About a year ago, I was asked by a dear friend to make a t-shirt quilt for her daughter's high school graduation. The graduation just happened, this year, so I had plenty of time. However, the shirts came to me in batches. Lots of small batches. A few here and a few there as they found them, or fininished wearing them, or even just acquired the ones from the last year! It was hard to get an idea how to start cutting them without knowing how many, what size, and what colors.
All of the shirts were collected from performances that my friend's daughter had been in. Since she was in 5th grade, this young lady has been part of a show choir type performing troupe, made up of kids age 8 - 18. We started started going to her shows when my daughter was small, and she caught the bug! She's been a part of the group too, for the last 5 years. So, I have my own memories attached to many of the shirts included in the quilt, which has made it kind of a special project. I'm sure I'll be seeing some of these designs again, when I make my own daughter's quilt, about 5 years from now! ( Actually, she says she plans to make her own. Can I ask for that in writing???)
As soon as the last performance of the season finished, in April, I had all the shirts in my possession. Close to 30 of them! Originally the recipient wanted to have all the shirt fronts cut to the same size, and sashed with white. However, after measuring the largest design and doing the math, I realized that plan would result in a nearly queen sized quilt. Larger than any of us wanted!! Plus, because the shirts ranged in size from really, really small to adult medium, it was going to be hard to get blocks the same size from every shirt!
So I sorted and measured, sketched and measured again, and came up with a plan we agreed on.
I was even able to incorporate some of the shirt backs -the cool ones with everybody's names. Then, the real work started. Each t-shirt got its interfacing and was cut to the appropriate size, according to the plan.
I mentioned that I measured twice, right? Maybe I should have made that three times, because, umm, see the gaps?
Oh well. There were still some backs left. I made some long skinny strips of names, and filled in. Not a mistake, a design element!
The quilt will need a good squaring up and, I've decided to add top, bottom and side borders, just to set the shirts off a bit. I met the recipient and her mom last night to choose a fabric for the borders and back, and I'm really happy with it! I wasn't sure we'd find something that worked with all the oddball colors of the shirts, but I think we did it!
Wish me luck as I baste, quilt and bind! This is a larger quilt than I'm used to. The graduation party is on July 25, but a small, stubborn part of me still believes that I can have it finished in time for the end of the Second Quarter Finished Along on July 7. Hmmm. We'll see.
Linking up with Silly Mama Quilts WIP Wednesday, Sew Fresh Quilts Let's Bee Social