Sunday, September 29, 2013

Surrounded by T-shirts

So... I may have started another quilt last night.  Umm... before I finished the previous t-shirt quilt.  Before I finished anything significant at all, really.  I feel guilty for doing this, but I just got so excited about starting a new project with t-shirts.

I spent the evening cutting out and stabilizing t-shirts that youngest daughter had saved from most of her drama productions in high school.  How many t-shirts did I end up with?  17!  Heavens, what am I to make with 17 t-shirts?  Most of the ideas I have seen with t-shirts don't have room for quite so many shirts.

Colorful collection of drama t-shirts
 I have bought coordinating fabric in blues, greens, and browns.  Not too much of any one piece, however, so this has the potential to be a scrappy mess.  Unless I can tame things down by having a unifying idea.  What ideas have I seen lately?

This is the Surrounded pattern from Four Paws Quilting.  I took a picture of it on the wall of Piece by Piece Fabrics.  I wonder if the larger blocks can be t-shirts.  There don't seem to be enough of them...

Same pattern, different effect:  I first saw this quilt in this colorway on the PBP Blog. From this photo, I count 16 "large" blocks.  Maybe it would work.

I also flipped through a book--Terrific Tees: I Can't Believe It's a T-shirt Quilt--just to see what other ideas called to me.

My favorite quilt in the book is a mixture of t-shirts and intricately-pieced related blocks.  The t-shirts mesh so seamlessly with the rest of the quilt.  The overall theme (both of the t-shirts and the pieced blocks) features the city of San Francisco.  So there is Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Victorian row houses, Alcatraz Island, and the like.  All in coordinating colors.  And tied together with rows of flying geese.  So lovely!

Quilt by Roberta de Luz, in Terrific Tees book
The design seems a little too much to tackle, but I am intrigued nevertheless.  I have lots of ideas for coordinating scenes to go with the drama theme: parting curtains over a stage; a yellow brick road and ruby slippers; comedy and tragedy masks; a bust of Shakespeare.  Too many ideas to list (or complete, naturally.)

T-shirt layout idea from Terrific Tees book
Finally, the book had some layout sketches, showing different ways to integrate t-shirt blocks with pieced blocks and sashing.  I like the layout shown here because of the pieced sashing.  Not saying I would use the particular design shown (trees and stars don't exactly match my theme), but I can see this idea being one I will continue to play around with.

Much design work needs to happen before I move forward, but I have made a start.  And thus, I can post this to the New FO linky party at the end of the month.  A new project!


  1. No matter how you end up putting this quilt together, I'm sure that you daughter will just love it! I like the ideas of the blues, greens and browns. If you don't have room for every one of the t-shirts on the front, you can always include the extra for making pillows on in the backing. Looking forward to seeing the results!

  2. What a special quilt that's going to be, no matter how you set it!

  3. Your design is looking great. It's going to be a wonderful quilt.