Monday, June 20, 2011

save them

I was a little intimidated to do the cutting, so Betsy did it.
My friend, Betsy, had saved all of her daughters t-shirts from all of her theater performances over the years, with hopes to one day do something with them.
That something ended up being a quilt.
The shirts were cut into 15" x 15" squares. (That really is a big job! Thank you, Betsy!) I then surged them together. Then, layered the batting, backing and top together. Sewed them together and then turned right sides out.
I didn't do a binding, just added a 4" border and stitched right along the edge. Used DMC Floss, making a little knot in each corner in order to keep the batting from bunching.
We used a whimsical fabric for the backing which we thought was fun.
And off sweet Caroline will go to college taking her memories with her.

37 comments:

sapphireblue said...

That's just genious.

3 M's and 1 N said...

that's a great idea :) I've heard of doing this sort of blanket with favorite baby clothes (like all those adorable onesies we end up with bambinos).... never thought to do it on this large of a scale.
Thanks for sharing!

Kristyn Knits said...

I've already been saving favorite t-shirts for just this idea! I can't wait to have enough to put together a memory quilt! your tips and tricks will come in handy. you're such a wonderful friend to sew this up for another.

Stadtwaldvogel said...

What a lovely idea!

Alittlebitsheepish said...

It looks wonderful

Mousy Brown said...

I had suggested this to my 9 year old, who is determined he want to make a quilt himself this summer - so it is great to see it works! I dont think ours will be as even as yours as we are going to use t-shirts he has loved and some are quite small - I did think that maybe we would set a square of tshirt into cotton and then make each of those squares the same size to join together....anyway loving your T shirt quilt and the thought behind it! :D

Victoria said...

What an amazing idea. Fantastic. x

Gretchen said...

My sister and I both made t-shirt quilts with my grandma. It was a great experience and a great memory now that she's gone.

aracne said...

Very clever, a great idea. The quilt will be a sweet memeory for all her life.

michelle said...

You are AMAZING!!!
This made me want to cry - thinking about Caroline, and how unbelievably generous (of time, spirit, interest, I could go on all day here....) you are, and of Betsy saving up those performance tees all those years and now symbolically putting that huge chapter aside in the form of a quilt, in order to honor the past, but ready to embark on a crisp new chapter.
xox M
ps maybe you should start thinking about a sporty one for Charlie- all those team tees!!

Suzanne said...

I love it and the batik back! I made a similar style quilt for a friend with her race Ts. The blocks were 15x15 too. It was a mammoth sized quilt and weighty too. I fused a tricot interfacing to my Ts before cutting and sewing. It gave the Ts some stability and kept them from stretching all out of whack.

Caroline is lucky to be able to wrap herself up in her memories and have a great conversation starter with new friends.

From All Stitched Up said...

What a great friend you are. I'm sure you had fun making this quilt. Just the kind of project I like.

stitching under oaks said...

that's a great off to college gift! love that they are all theater shirts...I imagine ours will all be basketball shirts.

Anonymous said...

Leslie~the quilt is incredible and Caroline is totally in love with it!
I LOVE that when i come to you with a crafty idea (and no skills to back it up...) that you are so willing to make it happen, so generous with your time and many gifts to help me give her such a treasure~
I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful friend!
Is it terrible that I secretly hope she leaves it here with me in september???

Ajeng Sitoresmi said...

like it sooo much :D

seashoreknits said...

well, that is just something.
a marvelous idea to preserve memories
a wonderful collaboration of friends
and one very lucky girl

thanks for the tips, leslie - it looks like a beautiful job!

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Wow, what a great gift!

Nantucket Dreams said...

What a wonderful idea Leslie! I love that! You can do that with travel vacation ts too...sports teams...spectacular!

Donalacasa said...

Great blog. That was an idea I had for my son's favorite vacation Bible school T-shirts. Thanks for posting a photo so I can actually see what the finished product will look like.

Blessings!

Jujudo said...

What a lovely quilt full of memories!

micha said...

How cool is that! Really a great idea!

ColorSlut said...

GREAT IDEA!!!

Sara said...

Love it! I'm saving for that college quilt too. So great to see one. You guys did a great job!

Dorothy said...

I've already been saving my youngest son's favorite t-shirts to make a quilt for him. Someone else is saving all of her kids' school t-shirts for the same thing. I think it's a GREAT memento for kids!

Ellen said...

A neat idea. A friend made one as a silent charity donation for a school in the area. She used all the school's t-shirts from past years and then had it quilted.

willfulmina said...

I've always wanted to make a quilt like that! Thanks for the how-to.

the treat girl said...

How terrific is that!!!!! I've had that same project in mind for years now....just haven't gotten around to it....thanks for the inspriration.

knittingknirvana said...

Love it! I've been wanting to do this with my old college t-shirts. Thanks for showing me how! :)

house on hill road said...

it turned out fantastic, leslie!

Sara said...

I recently convinced my husband to stop wearing certain shirts that are worn out. He was only able to part with his beloved shirts because I told him I would make a quilt out of them! Even though I had no idea how to proceed! I do not have a surger on my sewing machine, how do you suggest I piece them together?

Lyn said...

What a great idea!!!!

Anonymous said...

Totally cool.

Ursula

Leslie said...

So great! My mother and MIL made quilts for each of my kids as graduation gifts. They are so special!

Jerri Neddermeyer said...

This is great! My hubby has a bunch of old tshirts that he just won't part with for sentimental reasons....maybe I could sell him on this idea? Did u have to use a stabilizer to get the tshirt fabric to behave while sewing?

Linda said...

Thank you! I have all the shirts saved from my son's summers at camp - he loves them all and this is just the thing to do with them now that he's off to college.

Amy S. said...

Beautiful and inspirational!

I've just been sorting through beloved baby clothes that can't be passed on because of one tiny stain somewhere. I was thinking about cutting them in squares. This one is beautiful!!!!

Peggy Miller said...

I dont' know if you care, but you don't "surge" things together, you serge them, I think. And, honestly, after typing that (after a couple of glasses of wine) I'm hoping I'm correct! :)