Friday, June 12, 2015

Making A Memory-Quilt That Is!

One of my missions in life is to make the things that I and other family members have saved over the years useful as often as possible. If I cannot do that, then I try to create some kind of display that I know will be appreciated. My late husband's flag is in a decorative case on my son's wall. I am slowly taking the very best of our travel photos over the years and making a single digital travel album for my son, with one or two pages for each country or trip. As I've shared before, I am slowly working on taking all of those piles of family recipes and actually turning them into a memory book or recipe album.

One of the things both my kids are great at is saving those special, fun, and funky T-shirts over the years. Even when they no longer fit, and even if they have rips or stains.  A few years ago, I made a quilt out of T-shirts for my son.  I'm now on the move to create the same thing for my thirty-something daughter.

Shirts and fabric after cutting

Making a quilt or blanket project out of shirts or clothing is not difficult. It only requires the simplest cutting and basic sewing skills. Rather than being quilted, these memories can even be "tied" depending on the size. In addition of course, there are those who make memory quilts professionally.

Quirky tastes in T-shirts, yes?

The difficult part of making a T-shirt memory quilt is figuring the math requirements, and math is not my strong suit. You see, often the shirts are collected over many years, meaning various clothing sizes. Add that to the fact that the written portion on the shirts vary in size and you end up with many different cut  of many different sizes. In my daughter's case, the smallest square is six inches, and the others range from rectangles to larger squares.

And more of the same!

For my son's quilt, he wanted an even quilt with large amounts of fabric between the squares-so everything cut from his shirts were squares of various sizes and then encircled in fabric so that every large square was the same size. This one is not quite so simple. My daughter would prefer less fabric between the squares, and as I mentioned, the cut pieces are all of different sizes. The quilt below, an example from a T-shirt class from my local quilt shop is a good example. In fact, I plan to take this class, in the hopes that it will help me with my math.

My Inspiration!

I have tentatively already done a grid with what squares will go where, and put how much fabric I need on each side of each square. I'll be starting this this weekend, and have some pictures of results as I sew along the week.

In other sewing and crafting news I've been working on patriotic. decorations for the house, including coasters, candle mats and some place mats and napkins.

I'm also tentatively headed to the annual Renaissance Faire - where I walk, eat turkey legs, enjoy medieval humor and entertainment, and purchase the beautiful blown glass items that I have shared on my blog. Sunday is supposed to be a normal, Colorado style rainless day with lots of sun.  We can only hope! 


  1. Ooooo, I love the place mats and decorations you are making. So very pretty.

    Good luck with the quilt. I am not good at the maths for quilt making either. Perhaps that is why I put things off for as long as possible and stick to very simple patterns.

    God bless.

  2. A quilt made out of old T-shirts . . . fantastic idea!


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