Life, House, Home, Family, Thriftiness, and other stuff...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sports T-Shirt Quilt

My children do NOT play sports. 
I don't really know why. They never really ask to play sports, show interest in sports...or anything really.
I'm sure my not being very sporty and Daniel's not being very sporty might have something to do with that. 

And I feel guilt. I wish they played sports, partly because I don't and I wish I did. I feel like a bad mother for not giving them sporting opportunities. 
But I swear I would try harder if one time they would say, "Mom, can I play a sport?" I am just remembering that Garrett has recently shown an interest in playing soccer. After the soccer season had already started of course. I need to do some research on what's coming up next! 

Anyway, needless to say THIS sports t-shirt quilt is NOT one of my sons' or my daughter's. 
This was for my nephew and I just helped my sister-in-law put it together. 
My nephews play sports. 
They play enough sports for 10 of these quilts! 
They think our family is weird.
We probably are. 

 We laid the shirts our in a semi-random, what-looked-good-to-us order. If you look closely, you can see that we made 3 vertical rows and then sewed those rows together. (OH! And I just realized this layout is NOT the one we ended up with! I remember we had too many tiny ones in one corner.) We were careful not to match up too many of the corners on the rows so that the rows didn't look like rows. (How many times can I use the word "rows" in one sentence?)

I've seen other t-shirt quilts that are made just cutting out the same size square for each shirt and laying them out in a perfect grid. While also cute, I really like how we laid these out to look random. I love the sideways ones, all the different sizes and all the great colors. This way, we could fit a lot more shirts and logos onto one quilt. Plus it looks cool. :)

It was not what I call easy. In fact, I think maybe that "Runner" t-shirt was added after the three rows were sewn together and one row was shorter than the other two. I don't remember, but I know we had some fixing to do...

 It's a pretty neat quilt. I think there are probably some pretty great memories with these shirts.

And a lot of money! Those sports shirts are NOT CHEAP. Years of sport fees, uniform fees, equipment fees. I wonder how much this quilt really cost. haha (Maybe that's part reason we aren't huge into sports. I'm stingy.)

Here's my nephew with his quilt.  He's a missionary now in Uruguay. Such a good guy!
Way to go, Micheal!

We made another for his brother that is really cool too. I'll try to get some pictures of it. You'd think the second quilt would have been a lot easier...
It wasn't...
But it was still sort of fun to figure out.

1. You need to iron some sort of backing to the t-shirts before cutting and sewing. They are so stretchy you'd never get a straight quilt, seam or cut without the backing. The fabric store can help you figure out what to use. Make sure they know you will be sewing and quilting this, so you need to use something that won't gum up your needle. (I really should know what to tell you to use, but I didn't do that part. My sister-in-law did...)

2. Come up with a width for each row. Add 1/4 inch to each side for the seam allowance. So if you are doing a 13 inch row, the big shirts cut 13 1/2 inches wide. If you are putting two small shirts together to make that 13 1/2 inches, cut them 7 1/2 and 6 1/2 and sew those two together with a quarter inch seam allowance, you'll have 13 1/2. (or 8 1/2 and 4 1/2...and so on). Does that make sense?

3. Then sew the three rows together and hope they are sort of the same length! Leave some room at top and bottom of each row for trimming. (Or you might have to add a whole other shirt while wonder what the heck went wrong!)

4. Add a border. Pay someone to quilt it. (Or bravely do it yourself..)

5. Bind it.


  1. I love this quilt so much! We are not a sporting family, and it bothers me too. But we have uncoordinated genes when it comes to sports. I want to do the same thing but with baby clothes. I have all of these special shirts that I saved from the kids and I want to make a quilt for myself with those and some of the maternity shirts that I had. That way I can wrap myself up in a quilt covered in baby love. :) I just wasn't sure about the backing, and so you have given me the last piece of the puzzle!

  2. What a great quilt! I love it! I'm over the Lack-of-Sports guilt, but Jon does make the kids hike and even run sometimes, so at least there's some activity.

    I think a quilt made with old baby clothes is a great idea! Ivy, maybe that can be my first (and last) quilt, if you help me. Someday. :)

  3. Oh, Michelle, what a great idea. And Erin, I'd love to make a quilt with you any time. Somehow, just knowing 2 families who aren't into sports makes me feel a little better. Thanks. :)

  4. What a great keepsake. That turned out really good.