Building the Back of A T-Shirt Quilt



Here is the front of this finished product.  I thought it would be fun to talk about the process of building a custom back for a project like this one.  So, we are going to flip it around and start there.


Normally for my base price I finish the back with a solid, 108″ wide fabric.  This one was special because the owner wanted to use the themed logo fabric for her favorite college team.  In this case, that college team is the school that both her children are now alumni to – making those often worn T-shirts an heirloom of memories for years to come.

The challenge with using the logo fabric is that it’s width is  only 45 inches.  You have some choices to make because obviously, modification is necessary…

  1.  One could simply sew together the fabric to make it “90-ish” inches wide knowing full well it is near impossible to line up the print perfectly. That design is now interrupted by  an obvious seam right up the middle of the whole thing.
  2. Create a fun and visual panel to break up the design of the logo and widen the back in the process.  This is obviously my choice! 😉

I measured off the length I’d need of the main fabric for the back, keeping in mind that I need an extended length in order to mount the back of this beast onto the long-arm machine.


Then I created a 9 patch with 10″ blocks and cut it into 4 equal pieces.  It took 5 of them in order to give me 20 squares I’d need after they were cut into fourths.

I had some scraps left from the front so here you see I chose a Disappearing 9 Patch design with borders to show off this fun college fabric!

The fun thing about a disappearing 9 patch is that the options are limitless!  I use this little trick all the time because every time-they look different.  Sometimes I place them 3 across, sometimes only 2 (like this time).  Sometimes I use 8″ blocks, sometimes 4″ blocks…it all depends on what size I’m working with and where my creative bent takes me.

I turn them all different directions when I put them back together until I come to a “pattern” of sorts that I like.

Then it’s time to sew them together into a long column.

I will often lay it on top of the “top” of the quilt to make sure my length is sound.  Stick a border on each side, the top and the bottom and voila- THE BACK IS BORN!

Each one is different and they are all fun!


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