Saturday, December 7, 2013



In this post I will share a few of the several tshirt quilts I've done in my brief career as a quilter.  I've come to love doing them because they seem to bring such joy to the recipients.  Each person is so pleased to have special memories of happy times captured in a warm, comfy quilt.

Keith's Quilt is one of the first commissions I took.  Keith and his wife Donna were colleagues of mine in the local school district for many years.  His shirts chronicle his undergrad years, his coaching years, and special events during his years as a school administrator. 

A few of the shirts had only a screen print on the chest pocket area, so I incorporated a column for them in the center of the quilt.  Sashing for Keith's quilt was done in black Panther Paw print, while the backing was a deep royal blue geometric print.  I did the quilting on my Viking Topaz 30 with royal blue meanders.  I am pretty sure he was happy with it because his wife has commissioned me to do one for their son now!

Here is my daughter Cathleen's quilt.  It chronicles her high school and college years.  This on was a bit of a challenge because I failed to tell her NOT to cut the shirts apart before bringing them to me.  As a result, I began with a hodgepodge of sizes and shapes!  Cathleen did the layout through her artistic eyes and I must say, it does make for a very visually interesting quilt...  but piecing it was a real bugger!  Cathleen did a good bit of the piecing herself.

Sashing was done with a mustard polka dot; the border is black chevron.  We backed it with gray chevron and quilted it on my Topaz with a gray meander.  This was definitely not one of my favorite tshirt quilts because I desire symmetry and order, but it was right up my daughter's eclectic alley!

This is my most recent finish, a commission done in trade for a photo session for our soon-to-arrive first grandchild, Baby Jack.  The tshirts are Ansleigh's; her husband David is a very talented photographer. 

Ansleigh's memory tshirts included several supporting precious little Creed, who lost his battle with cancer, along with some from her high school years, her undergrad years, her bachelorette party weekend and some post-high school softball playing days.

Ansleigh selected a black and white color scheme for sashing and backing.  The sashing is polka dots while the back is a gorgeous black and white damask.  Quilting was done with black Aurifil on my new Viking Platinum 16 midarm.

One word of caution if you plan to try a tshirt quilt:  be sure to stabilize the shirts prior to cutting them into squares.  My lesson learned on Cathleen's quilt was related....  because I failed to ask her to bring the shirts to me intact, she "gave me a head start" by cutting out designs from her shirts. We were thus left with very little surrounding fabric. Getting those pieces stabilized without having an adhesive-covered ironing board was a real challenge.  But hey, this blog is about lessons learned, so there ya go!