There’s something about summer that just says tie-dye and picnics to me. Since I’ve discovered how fun tie-dyeing can be, I’ve become addicted. I thought I’d combine the two to make a DIY tie-dyed t-shirt quilt picnic blanket that’s perfect for summer picnics and absolutely perfect for a 4th of July picnic or for watching fireworks.
Tie-Dyed T-Shirt Quilt Picnic Blanket
Last summer I tried tie-dying for the first time and I was immediately hooked. I’ve made several different tie-dyed projects since then, but this picnic blanket may be my favorite so far.
If you don’t have the time to make your own t-shirt quilt, you can have one made for you from your own t-shirts. Project Repat makes quilts right here in the USA from the t-shirts you supply.
Tie-Dye Kit – thanks to Tulip for my kit – I prefer using a tie-dye kit because it contains everything I need for a project.
Cotton t-shirts – You can use old white t-shirts or purchase new shirts. I recommend using men’s size large or larger. The larger the shirt, the larger the square you can get for your quilt and the less sewing you have to do.
Iron-on Lightweight Interfacing – you need this to stabilize the t-shirt material. Without the interfacing, the t-shirt material will stretch as you sew it, making your quilt wonky, buckled and not square.
Backing fabric or bed sheet – I purchased a soft, inexpensive fabric for my quilt back, but you can also use a flat bed sheet in the size you’d like your finished quilt to be (minus the side seams).
Tie-dye your t-shirts according to the directions in the kit and check out my 10 Tie-Dye Tips from Our First Time Tie-Dyeing. I used 6 t-shirts, but you may need more or less depending on the size of your t-shirts and the desired size of your quilt.
Cut the t-shirt front and backs out. Cut them a bit larger than your desired size. I cut the squares as large as I could so I had less sewing to do. My finished squares came out to 14 1/4 by 19 inches (so the squares before sewing were 15 1/4 by 20 inches).
Iron the interfacing to the t-shirt squares following the directions on the package.
Cut the t-shirt squares to the desired size. I then cut sashing pieces approximately 3 1/2 inches wide (with 1/2 inch seams, the finished width of the sashing piece is 2 1/2 inches). The sashing pieces helps stabilize the t-shirt material and keep it square over time. I sewed the quilt back to the finished top of the quilt and chose not to add any batting to the quilt since I plan to use it as a picnic blanket. If you want to use the t-shirt quilt for warmth, you’d want to add quilt batting.
The tie-dye makes such cheerful and interesting quilt blocks.
The t-shirt material is so soft and flexible, …
… which makes it perfect for a picnic or beach blanket.
I’m so in love with this tie-dyed t-shirt quilt picnic blanket that I’ve already started planning the next one I want to make. It’s a great project to make with older children and results in a memory making picnic blanket for your family to share for years to come.
More amazing 4th of July ideas from my friends:
- Homemade bug spray, which is much needed for 4th of July celebrations, from Andrea at Homemade for Elle
- The Essential Guide to a Stree-Free 4th of July Picnic from Corinne at Wondermom Wannabe.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.