My T-shirt Quilt

Hey Friends and Family!

Today’s post is really exciting because I get to debut my T-SHIRT QUILT!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT soooooooo much!!

For those of you who’ve been to college or are in college, you know that you get a ton of free t-shirts. Well, mine had been taking up quite a bit of room in my suitcases (as I’ve been moving a lot in the last couple of months), so I decided to consolidate. I kept the ones I actually wear, donated the ones I don’t like, and used the rest to make a t-shirt quilt.

There are companies that make your t-shirts into a quilt for you (for ~100-200 dollars) but I have a very crafty grandmother who I commissioned to do it for me (with my help, of course).

Disclaimer from my grandmother: “Don’t tell anyone I made you this quilt, because I am NOT doing it again.” Haha, thanks grandma. I guess it was quite a long process.

I won’t go into the tedious details of the quilt making process, but here’s an overview.

  1. Pick the t-shirts you want to use and decide what size quilt you want to make. Mine is 5 t-shirts across by 5 t-shirts down.
  2. Cut your t-shirts to size. I chose 15x15cm so that I could encompass the full design of each t-shirt.
  3. Add a backing/stabilizer to each t-shirt square (this has a purpose, I swear).
  4. Sew the t-shirts squares together to make a quilt-looking-thing. I chose to place mine in a semi-checker pattern with whites and colored shirts.
  5. Let your grandmother do the rest because quilting is hard.

Voila, you have a t-shirt quilt!

A quilt is different than a blanket. This concept took me a long time to grasp. According to the dictionary, a quilt is “a coverlet for a bed, made of two layers of fabric with some soft substance, as wool or down, between them and stitched in patterns or tufted through all thicknesses in order to prevent the filling from shifting”. The “stitched in patterns… through all thicknesses” is the part I was really worried about. I didn’t want the stitching to ruin or distract from the design of each t-shirt. Luckily, my grandmother knows an amazing woman, Gail Anne, who can do custom quilting, aka, instead of using the same pattern of stitching throughout the quilt, she changes it up based on the design of the t-shirt.

These are examples of normal quilt design (basically a pattern that is repeated over the entire quilt):

My quilt doesn’t have a standard quilting pattern, as I said, the stitching is based on the design of the t-shirt. As you can see below, each square is different. (p.s. these aren’t my favorite squares, each one is my favorite, I just chose these to show the unique stitching patterns Gail Anne did).

She even quilted my name and graduation year into the quilt!

For me, the most important part of my quilt is the memories I have associated with each t-shirt. I remember when and where I got each t-shirt, what it was for, who I was with when I got it, etc. And now, I remember the countless time I spent with my grandmother putting the quilt together.

Thank you so much, Grandma, what an incredible gift! I love how unique my quilt is and how much effort we put into it. I’m so glad we didn’t just send my t-shirts to a company because it turned out way better than a company could have ever done!

If you are at all interested in the origins of each t-shirt, here’s a quick explanation:

Top row (left to right): Senior Walk at our last football game; Homecoming blood-drive 2012; service day; Canefest 2012; Sophomore year Sportsfest (Mahoney Suns!)

Second row (left to right): Canes basketball game; School of Comm Orientation shirt from Freshman year; #ATTHERAT (self explanatory); the front of the Senior Walk shirt (old-school M); the first UM shirt I got! It’s from Cracker Barrel from the first time I toured UM while in high school.

Third row (left to right): Junior year Sportsfest (UV Shuttles!); Freshman year Sportsfest (R.I.L.Fs!); Corinne gave me this shirt (bought from the bookstore); Give Tanks from Homecoming (I’m pretty sure); front of Junior year Sportsfest shirt

Fourth row (left to right): another service event; Game Day shirt 2010; Homecoming blood drive; Game Day shirt 2012; Canefest 2010

Bottom row (left to right): Game Day shirt 2013; Orientation shirt; Homecoming shirt (Power Rangers!); Front of basketball shirt; Hurricanes help the hometown

I hope you’re having an amazing holiday season and spending lots of time with loved ones!

Do you have a t-shirt quilt? What was the process like to make it? Let me know in the comments!


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