The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

The T-shirt Quilt

on May 14, 2014

Sometimes my son’s hoarding tendencies work in my favor. Over a year ago, he gave me the t-shirts he didn’t wear or had outgrown.  They were in the Goodwill pile and I either saw something on Pinterest (this will probably be on my tombstone) or someone mentioned it on Facebook.  Suddenly I realized I HAD to make one for my son.

It was more than just a bunch of old t-shirts.  When Austin was going into the 6th grade, he went to his first summer camp with our church.  He was changed.  He had a spark lit in him that hasn’t diminished to this day.  He saw the counselors and leaders were high school/college age kids and he made it his life’s goal to become one of them one day.  Before all that happened, he loved every camp, day camp, etc. he went to with our church.  And then when the time came, he became a leader.  In fact, tonight he’s filling out another summer leadership application for his 5th year in a row.

So in January I finally got started.  I had to take advantage of the times he wasn’t home and that wasn’t easy.  He’s still homeschooled, but he does half the day at home and half the day at pre-engineering classes.  Thus began covert quilting.  This meant I had about 2.5 hours a day to work.  Which led to hiding all (and I do mean all, he’s a quick one) evidences of sewing.  I don’t have a sewing room so I took everything out then hid it back when I was done.  I put all the fabric scraps in grocery bags and took that to the outside garbage.  I set up and took down the ironing board, cutting mat, sewing machine, etc. daily.  Crazy times my friends, crazy times.

There was a banquet at church for the seniors last week and we thought that would be the perfect time for him to open the quilt.  Most of it had to do with church any way.

IMG_0807 copy

His first question when he realized what it was, “When did have the time to make this?”  I explained my covert ops to him and he said he was truly surprised.  I rarely surprise him so this was extra sweet.  I explained that I made the top, sent it out to be quilted and then did the binding myself.  And the thread I used to sew the binding belonged to his beloved Nana who now lives in heaven.  He did get choked up at that part, as we all did.

I think he likes it.  He relived all the memories with each shirt with us.  He had a couple of friends come over after the banquet and the first thing he did when they got here was to show them the quilt and explain it to them.  And he hasn’t let it touch the floor since.

It was a wild work of love and I thank God for the memories the quilt represents.

Here are a few links I used

A video that showed me the best technique for fusing the interfacing to the t-shirts.  This was the only one that made sense to me.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE3jqR2N4KA

The easiest way ever to do a binding.  http://www.made-by-rae.com/2010/10/rae-pretends-she-can-quilt-and-shares-a-quick-quilting-tutorial/

This is where I took it to be quilted.  Terri has a much shorter turnaround time than the shops in town and her prices can’t be beat.  I will never use anyone else. She also does mail orders!  http://salmoncreekquilting.com/

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2 responses to “The T-shirt Quilt

  1. Cheri: For some reason, I haven’t read your blog in ages and ages, and all of a sudden your son is 18! How did that happen! I love your quilt, and your effort at covertly making it. As you may know, I do quilting, too, usually making them for someone else. Never have made a t-shirt quilt. It obviously was special to your son, though! Great job, Mom.
    If you’re interested, I’ve posted photos of quilts I’ve made over the last 12 years or so on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/harriet.purkey/media_set?set=a.1199240895256.2029172.1055533442&type=3&uploaded=3
    Harriet Purkey

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