It was early November when I started this project.
I had heard about tee shirt quilts several years ago, and I knew we had a collection of Jake's rock concert tee shirts from his high school and college days in a crate in the attic. I finally decided this was the year to make that quilt.
I am not really a quilter, so of course I didn't really know how to do that so I went on line, where, of course, you can find everything you need to know about anything. I found several good tutorials, then began to plan my quilt.
Wash the tee shirts, separate the shirt fronts, and sometimes the backs, from the rest of the shirt. Use a template to make the final cut, centering the graphics.
Lay the panels out to create the design and number of blocks.
Oh my, this is a bigger project than I imagined. Can I do this on my sewing machine, or do I need the services of a long arm quilter machine? I checked into that - too expensive! I'll just have to see how it goes.
Take measurements, then off to the fabric store for flannel for the backing and iron on interface to stabilize the tee shirt fabric. I chose a flannel fabric that looked very much like shirts Jake wore during the Grunge Era when he was in high school.
The process of assembling the quilt top went well, but I was still worried about how I would make the "sandwich" - the top, the filler and the backing.
We worked on the dining room table, Tom lending assistance to get everything lined up and pinned together with safety pins.
Sewing the leading edge was fairly easy. Tom helped manage the bulk of the rolled up quilt. I just did "stitch in the ditch" quilting, sewing over the seam lines.
It was trickier stuffing the roll under the sewing machine arm, but with the walking foot on my machine I saw that I could reverse direction once I got to the middle without the layers bunching up. Relief!
Then it was time for applying the binding. No way could my hands handle hand sewing a blind stitch around this 90 x 65 inch quilt, so I used the machine and top stitched.
And sometime in the week after Thanksgiving, the quilt was complete! Yay! I had been rather wrapped up in it. :-)
I kept it a secret from family members until the revealing Christmas Day. Jake had already received a fleece lap blanket from Jill, so as he opened it, everyone joked, "Oh, another blanket".
It took him a bit of time to find a corner to peek in and see anything but flannel, but as soon as he got a peek, he said, "Oh, it's my tee shirts!" and jumped up to unfurl the whole thing.
Of course he loves it. But he also knew all about tee shirt quilts. He informed me that "it's a thing." I guess he knows people who have them.
Now he does too, and he was perfectly fine with my rescuing his shirts from the attic and cutting them up.