Flannel Quilt Tutorial

I’ve never really done a tutorial before and I’m really really not an expert with the sewing machine (yet!), but, just in case you, too, would like to cozy up, impress your friends AND bring a tear to mother earth’s eye with your greenness, here’s how I made the Recycled Flannel Quilt of GLORY:quilt


Cutting up:

We will be using the backs of the shirts for our plaid pieces here, so cut along the side seams and around the top yoke to get that nice, big back piece of fabric.  Then, cut each piece into 9 sqares, measuring 6.5″ x 6.5″

Lay out the sheet you’d like to use on your quilt top and cut out 72 small rectangles, measuring 2.5″ x 6.5″ and 10 long strips measuring 60″ x 2.5″. 

So now you have:

Laying out:

Okay, now it’s time to lay out your pieces how you want them. The quilt will be seven plaid squares X 9 plaid squares, lay out your squares in a pattern that you like, then lay your small rectangles between them.  You will have 9 strips that look like this:

Sewing up:

Now, sew each strip together about 1/4″ in from the edge.  Some flannel has an obvious “right side” and “wrong side”, and some is the same on both sides, so watch for that and make sure that you’re always sewing right sides together, if applicable. 

Once you’ve sewn your strips, iron out all your seams.  You will hate this, but it really has to be done.  Either iron them flat or toward the darker fabric. 

You are almost done, can you believe it?

To finish your top, sew these strips together, sewing one long rectangle of flannel sheet fabric between each row of plaid squares and at the top and bottom, so your first two rows will look like this:

Once you’ve sewn your strips all together….well, you’re gonna have to iron the seams down again.  THEN, walk around your house and show it to everyone there, and then take a picture of it to send to your mom and enjoy everyone’s praise for a while because you are now in the home stretch!

Make a sandwich:

Okay, find or make some floor space and lay down your backing sheet, right side UP (if you’ve got a right side–mine didn’t).  Then, lay your newly pressed quilt top over the sheet right side DOWN.  THEN, lay your batting down over the quilt top and pin all around, making sure you’re pinning through all 3 layers.  Your quilt top will be smaller than your batting and sheet, but don’t worry!! After you pin it together, trim the batting and the sheet to the size of your quilt top.   And now, my friends, you are ready to sew it all together. 

Finishing up:

Sew all around the four sides of your quilt with a 1/4″ seam, stopping about 10″ before you’re finished, so that you can turn it rightside out.  Trim the corners diagonally, as close to the seam as you dare so that they are nice and pointy when your turn it.  Flip your quilt rightside out, lay it flat and iron around the edges. 

Hand stitch the hole you left and then go back to your machine and top stitch about 1″ in from the side, just to make it lay nice and flat and look finished. 

Decide where you want to put your ties.  I put a tie at each intersection of the white sheet, but you might want to put one in the middle of each square, or at each corner.  The choice is yours, crafter.  Once you’ve made your decision, calculate how many ties you’ll need to cut.  Feel free to use a calculator–I’m not here to judge you.  Each tie should be about 6″ long.

Put in a movie–this part is tedious and brainless.

Lay your quilt right side up to sew in the ties.  Thread your needle with a piece of embroidery floss and run it down through all three layers of your quilt, leaving about a 3″ tail, then come back up again very close to the point of entry.  I repeat this once, for extra security.  Then tie your ends together in a square knot. 

And you’re done!



19 Responses to “Flannel Quilt Tutorial”

  1. 1 Claudia March 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

    What a pity, my husband doesn’t wear any flannel shirts! I must think about buying him some, may he want them or not! Your quilt is such a beauty. Love it. Greetings from Germany

  2. 2 hasenfefferinc March 9, 2010 at 11:39 am

    My husband doesn’t wear flannel either, so I bought my shirts and sheets from the thrift store for $2 each. I still have plenty of fabric left over to make some pillows, too!

  3. 3 The Tiny Homestead March 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    love it! I bet it’s so cozy to snuggle up with.

  4. 4 tara March 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    wow, can’t wait to go thrifting and try this!

    thanks for the tutorial.

  5. 5 chrissevett March 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    We have a good supply of flannel at our local WalMart 1.00 per yard. to fill in where you cant get to the shirts.

  6. 6 Farrah September 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hi! I’m going to use your tutorial to make a quilt from the flannel swaddling blankets that I don’t need anymore but am too sentimental to throw away. (-: Do you mind telling me the finished dimensions of your quilt? I was debating piecing together a backing from some new flannel. Thank you for the great post!

  7. 7 hasenfefferinc October 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hi! I’ve also thought about using swaddling blankets–I’ve also got quite a few left over 🙂 My quilt is approximately 5 feet by 3.5 feet. It seems to get softer and snugglier after every wash–hope you enjoy!

  8. 8 MJ March 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Love the pattern! I just received 11nice used flannel shirts. I’m making THIS one for sure.

  9. 9 Doulci Download August 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

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  11. 11 Kim Walters March 17, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Going to try after my trip to salvation army store get me some flannel n sheets. Thanks for idea.

  12. 12 Anne June 19, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I have been asked to make my grandson a quilt to take to boarding school. This looks nice and snuggly. What a great idea.

  13. 13 Rosie July 24, 2015 at 7:15 am

    My brother-in-law passed away last month. I plan on making the quilt for his son out of some of his old hunting shirts. Problem is that I only have three. (I didn’t get the idea until my sister had already given most of his clothes away.). do you think that I should supplement the shirt fabrics which are plaid with some solids? My quilt will probably be a lap-size quilt.

  14. 14 Bett December 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Hi, I never worked with flannel but from what I hear it is had to work with because it stretches If I am using new flannel material do I have to wash it several times before I sew? I appreciate your input. There are so many nice flannel materials but I am reluctant to buy it.

  15. 15 Wanita Curtis March 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I don’t have flannel shirts, but I am going to try this with some cotton material and I think it will still be ok !! It would make it easier for me because I have to make 7 of them for my great grand children for Xmas!!

  16. 16 Beth Cassel August 19, 2016 at 7:25 am

    in answer to Rosie… there is more to the shirts than just the backs… maybe make the blocks a little smaller and then you can get some squares from the sleeves and the front of the shirt too… the front pockets are also fun to include in a quilt… I hope yours turns out great..

  17. 17 Women's workout porgrams February 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm

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  18. 18 susie q March 22, 2018 at 8:00 am

    thanks very much! I need easy tutorials and this one fits the bill! I may try stitching in the ditch instead of using floss. Of course gonna hit goodwill for flannel shirts! It seems as though I should stick to crocheting as a hobby as quilting is quite expensive. lol thanks again!:)

  1. 1 Crafty Weekend: Flannel « My Heritage Fabrics's Blog Trackback on July 23, 2010 at 8:18 am

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