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Let Your Memories Keep You Warm!

February 12, 2012

Atlanta is in the grip of a winter chill at the moment. I'm not a fan. (I live in the South for a reason. I LIKE heat and humidity.)

To help ward off the cold that's accosting us, it's time for a cozy memory blanket!

I've talked about my love of tee shirts before and my firm belief that you can't have too many, and I stand by that. I won't disclose the number of shirts in my collection, but I can tell you, the total is in the triple digits. Just by virtue of running local 5ks fairly frequently, I've amassed a huge stack, but I also love to buy souvenir shirts when I travel, and friends often give me silly shirts as gifts.

This project puts those shirts to work! My husband and I each sacrificed a handful of shirts from our collections. This blanket is faster than a quilt, and it's a great project for beginners. All you need is a dozen shirts that are out of wearing rotation, and two yards of fleece.

First, I traced a rounded square shape onto each of the shirts, framing the area of the design I wanted to use. I used a square-ish plate as my template, but you could also cut one out of spare cardboard. (I would love to try this project using circles to create a bubble effect.)

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Once all my tracing and cutting of designs was done, it was time to pin the pieces in place. I just used safety pins to secure each piece at the corners. You may or may not want more. I used a basic straight stitch about 1/4" inside the edge of each square to stitch everything in place.

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To space my appliques, I used rulers as guides -- a narrow one for between the squares, and a wider one for all edges.

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I used a 3 x 4 layout for my blanket, but you could easily make a bigger or smaller blanket to your tastes. 

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A few tips and thoughts:

- When stitching down shirt designs that have a heavy or shiny transfer, you may find that the pressure of the presser foot causes drag. This is easily alleviated by placing a piece of tissue paper over the problem area. When you're done stitching, the tissue pulls away easily.

- Your squares are unlikely to sit perfectly square when you're stitching. That's one of the reasons I used a template with rounded edges. Further, a little imperfection gives a project like this character. It's not a tailoring situation, so don't sweat it!

- If you have a huge collection of shirts related to a specific theme, think about using them in a project like this. I see a Star Wars blanket in my future ...

- I used basic black fleece for the background on the sample project, but think about how cute a pastel backing would look on a blanket that combines your child's baby and toddler shirts that you can't bear to send to hand-me-down land.

- I finished my edges by folding them over and straight stitching them, but it might be fun to use your tee shirt scraps to create a multicolored binding.

- Be ready for memories to come flooding at you when you're stitching. Even though I didn't select particularly sentimental shirts for this blanket, I found that while working with certain squares, my mind was instantly transported to the moment when I acquired the shirts they came from, or to a memory associated with wearing it. It made for a really fun afternoon.








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4 Comments

What another great way to make a Tshirt quilt. I make them, too and order almost all of my fabrics from fabric.com!

Before reading this I was completely unaware of this way of making Tshirt. And this is really interesting, will surely try this soon.

Really exquisite T-shirts quilts..

I love it, excellent T-shirts. I am deciding to put this into use one of these days. Thank you for sharing this. To Your Success!

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on February 12, 2012 11:12 PM.

The Fabric Maverick gives you the secret of making men happy! was the previous entry in this blog.

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