I just got off the phone with a friend who was brainstorming with me how she might preserve a beloved rock concert t-shirt which has become threadbare. She was thinking tote bag, while I was thinking pillow. I mentioned my sister Sharon, who has made many many many quilts out of t-shirts for friends and neighbors. It is a tradition in their close-knit neighborhood in Rochester, NY, to save your kid's t-shirts through the years and give the whole pile to Sharon who will make an amazing graduation quilt for the kid who is headed off to college, or boot camp, or wherever.
I told my friend I would email her a picture of one of Sharon's t-shirt quilts and instead decided to share a few with all of you. In this shot you will see one of the lucky college-bound kids looking at the quilt that has just been given to him as a surprise. (His mom is one of my sister's best friends from high school- not a neighborhood kid) I would like to say that he is saying, "Wow! This is great! Amazing! Thank you!" but I have to tell you the sad truth is that he is giving his mother ( in the black tank top) grief for taking his t-shirts, some that he was still able to wear. "That's where that went! Hey, I was still wearing that"... etc.He went on and on and didn't say thank you. I was there at the presentation and I wanted to strangle the brat. It made me so mad, to think about the work that went into the quilt and the planning that Sharon and her friend had done. I think I'm still mad at that kid. Studying Sharon's expression in the photo, I'm not sure she is biting her lip to stifle a laugh or to keep from crying. I was looking around for the nearest croquet mallet to wallop that ingrate.
I found a website where someone has collected and organized 50 photos of different t-shirt keepsake quilts. They aren't the prettiest of quilts, but the memories and the years they represent are palpable. I kinda like the one made with 30 Obama t-shirts! If you are feeling handy, I found an online tutorialfrom a professional quilter in Idaho with some great photographs on how to do it yourself . Thank you, Ann from Idaho. So here's to Ann and Sharon and the other thoughtful quilters that we know and love. May they all feel appreciated.
...and won't these T's make a nice quilt?