T-shirt Quilt

Our youngest son will be leaving for college very soon. I have offered many times to make a quilt for his dorm room bed and he has declined every time. I was okay with that even though I have been saving his t-shirts since he was 10 years old to make him a quilt. While going through his clothes to see what was needed for school, he was sad that many of his favorite shirts were too small and decided that he did want a t-shirt quilt after all! Of course that meant that I had to put everything on hold (sorry 3 fabric bargello) and get busy!



I quickly cut them up and ironed on a lightweight stabilizer.

His dorm bed is a twin XL so luckily it’s not a large quilt. I had to make a trip to my LQS because he couldn’t find anything in my stash that he liked for the sashing and borders. Before sewing on sashing, I like to arrange the squares on the floor in a pleasing order.


I don’t use a pattern for my t-shirt quilts because I like them to look very random. I cut them into different size squares and use sashing on the sides of each block to make them the size of the largest block in each row. Then I piece them vertically instead of horizontally with sashing between each block. I use color coded sticky dots to number my rows and blocks so if they get out of order, I can quickly figure out where they go. Sometimes I get lazy with this step and just take a pic with my cell phone of the layout before piecing.


After sewing, I press the seams open because they can get a little bulky with the t-shirts and stabilizer.

I got a little emotional cutting up some of his shirts because it hit me that he is leaving and we will be empty nesters in the very near future. I have been a homeschool mom for 12 years and I am excited to see the plans that God has for his future but sad that he is leaving. He will be attending college out of state and will be about 5 1/2 hours away from home.


Below is a pic of my progress so far. I still have to sew on the final borders, quilt and bind it. We leave in one week to take him to school and I also have to get him packed and organized during the week as well. I will update with a pic when finished…




Memory Quilts

I love making memory quilts (quilts from clothing of deceased loved ones). I usually spend my time praying and reflecting on the life of the lost loved one while sewing. We recently lost my husband’s step father and it has devastated my mother-in-law. They were married for 39 years so I can’t imagine the loss she is feeling right now. I made a memory quilt out of my father in law’s shirts and I’m going to give it to her for her birthday.


When making memory quilts I don’t like to use any fabric on the top except the loved ones clothing if possible. I think this is important to me because that was the request of the first one I ever made. My friend asked me to simply cut squares out of her mom’s shirts and sew them together. I like to keep them simple so the clothing is the main focus, not the design or the quilting. There have been several exceptions to this, one time I embroidered each square of a quilt with Winnie the Pooh characters to match an article of clothing for a child’s memory quilt. Sometimes people only have one or two articles of clothing so I have to add other fabric but I always make sure they choose it. If they want a pattern I try to lead them to a pattern with large blocks to get the most out of the clothing being used. I’ve also had requests to print pictures of loved ones onto fabric and add them into the quilt which I love to do. Although I enjoy making flashy, fun and whimsical quilts I also love the simplicity of a memory quilt!





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