A friend of mine recently abandoned her full-time gig (as a lawyer) for her part-time gig (volleyball coach/teacher/mentor). Now the Division I athlete, 3 time coach of the year, and amazing person in general, is completing a teaching fellowship program with Teach For America in the deep south of good ol’ Jackson, Mississippi. Inspired by her dedication, I wanted to do something special for her. We’d talked in the past of sewing and t-shirt quilts. This was the perfect opportunity. I offered to make a t-shirt quilt of all her Ashland HS volleyball t-shirts. She graciously agreed (I would be destroying about 15 t-shirts with the weak promise of a quilt, afterall).
Finding a complementary fabric was easy because I just had to go with a volleyball theme. Next I sorted through the t-shirts to get a general idea of what was what. There wasn’t much planning, just kind of diving in. Next, I cut the shirts into rectangles (removing and casting aside the collars and sleeves).
I also chose to iron-on medium weight inter-facing to keep the t-shirt fabric in place. I think I bought about 10 or 15 yards of this stuff — lucky for me it was on sale for $0.50 a yard for a while!
It seemed that many of the t-shirts designs were about 10 inches in length so I cut accordingly, alterating or expanding dimensions as necessary. I also try to keep similar designs to similar shapes. When that was all done, I laid them out and just played around till I got something I liked. Once again, the handy computer labels were used to label each square (“1A, 1B, etc.) When it was all said and done, I had decided on 6 rows.
The tricky task was cutting strips to fit between the squares so that all the rows would be of equal length. Again, there was no plan and I scribbled my measurements on any scrap of paper I could find for that night.
Each row took approximately an hour or so, and that’s about all I could devote on week nights. Too many times I goofed on the 1/4 in addition for the seams, but I had the comfort of knowing fabric could give and I could lop off a side or two here or there to accommodate.
Here’s the quilt, ready to be, um, quilted. It’s not the most pleasant task for a mid-July day with temperatures in excess of 100, but I have a July 21st deadline, so there’s no energy to waste complaining!