Tuesday, May 19, 2020

How To Save Memories With A T-Shirt Quilt

Several years ago I worked full time as a manager at a fabrics and crafts store.  I worked there for six years and during those six years I purchased a lot of stuff!  I probably have enough fabric and scrapbooking supplies accumulated to open my own fabric and crafts store.  When I retired, I always planned on using that stuff;  after all, now I had all this "free time" to spend in the craft room.  But of course, the hours I thought I would have to spend in my craft room everyday was more like one or two hours a day.  Between cleaning, gardening, traveling, and home upkeep/remodel projects I really didn't have as much "free time" as I thought I would.

Years went by and I felt so guilty about all these unfinished projects gathering dust in my craft room.  I felt so overwhelmed by it all, that the joy of creating was taken away from me.  I finally realized I felt overwhelmed because the task was too big, and to make it less overwhelming, I just needed to make my goals smaller and more manageable.  At that time I had three quilts that I started but never finished.  I decided to make it my goal that I would finish one quilt per year.  I started with the simplest quilt of them all, and the one I had the most further along:  a T-Shirt Quilt.


Many years ago my daughter gave me all these T-shirts of her husbands.  They are all T-shirts of plays and dances my son-in-law was in when he was in high school and college.  The T-shirts are packed full of memories, some have the date on them.  The fabric on some of the shirts was so old it was fragile;  but once you iron on the interfacing it makes the fabric much stronger and stops it from stretching.


My T-Shirt quilt is a little different from most for it has traditional quilting borders.  Most are just T-shirt blocks connected together like THIS ONE.  That would be the easiest and quickest T-Shirt quilt to make.


I had a lot of T-shirts that had small graphics, so I cut them up to even smaller squares to make one block.  I put this block right in the center since it was so different from all the other blocks.  I love that my children's names are on these blocks.   My son-in-laws name is in the upper left corner and my daughter's name is in the lower right corner.  Isn't that awesome?  What a memory keepsake!



Now if you are a seamstress, you will probably notice how horrible my sewing is.  I will be the first to admit I'm a horrible quilter.  I so much more enjoy the process of designing a quilt than sewing one.  The mathematical precision of quilting drives me crazy.  I often thought I should stop trying to do traditional quilting and just do "Crazy Quilting".  I think that would be more my style.


Regardless of my imperfect sewing, I'm proud of myself for FINALLY completing my project;  and I did it all myself!  I even finished it myself with the "Stitch in the Ditch" method instead of paying a professional several hundred dollars to top stitch it.



If you're interested in making this type of a T-Shirt quilt instead of the standard style of just sewing the T-Shirts together, the most similar instructions I could find was this one HERE.  The pattern on this website would be much easier as it is only one border between the T-Shirts instead of the three borders on on my quilt.





T-Shirt quilts are a great way to preserve memories.  I've been collecting T-Shirts from every place we ever traveled too, and someday I hope to make a travel T-Shirt for myself.  I've also seen people use T-Shirts of sports teams or music concerts.  Oh, the memories you can save on a T-Shirt Quilt!


Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

37 comments:

  1. Amy I love this idea. When my father died his favorite thing was flannel shirts. My mom took all of his shirts to a lady that made a quilt with all of his shirts. I wished I would of known this because I would of love to have some to make me one too. Great inspiration!

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    1. thank you, I do too. That is so sweet that your mom has a quilt of her husbands shirts. A friend of mine made a quilt out of her friend's son's cloths when he tragically died. It was very soothing for her.

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  2. Hi Amy. We have the t-shirts that are awaiting the return to life via a quilt. The project is on our lock down list. Yours looks lovely. Thanks for the inspiration to get it done!

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  3. What a great idea and a great way to preserve all the memories! You are so skilled! I never attempted to sew a quilt! Still need to bring myself to sew some pillow covers from the fabric I recently purchased in Iowa.

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    1. Thank you. Pillow covers are easy, you can do it!

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  4. That is so very cool. I see that he is a Bay Area local with the San Mateo High shirts. Very nice.

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    1. Thanks! Yes he is, but he is a midwestern boy now!

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  5. So many memories saved in such a useful cozy way!

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  6. Looks great, I like it! I've seen a company online that will do this for you if you can't sew. Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 12, open May 1 to 26. All party entries shared if social media buttons installed.

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    1. Thanks Dee! That would be a great business to get into. I'm sure it's expensive though.

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    2. A large throw is $150 but they have various sizes.

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    3. Wow! That's a great price.

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  7. Wow! This looks awesome! I'm impressed!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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  8. Good for you for finishing this quilt. I know your SIL and daughter will love it. I've made a couple of t-shirt quilts, both w/o the boarders around them.

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    1. Thanks Kim, if I made another T-shirt quilt it would just be one simple border around each square and that's it.

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  9. What a beautiful idea, Amy! I've seen T-shirt quilts before that friends have made and they hold such neat memories. I love that you were able to take the small print and make a single block out of them and that they have your daughter and son-in-law's names on them! This will definitely be something they can cherish and pass on to the little ones later, when they're old enough to appreciate it.

    Ruth
    https://voguefauxreal.com/2020/05/19

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  10. This is a fun idea to keep some old tees, how nice there are so many fun memories attached to it! :) I'm not crafty at all but my aunt made some really cute little quilts for the boys when they were little - we still have them!

    Hope you are having a good week :) It's a bit cold here - winter has arrived a week early!

    Away From Blue

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  11. que chulo, es una idea muy original, sin duda

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  12. WOW! great idea to keep your memories safe and close :)

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  13. Oh thats like it could be kind of a fun job. And what a good idea! Such a great way to hold on to ones memories and keep old clothes out of the land fill!

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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    1. The beginning of making the quilt was fun, but the finishing process was touch. And yes, it's a great way to reduce/reuse too!

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  14. Looks amazing darling Great work xoxo Cris
    http://www.photosbycris.com.au/?p=6040

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  15. This is all amazing! I love how you save these shirts for memories!

    xoxo
    Lovely

    http://mynameislovely.com

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    1. Thanks! My son-in-law and daughter saved them. They thought ahead.

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  16. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing with Encouraging Hearts and Home! Pinned. Please come visit us again, we appreciate it. Have a great day.

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