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A Tragic Story

I heard a tragic story this week from a client. She told me about her friend who had saved her son’s T shirts for 18 years. She hired a woman to turn them into a lasting memory quilt for his graduation. This Friend had a big party to celebrate and present the quilt in front of family and friends. When they opened the box, IT WAS A TRAGEDY! The shirts were cut up and sewn back together with no rhyme or reason, numbers and names were cut off or in half. It had been quilted on a domestic machine and there were puckers and folds on the back. The T Shirts had not been properly stabilized so the borders were irregular, the entire quilt was not square.  I wanted to cry just hearing about it! I too have spent the last 21 years saving special shirts from my sons life to make him a quilt. I could only imagine the heartbreak as those shirts are irreplaceable. I wanted to help in some way . That is why i am blogging about it today. Please don’t give your shirts to someone , unless you have seen their previous work ! A T shirt quilt is quite different from a regular quilt top. Every shirt needs to be properly stabilized, and then cut. You have to plan carefully…before any squares are cut you need the measurement of the largest graphic so you cut all squares to the proper size. You also need to know how big you want your finished project so that you can plan for all the shirts. A T Shirt/ Memory quilt is not a good beginner quilt. If you would like to make one, we have video’s on our YouTube channel or our Sweet on Stitches Website to help you.

tee shirt quit4 225x300 A Tragic Storytee shirt quit 225x300 A Tragic Story

This is what the design process looks like. After all the shirts are cut we lay them out on the back of a tablecloth.( works like a flannel board) When we are satisfied with the way the finished quilt will look, all the rows line up , the length and width are correct, the colors are right. Then we start sewing the rows together. After the top is finished we longarm quilt it with a thread color that will bring all the shirts together and give the quilt a cohesive look.We have been busy designing  T shirt / memory quilts all month. I wish I could be there to see their faces when they open these keepsakes!

T Shirt / Memory Quilts

Design Phase 225x300 T Shirt / Memory QuiltsWe have had so much fun with T shirt quilts. Being close to graduation many parents are trying to come up with a meaningful gift that commemorates their childrens years of school and activities. A quilt is like a hug with love in every stitch. It is a great thing to bring on their child’s next big adventure.  We made and posted new videos to our Youtube channel to help people that want to try to put the memory quilt tops together themselves.We love to share ideas and tips with our fellow quilters.

Tee Shirt Quilt T Shirt / Memory Quilts


We were so excited to come up with a new way to do a mitred edge on a utility binding and posted that in a 4 part series of videos on Youtube. It has been a busy month but we love busy!  When we present the mom with the finished memory quilt and she cries , we know we have done our job right. It has been a pleasure to be part of making these gifts of love.