Tuesday, December 10, 2013

T-Shirt Quilt

When I said I was only going to do one more project this year, I lied.  Well, I misspoke.  I meant it at the time, but facts have proven me wrong.


I cleaned up my closet and discovered a bunch of old Federal Express T-shirts that I had saved.  Some were from when we lived in Hawaii and the rest were from when we were in California.  Rather than tossing them, I thought I might try my hand at a T-shirt quilt.  This is when you cut out the printed part of a T-shirt and use it to make squares for a quilt.


I would never start a project without my able, slothful, assistant.  And who would want to work with fabric that wasn't covered in cat hair?  Well, I would, but I don't always have that option.  And Lee would never help me, so he is company, of a sort.

I even have one from when I worked in Burbank, before I met Lee.  I may leave that one out.  It was in the early days of Federal Express and the guys all got together and had some shirts made.  The planes flew in to the Memphis hub and then the packages were sorted and flown to their destination overnight.  Back then the service commitment was that the packages would be delivered by noon the next day and Federal Express was the only company that could  consistently do that.  We were proud of that and so the T-shirts were born and they said:  Federal Express - keeps it up all night and gets if off by noon.

Ah, youth.  They all thought it was funny.  Ok, I admit it, I thought it was funny, too.  I still have the shirt.  I probably won't put it in the quilt.  Most likely.

Most of the quilts have been worn and have various stains. I didn't have enough to discard those and I just decided that that will be part of the charm of this quilt.  Or I may applique something over he worst of the stains.  I'll decide that later.


I haven't made a quilt on my own, without a class to tell me what to do.  I went to the Fincastle library to find a book on T-shirt quilts.  They have an extensive collection of quilting books and I found one. 


Then I hit the Old Trinity Schoolhouse Quilt shop for advice and some supplies.  I bought some fusible interfacing to iron to the back of the T-shirt material to stabilize it.  Federal Express had Purple and Orange as their colors, so I got some of that.  Now that they are FedEx, there are variations on purple and orange for the different services.  The T-shirts I have are from the olden days, though.  Antique.  Last century.  Gosh, I'm old.


I cut out the fronts and ironed them to the stabilizer.  This took forever.  I had to force myself to make the first cut and after I was successful with a few of them, it became easier.  Then I cut them to sizes that will work in rows.  Some will be larger than others because I didn't want vast area of white T-shirts on my quilt. 


I don't  have an even number, so I think I will fill in with pictures I will attempt to download onto fabric I can run through the printer.  Also purchased at the quilt shop.


I am not going to stress about this project, because there is no deadline, so I will work on it when I feel like it.  And when I can decide what goes where.  I need a class!



  1. It should be a fun quilt and even if it takes a VERY long time to complete it... well.... I can't wait to see the results.

  2. I find taking a class keeps me motivated too. Deadlines are useful!

  3. A t-shirt quilt!! What a terrific idea!
    You guys got a lot of snow! We got nothing on Tuesday!! Our predictions of 3 inches were way off!