Tag Archives: t-shirt quilts

The memory quilt from t-shirts

cutting the t-shirts

cutting the t-shirts

Like all children, my daughter has grown up.  Now, we’re always sorting out closets, deciding what can stay, what should go,  reminiscing all the while.   She came up the idea for me to make a blanket from some of her favourite and well-loved t-shirts.

I’ve made traditional quilts, and crazy quilts from blue jeans, but never worked with knits before.  Joyce’s Sewing Shop on Wortley Road had a beautiful four-way stretch fleece that looked like shearling, so I didn’t worry about stabilizing the blanket.

the layout

the layout

Planning the blanket was a challenge.  The t-shirts and their logos were different sizes. So I approached it by cutting first, planning later.  The logos were cut out with generous borders and to get a sense of how to put them together, I laid them out on the table.  Nothing matched up.  In the end, I decided to make four rows and fill in the spaces with extra t-shirt fabric AND old photos!  I didn’t tell my daughter about the photos.

joining the logos and pictures with strips

joining the logos and pictures with strips

The design was kept to rectangular and square shapes, and because I wasn’t going to be fussy about squaring the corners and a consistent grid, I sewed the top so the selvedges were showing.  I figure after a number of washings, there will be a nice rag look to the borders of each piece.

joining top and back

joining top and back

Because of the thickness of the fleece, I didn’t put a layer in between top and backing.  I finished it by tying it at regular intervals so the blankie could stretch without tearing.  If I’d stabilized it, the folks at Joyce’s could have quilted by machine for me.

And my grown girl loves it!!

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Blame it on Dad

The table in the studio is cleared again.  After a week of sleeping on the scraps from the green fleece sweater, my dear old cat must find a better place to rest.

Up next is the t-shirt quilt project.  I’m really awful at these things.  I spend too much time thinking and planning and postponing.  It was supposed to be a present for last Christmas, so I wonder what the odds are for this year.

I blame the men in my life for all this thinking stuff.  Unlady-like, my dad would say.   But he’s responsible for a good part of the bad habit.  When I was born, he was doing his masters at University of Toronto.  We were surrounded by intellect, living in the heart–or should I say brain–of a major city.  A bit was bound to rub off.

Another man was much more encouraging about the beauty of logic.   Kenneth Thrasher taught grade 10 math.  With a gleam in his eyes,  he introduced me to Euclidean geometry.  I swore I’d died and gone to heaven.  Please, can I have more homework.  He may be responsible for me diving into clothing design rather than into art after graduating high school.  All those pattern drafting tools!!

So, please be understanding.  The t-shirt project must be shaped by intellect as much as fashion.  This takes time.  Theories of relativity have crept into my life, making it challenging to wrestle the ideas into plane geometry.

I’ll blame it on Dad and the other men with whom I’ve shared a love.



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