

 Now, connect your squares with the raw edges facing up and you will end up with this:

 You are going to clip the edges now – how close is up to you.  I usually do 1/4″ apart, put have seen some done much closer and they look darling as well.

Now to get it to fray, you need to wash it on gentle cycle {always with a color catcher if you are unsure of your fabric dyes} and then machine dry.

 This quilt even went on the road trip to Austin with us to appear on KEYE Austin Live.

 All of the shirts used were from a girls size 6 – 8 and ended up perfect.

 I just love this quilt and hope you do to!



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  1. You’re a STAR tonight at I Gotta Create! Thanks so much for linking up this beautiful quilt! xxoo
    <3 Christina

  2. what a great idea! Such a great twist on the t=shirt quilt.

  3. Christina at I Gotta Create! says:

    Its adorable. Great way to use those little shirts! Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

  4. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday – – you were featured today!!
    –Mandy, http://www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

  5. Absolutely awesome quilt !
    Wonderful work you did – I admire your creativity very much

  6. Thanks so much for the tips! It is a great idea!!
    xo Becca

  7. I have a t-shirt quilt my mom made me for high school graduation that I love. This is a fun twist on the concept!

  8. Absolutely adorable and breathtaking! Lucky Mommy to have it to cherish.

  9. WOW It is so beautiful and captures the spirit of a young girl… you are pretty amazing!

  10. it ended up perfect! great job!

  11. Beautiful! You know, I took a quilting class eons ago and loved it. Made one small quilt top which has since disappeared. Not sure how that happened! :-( Anyway, your instructions are clear and easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!