The Perfect Recipient
My sister asked me to make a quilt out of her Texas Rangers T-shirts, for her grandson. The only thing I knew about T-shirt quilts is that they are hard to make, since the T-shirt material is knitted instead of woven, and tends to move around a lot. But they are special people, and so I agreed. (Also she promised me pumpkin cookies.)
When they were here for a visit this summer, I pulled out four fabrics and asked my great-nephew to show me his favorite, second favorite, etc. That way I knew what fabric to use for the filler strips on the front, and which one to use for the back.
Normally I am a trial-and-error type of quilter, but this time I had the foresight to take a Craftsy class, The Ultimate T-shirt Quilt, by Winnie Fleming, and I picked up tips there that made the process easier. It was very heavy to quilt on a domestic sewing machine, and I will probably never do it again, but I know it came out as well as it did because I learned so much from that class.
So here is the finished quilt:
I took 3 small pieces and arranged them like the Texas flag!
Over Thanksgiving, I gave it to my great-nephew, and his response was perfect. He loved it, he spread it out on the floor and scrambled all over it, he looked at it for a long time, and he said twice, “You made this?” I’m glad he liked it, but I am even more glad that he already has that respect for something that was made by hand.
My sister loved it too, and the pumpkin cookies are awesome.
My comment also…………YOU MADE THIS??? That is truly amazing and he looks so happy with it.
Oh, thank you. It has been on my To Do list for a while and I am glad to have completed it!
Splendid! I have refused MANY times to make t-shirt quilts for people. I tell them the truth, that they are rather hard to make and they would be much happier with one made by someone who already knows how, and who enjoys doing them. I’m impressed you went ahead with the custom order and did such a great job.
Yes, I wouldn’t do it for just anybody, because I would be too worried about how it would turn out. My sister is great, though – she would rather have one made by me than a perfect one, and I knew she would like it no matter what, so that made it fun.
It’s gorgeous. What a beautiful keepsake. ❤️
Thank you, I am pretty happy with the final result. 🙂
Great looking quilt; you did a splendid job! In fat, you beat me as I’m working on one myself. Well, I should say it’s on hold as I finish my last deer quilt! I have approximately 60+ t-shirts for my granddaughter to cut and “place together” as a puzzle. She doesn’t want the standard “block” quilt, but rather a random placement of various size blocks. T-shirt quilts are time consuming I think; a lot of prep work to prevent the material from stretching and then cutting each individual shirt. Oh well, what we won’t do for our grandchildren!
That is a lot of T-shirts! You will end up making her two or three quilts! You are right about the extra work involved in stabilizing – not hard, just kind of boring when you would rather be piecing.
I look forward to seeing yours!
Just stunning, a family heirloom to be and one very proud little man!
Thank you! I do hope it sees many years of use.
I think this is the most successful t-shirt quilt I’ve ever seen. Stunning!
Wow, thank you! I think what really helped is that the T-shirts were all color co-ordinated, just by being from the same team. In the video I watched, there was a lot more variety in color and shade in the T-shirts and I think that makes it hard to pull them together.
such a lovely story – an amazing quilt (like your other comments, I’m impressed that it’s all worked in t-shirts) and what a lovely recipient! Your nephew is one cute guy! It is just so rewarding to make something and get that sort of comment. I have to admit that the Texas Rangers doesn’t mean an awful lot to me as an English person, but I think your use of colour and logos and flag-style motifs is brilliant. It’s really gorgeous.
I live in the territory of the Rangers’ cross-state rivals, the Houston Astros! And I am not a huge baseball fan, so the Rangers don’t mean that much to me either. But my sister and nephew are really into baseball, so it was fun to make something that captured their memories and interests. Thank you for your thoughtful comments!
Wow, it’s absolutly lovely! And the proud and happy look on his face says all there is to say 😊
Thank you. It was a great reward to see that it was appreciated!
SUPER wonderful! The little guy looks so happy and maybe he will appreciate handmade all his life now because he has seen, already, how special it can be!
Yes, I am plotting to set him to work on a project of his own on his next visit, to keep him on that path… 🙂
I’m so glad you had the foresight to take the Craftsy class! Awesome resource coupled with your creativity/talent=wonderful finish. That last photo says it all and should be framed (to be displayed on a photo board at his high school graduation…..along with the well-loved quilt!!!!)!! Beautifully done and, yes, I love the “home plate”!!!!!
Thank you for your nice comments! We won’t talk about the puckered back caused by inexperience and failing to practice the proper use of basting spray! At least I have the wisdom to pick dark, busy prints for my quilt backs! 🙂
I’m not fond of basting spray and stick with pin-basting. I’m not sure how inhaling any of that will not affect my lungs plus it just doesn’t hold the way I want it to when stitching with my DSM or Sweet 16 (constantly moving the quilt sandwich under the machine seems to always loosen the sandwich layers for me!!!! Ugh!!!! Then I get pleats….. 😦
I have used it before for things like making fabric signs for festivals, and I thought it would be faster than pinning. The ironic thing was that I used a more expensive spray, and it held for a long time – I kept pulling the layers apart to re-position them, thinking, “OK, that spray will give up now,” but it didn’t. Oh well, I learned a lesson. And fortunately I only used it between batting and backing. I think maybe it is meant more for small applique pieces.
I’m sure it has its place but not for full/lap sized quilts (speaking only for myself!!!).
I don’t really think your nephew will be critiquing any less than Quilt Police standard work on his quilt. He is quite right to take it in the spirit in which it was made. And from the photo he seems happier than many a quilt recipient. I think T-shirt quilts are popular because they represent someone’s activities and accomplishments. Glad to hear Craftsy has a course on this.
Yes, his reaction was very gratifying. It’s fun to give gifts when they are received that way.
He LOVES his new quilt!
I am so glad to hear it! I’m just glad I got it done before he went to college.
thanks for the tip on the t-shirt quilt – I’ve been planning to make one (if I ever finish moving and start sewing again…). I’ll check out that craftsy thing before I dive in. Your nephew looks very pleased, and the quilt is lovely 🙂
I would rate myself an intermediate quilter, so I found the pace of the class a little slow, with repetition of the concepts and examples, but they have it where you can watch it speeded up, and you can move to just the parts you need too. I definitely got enough tips to make it worth the price. The “flow” was good though! 🙂
It turned out great! My husband wants a t-shirt quilt. I want to drink just thinking about it. 😟
I commiserate with you on that! That is how I felt too. Fortunately I did not drink while working on the quilt or the results might have suffered. 🙂
I did do just a few hours a day. I rough cut the T-shirts one day, stabilized them the next. Then a few days passed before I started stitching them, and in that short amount of time, the stabilizer had loosened on some of them. Maybe I didn’t press long enough, or maybe it is just our humidity. Then I was in more of a hurry to get them stitched so they couldn’t shift in position. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was all done. It made me appreciate working with woven fabric.
Handmade are the best. It is a beauty and will be for years to come. Blessings Always, Mtetar
Thank you! One thing I liked about the T-shirts is that they are already soft and worn, and so the quilt does not seem too precious to use. I want it to be used! 🙂
I’m sure it will. Blessings Always, Mtetar
Great looking quilt and most importantly a wonderful keepsake for your great-nephew
Thanks! I hope it will be a reminder of happy times for him!
I have a stack of logos from worn t-shirts over the years. Someday I intend to try a quilt, probably ‘tied’ rather than quilted! Jane
That would have been a good option too. My only advice (from my extensive, 1-quilt experience) is to try to sew the shirt blocks together fairly quickly after cutting and stabilizing them, so they don’t have time to relax into odd shapes. Other than that, everything is pretty much the same.
“You made this?” The best thank you ever, ay? Peace, John
You are right about that! And I don’t think my sister made him rehearse a good reaction, either! 🙂