Tuesday, June 18, 2013

T-Shirt Quilt: The Beginning

Have you ever had a hard time letting go of something that you just KNEW you weren't going to use anymore? This is me and my college t-shirt collection. If you've spent 4 years at college, especially if you were involved in clubs and organization, then you know what kind of collection I'm talking about.
While cleaning out pre- and post-baby clothes, I was going through the mountains of college shirts in my closet. Some I had already put up in storage, and others were taking up shelf space. Most of them look pretty busted, because they were my go-to shirts for several years. I didn't wear "nice" clothes. Jeans and t-shirts with flip flops were what you could find me in every. single. day.
As much as I love these shirt, they were taking up WAY too much storage room in a house with not enough storage. So I decided it was time to shrink them down a little. I was going to make a quilt!
The pile started with about 35 shirts, all from my 4 years of college.

I hugged each and every one of them as I took them and laid them on the floor. I excitedly filled Hubby's ears with "do you remember..." and "I wore this when...".  My sorority shirts were the hardest to go through.

One of my Winthrop shirts I had gotten as a junior in high school, once I decided I wanted to go there. That shirt...is old.

Other shirts were from random clubs and events that I took part in while I was at Winthrop. So much happens in 4 years. Relay for Life, honor societies, church organizations....so much to do.

I spread them all out, and got sad about cutting them up. I just couldn't do it! Then Hubby reminded me that I still had the MEMORIES of what happened in the shirts, the events, the friends. I knew I wasn't going to wear them, but I was holding on to what the shirts meant to me. After his pep-talk, and a few more pep-talks from my college girlfriends, I realized that they were in fact pieces of cotton.

So I started cutting. I cut the fronts and backs off of each shirt, making sure to leave plenty of room for trimming and seam allowances.

I wanted my quilt to be different than so many of the other t-shirt quilts I've seen, so I made each block a different size. I like the mix of skinny and long blocks to break up the quilt. There are so many colors and fonts too to look it. It's fun to see!

The blocks are sewn together into one HUGE quilt top right now. I chose a piece of super-soft fleece for the back, basted the two together with pins, and I'm now in the process of quilting. Now I see why quilters send large quilts to a professional. A long-arm machine would come in handy right about now, but I'm tackling it a few inches at a time.

I can't wait to be done and have the most well-worn quilt EVER to wrap up in. Or put in my college storage box....we'll see.


  1. I really want to do this - I've saved all my college shirts too with this in mind. My only problem, I don't know how to quilt! Looking forward to seeing your finished product!

  2. I am totally in your shoes! I have a BAJILLION college shirts that I just can't let go of! I need to make a quilt too... unfortunately, I think I misplaced some during my move from my college apartment to my parents' home to my first apartment with my hubby. UGH hopefully my parents have them packed up somewhere!!!

  3. ahh this makes me so sentimental!! alllll those shirts!!! sooo many good times!! I still love our Senior Shirt with the Disney quote that I made! You are welcome! ;)

  4. I didn't know you went to Winthrop - Me too! :) Class of 97. Small world. :)

    I know a lady that will make t-shirt quilts and they are adorable. Great way to preserve the shirts and memories. Looking forward to the final unveiling!


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