My oldest son and I were very involved in biking, both mountain and road, when he was in high school. I continued after both boys had left the nest and it became the center of my social life (I was single then). Every biking event we participated in or volunteered for gave us a t-shirt. So I had a pile of t-shirts that had memories attached to them and most didn't fit any more (sadly). What to do with all those t-shirts? Why, make a t-shirt quilt, of course.
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I used a 12-1/2" square quilter's ruler and centered it over the design in the shirt, marked and cut. This gives you a quarter inch seam around a 12" square, so keep that in mind when marking and cutting. I kept it simple, in part because this was my first ever quilt, and stitched the squares together in a 4 square by 5 square layout--20 squares total.
I then stitched around parts of each block, about 1/4" from the image, with a running stitch using 3 strands of embroidery floss. Not fancy, but durable for a single guy. I chose colors of floss to match colors in the design. I also added some novelty buttons, just for fun.
I am quite pleased with the results, however, there are some things I would do differently.
- The large piece of fleece was hard to work with because it is so stretchy. I would change to flannel for coziness and cut it in squares to match the t-shirt squares. I'd choose two or three coordinating colors/patterns to make the quilt some what reversible.
- I'd quilt my squares first and add more dimension to the images in the t-shirts, maybe even stuffing them a little.
- I'd put it together like a rag quilt, leaving raw flannel edges on the back for a reversible effect--t-shirt on one side, flannel rag quilt on the other. I just like the look of rag quilts.
- I'd make my binding rather than buying the shiny blanket binding. Purely personal preference because the colors and patterns are so limited, at least here where I live.