An Easy Project for a Favorite Tee Shirt–Skip the Quilt Commitment and Make a Pillow

Tee shirt quilts are popular projects.   I see a lot of them at the monthly sewing meet-up I host at the Scrap Exchange in Durham (NC).

But like any quilt, these projects require weeks, even months (years??) of time.

Not for my style.


Instead, here’s a vintage tee I’m turning into a quick and easy project–a dorm pillow for a musical, college-bound, young man.

I started with a simple idea: Tee front on pillow front, woven cloth back. But the old tee looked ratty. I decided to cut out the good parts.

Next I appliqued my tee art to a sturdy piece of cotton chambray (my pillow front). I did this by tacking it with quilting spray and pins, then sewing parallel lines of stitching.


Using the presser foot as my seam guide keeps the stitching lines straight (enough).

The vintage yellow and blue metal zippers were an afterthought.  I liked the color and the industrial look they added.  Because these zippers were heavy, I added a canvas backing to my chambray for extra support.  Again, I used quilters spray to anchor the two layers and then stitched the zippers down.


The stamped metal guitar pick is a fun touch.  It came from a local crafter who offers classes and is a great way to personalize.

Since it always works best if the fabrics you’re joining  are of equal weight, I underlined the pillow back with canvas, too.


A real working zipper goes at the bottom.  Three more seams and I’m done.


What do you think?

How could you modify this approach and make it your own?


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