Saturday, June 11, 2011

T-shirt Quilt Time Again

It is time to get back to the t-shirt quilt for my recently graduated son. He is our third child to graduate from my Alma Mater and our fourth child is currently enrolled there. Our graduate, pictured here, was just hired last week by the admissions office of said school to work in recruiting. He will be great--he is such a people person and has worked in new student orientation since coming to college, so he knows all about the school and all about talking to groups of people about it.

This is definitely the largest quilt I have ever made. It is king-sized and I didn't realize how HUGE that would be. He'll have to get a bigger bed. You can see the blocks along the bottom row have to fold onto the floor, and my design wall is 7 1/2' x 8'. 

There was still a laundry basket full of t-shirts
after I was finished cutting out these blocks!
Since it is big I want to keep the sashing small. I really like the way the plaid sashing gives a uniform place for the eye to rest, but I feel like it needs to be fussy cut in order to keep the check pattern in the narrow sashing consistent. That makes the cutting of the sashing a rather time consuming effort.

I had over 50 t-shirts to choose from when I started this project, from every organization my son participated in during his undergraduate days (he didn't join 50 organizations, they just had alot of t-shirts per group). I ended up using almost 40 of them and most of the blocks are pieced in order to use more t-shirts in the 30 blocks. 

 I took logos from the sleeves, the fronts, and the backs of the shirts.
A 9-patch of sleeve logos.
 Some blocks are created from several t-shirts, others just took one. The blocks that have been made from just one shirt have not been bordered yet, but they will also have a solid navy strip around them. The school colors are navy blue and white, but there are a handful of brightly colored shirts in the mix. I tried to balance their placement, along with the spacing of the light and dark backgrounds. See, I can't just let the chips fall where they may!

Interfacing on the back.
 Pressing thin woven interfacing on the back of each shirt design before cutting it to the desired size, combined with the cotton borders, keeps the blocks stable and easy to piece without stretching. 

I placed a few cornerstones, as you can see in the photo. I was trying to get a feel for whether I liked it better with or without--and I think "with" wins.


Also tonight I pulled out the patriotic fabric to find some for the pillowcase gathering going on over at Brown Quilts. I have been collecting red/white/blue fabrics for a quilt so I thought I would have plenty, but I realize since I was going for a scrappy look, most of it is FQs or scraps. I did find a few pieces from remnants so that I think I can get three made with what I have on hand, but I wondered about the
one really busy, bright fabric. Could you get to sleep with your head resting on that?

Finally, if you haven't been there already, hop on over to Bonnie's post "Australian Homespun Giveaway" and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the Australian mag. with one of her great patterns in it.
"Til next time, from the little mountain valley where the snow in the mountains is melting and flooding is an issue, 
Janet O.


  1. Love the t-shirt quilt!! :-) I'm going to be putting one together of my son's shirts -- 5-K's and camp and some smart-aleck sayings ("Annoying the world one person at a time!" LOL)-- and I love the plaid you've used to set yours up. The cornerstones are perfect! Sam's favorite color was blue! :-)
    Mary Lou

  2. Great T-shirt quilt!!! Congrats on the job!! Our son, who just graduated, also has a job. Thank the Lord.


  3. That is one of the nicest T-shirt quilts I have seen. I really like that you fussy cut the sashings and I vote for corner stones too.

    Thanks for reminding me that I have got to get to the fabric store to get some pillow case fabrics to send.

    Congratulations on the graduate for not only finishing but for landing a job he will love.

    OH! I can't wait to get my hands on that magazine. I have zero luck with drawings so I ordered my own. LOL!

  4. Love it. It is awesome. The best design I have ever seen on a tshirt quilt. Found you blog about a week ago...nice!

  5. That is really a GREAT looking T-shirt quilt! Congrats to you and your grad :D


I love to have your comments and feedback.