How to Start Assembling the Quilt Top – T-Shirt Quilt Series Week 4

**Check out this post for the series overview and printable checklist!**

By now, you have your t-shirts cut and stabilize, your layout finalized, and your blocks trimmed to the exact size you need.    

Time to *finally* start sewing!

This week we’re going to start sewing the t-shirt blocks into rows.  Next week we’ll sew those rows together and finish the top.

Quick Note: You’ll be using a 1/4″ seam allowance for all of your sewing this week and next. If you’re new to quilting, here’s a great tutorial for how to get a consistent 1/4″ seam.


Simple Patchwork

There are lots of wonderfully done tutorials (like this one) out there for how to sew up a patchwork quilt, so I’m not going to make you read through a ton of directions here, too. Quite simply, this week for your patchwork t-shirt quilt top, you’ll be sewing you blocks into their rows. Make sure to use a consistent 1/4″ seam allowance as mentioned above. Once you have your rows, press the seam allowances to get ready to finish assembling the top next week. You want to alternate the direction you press the seams row by row. I added arrows below to give you a visual.

Then that’s all for this week! Next week we’ll talk about techniques for sewing the rows together and finishing your top.


Uneven Rows or Columns

If all of your blocks are the same width, following the patchwork directions above to sew your blocks into rows using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Because all of your blocks are the same width, you’ll want to alternate the direction you press the seams row by row. This will give you nice “points” where your blocks come together next week. I added arrows below to give you a visual.

One nice thing about this layout is that all of your blocks don’t have to actually be the same width. As long as all of the blocks in your rows are the same height, you can sew as many different widths together as you need to end up with equal rows. This gives you the opportunity to use a wide variety of logo sizes!

Quick Note: You can also flip this layout on its side and have blocks that are all the same width within their respective rows, but varying heights instead.

For this layout, you still start by sewing your blocks into rows using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Lay the rows down in order after you sew them to see where you seams will line up. If you discover that, like in the picture below, you don’t have seams lining up directly with the seams in the rows directly above or below, you don’t need to worry about which way you press your seams! You can always change around what order your rows are laid out in to avoid having seams match up.

Once your blocks are sewn into rows and pressed, that’s all for this week! Next week we’ll talk about techniques for sewing the rows together and finishing your top.


Pieced Patchwork

A pieced patchwork top will take a little bit more time, but the variety in layouts guarantees you a unique quilt! This week, start by assembling your smaller pieces into their larger blocks (the circled sections in the image below). Follow up by measuring and trimming as needed to get to your final block size. Make sure to press these blocks well before trimming for an accurate measure. 

Once you have your smaller pieces sewn together, sew your blocks into rows. Finally, you can press your seams alternating directions or you can press them open if they feel too bulky where the blocks meet.

Here’s a quick video of how I sew my blocks into rows!

I’m happy to answer questions about sewing your t-shirt quilt top, just send me an email or comment below!

Next Post >> Week 5 -Quilt Top Assembly Part 2


Together we can find more ways to reclaim fabric
and breathe meaning, joy, and life into our sewing.


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3 thoughts on “How to Start Assembling the Quilt Top – T-Shirt Quilt Series Week 4

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