“Deer Creek Camp Memories” T-shirt Quilt
And no quilt would be complete without a set of matching pillowcases!
Sometime in November 2014, one of my daughter’s friend’s mother asked if I would make a t-shirt quilt for her graduating daughter (whom I’ll call T). I was still having side effects from the failed MS therapy so was not ready to commit to doing anything that required a timeline. I had so much to do already and no gumption to do any of it. I did not relay this info to the mother because I had no idea when I would come out from my funk and be rearing to quilt again. I basically ignored the question.
In January 2015, I found out our friends were coming near where we live and wanted to get together for lunch. They also wanted to see the t-shirt quilt I was making for their daughter and son-in-law. Except, all I’d done on that quilt was stabilize the t-shirts and cut them to-size. And buy the fabric. I had to work fast and furious, over the course of a week, to get that quilt top finished. And I did it!
A week or two later, I found a paper sack on my cutting table. I knew I didn’t put it there so started asking around the house. Finally, my daughter said her friend’s mom sent the bag home with her, to give to me. As I peered inside, I saw t-shirts. This was the t-shirt quilt I ignored. UGH
Another week or two later, I decided to take a look at what T’s mom sent. As I pulled out the t-shirts, they weren’t what I expected. T has been in the one-act play group at school and I expected her play t-shirts. What I got, instead, were camp t-shirts. Summer camp t-shirts. Church summer camp t-shirts. I pulled them out of the bag, not paying attention to anything on them except for the years. I had t-shirts from the summer of 2007 through 2014.
And once again, I did nothing more with them.
Until I realized I didn’t have a whole lot of time to finish the quilt top and it was way past time when T’s mom could hire someone else to make the t-shirt quilt.
I start going through the shirts and really paying attention to them because I need to figure out what will and won’t work for the quilt and the sizes they need to be.
While reading the shirts, I came across this on a shirt:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now have in the flesh, I have by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20
This is what I call a “God Moment” in my life. You see, I was confirmed at the end of my ninth-grade school year and each of the confirmands in my grade had to choose a Bible verse that they felt suited them. Then we had to memorize it and recite it to the congregation during our confirmation church service. THIS was my Bible verse. I can still recite this verse from memory – and its meaning continues to speak to me, about me.
There was absolutely no doubt in my mind, after seeing this verse on one of those t-shirts, that I was meant to make this t-shirt quilt for T.
I have been making a queen-size t-shirt quilt for a friend’s daughter and son-in-law. Queen-size as in it covers a queen-size bed and has about a 10″ drop all the way around it. It’s not only the largest quilt I’ve ever made, it is extremely heavy! My longarm quilter, Meloney, did an amazing job of quilting it with small-ish curlycues – which is where the extra weight, compared to a larger longarm quilted pattern, comes from.
Unfortunately, she encountered an issue that I have to correct – *none* of which is her fault. A few of the t-shirts are very saturated with screen printing. So much so that she couldn’t even consider quilting on those shirts without causing damage to her longarm.
She made a suggestion as to how to correct the issue and I asked another respected quilter what her suggestion would be – and both agreed with each other so that’s what I’ll do. You can see the issues below. The white is the backing on the quilt and then the t-shirt photos follow the white quilted fabric photos.
The correction will be done using a simple needle and thread and just tacking the t-shirts down (and hiding the thread in the batting), in as many places as necessary to keep the three quilt layers together for the long haul. I love it that the fix is simple and love it even more when I can correct an issue without compromising the design of the quilt!
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a beautiful t-shirt quilt I had been commissioned to make for a friend we’ve known since 2002. It’s been full circle but we are both living where we believe we’ll stay for the rest of our lives – us in Texas and them in New Mexico. But friendships know no bounds, as long as both parties are nurturing that friendship.
Anyway, they asked me to make this t-shirt quilt and it’s finished at my longarmer’s, waiting to be shipped home to me. I’m excited to see it!
While I am waiting for it, I decided to use some of the t-shirts that didn’t make the cut on the quilt top by adding pillowcases and a pillow. I’ll ‘let’ my friend stuff the small pillow but my part is at least done.
Pillowcases. If you notice, I made sure the opening for the pillows were opposite each other so when they are stuffed with fluffy pillows, the t-shirt emblems are coordinated in order for them to be used side-by-side on a bed.
This is the reason for the title of this post. These were extra emblems that I had cut out and fused to the stabilizer. I really wanted them in the quilt but it didn’t work out that way…so I found another use for them. The center emblem is screen printed on pocket. The newlyweds can use the pocket to share love notes with each other. I just couldn’t help myself – they were calling me to make them into something and this is what I came up with.
As noted last week, I finished sewing the top to a commissioned t-shirt quilt and sent it along to my longarm guru to quilt her magic with it. I still have the little surprise for the couple the quilt is going to, to make – but that’s just an hour’s worth of sewing.
But never fear, I have yet another load of t-shirts waiting in the wings!
This commissioned t-shirt quilt isn’t expected until our local high school graduation but at the rate I’m going, I need to start on it as soon as possible so I don’t end up putting it together at the last minute. The fabric for the sashing is ordered and I hope I purchased enough for the borders, too. If not, will find something compatible locally.
Love working on these special quilts. Love the fact that the recipient is sharing a piece of their lives so that their memories, from their t-shirts, will be remembered in a quilt. Very few things beat quilted love!
btw – props to whomever can recall the movie that goes to the title of this post. The ‘t-shirt’ word is different than in the movie but the sentiment remains.