Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Vintage T-Shirt Quilt

We are traveling again, more family time. One unexpected advantage is the opportunity to see some older family quilts as well as some from my distant past. :-)

T-shirts framed in black-and-white fabrics, red sashing and blue posts.
T-Shirt quilt front

While my son was in college I finally finished his high school t- shirt quilt. There were two reasons it took so long.
  1. My previous t-shirt quilts were made for girls. It took a while to figure out "fun and masculine."
  2. I couldn't choose a back.
During a cleaning fit I found the perfect back. When my kiddos were young they glued appliqué tops while I was at a meeting. Of course they used what they liked best {my favorites} and cut everything from the middle of each piece. They were so proud of their artwork who could be upset?

I learned a valuable lesson: DON'T SAVE THE GOOD STUFF. Really. Our work looks better with the best.

Here's the back. Always my favorite. He added inked details on the basketball and skateboard wheels. He did a great job freehand cutting his name. How did he keep the letters so consistently sized as he changed fabric for each letter?

T-shirt quilt back.
Applique glued by son in elementary school.

Now for a bit of geology. This view might look like snow, but it's diorite (a type of igneous rock.) The smooth surfaces and sharp peaks show where glaciers moved through Yosemite.  There's almost no soil here but trees find a way to grow in every crack.

Yosemite from Olmstead Point

Tuolumne Meadow is filled with soil where retreating glaciers dropped their loads.

Glacial till fills Tuolumne Meadow

I found this photo of Mono Lake from my last overflight. It's almost circular. The old shorelines show how the water's dropped since the 1960s.

Aerial view of Mono Lake
Enjoy the day, Ann


Ariane said...

That's a great t-shirt quilt. It's fun to look back at our projects from the past. It brings back so many memories.

patty a. said...

The quilt is wonderful! I made my son a t-shirt quilt when he graduated too. I had found fabric with pasta on it. He loves his pasta! About 4 years ago his dog, a boxer, Addie Lou, ripped the sashing and binding off one side of the quilt. My son asked if I could fix it. I took out all the quilting, fixed up a couple of hole in shirts, found in my stash the fabric I had used for the sashing and binding, repaired, re-quilted, re-bound, and gave it back. I almost had enough of the pasta fabric to replace the back too! The back was as thin as tissue after all the years of use and washings. I can't believe I still had those fabrics in my stash after 15 years!

Ann said...

What an amazing story, Patty. Like you, I've found kids like their t-shirt quilts better than the fanciest quilt I might make. So many good memories. And now you've added another chapter!

Ann said...

Thanks, Ariane. I was very hesitant making this first one for a boy but think it turned out well. The frames were a good idea here. It is fun to look at older quilts and see how much they are used and how they are holding up.

audrey said...

Such a hard lesson to learn. I still find myself trying to save a wonderful fabric back for the 'perfect' project if I'm not careful! Your T-shirt quilt looks very successful!

Monica said...

I love geology -- you may share as much as you like! I was very interested in the Continental Divide story last time. I didn't know that!

I also love that you were able to use your son's early work for the back on his quilt. What did he say about it?

Ann said...

It's a lesson I need to continually relearn. And I'm so much happier when I use the best first rather than waiting for the perfect project {which rarely appears.}

Ann said...

I'm glad you like geology, too, Monica. I love looking at rocks and landscapes.
He laughed but was glad to have it in use rather than the bottom of of a box. He remembered the day they made it.

Preeti said...

I am not even sure how I got to your blog but that is immaterial. In August I traveled to California from the east coast and I took a very similar picture of the Mono Lake. It is here http://sewpreetiquilts.blogspot.com/2016/08/when-you-get-blues.html
Felt compelled to share. And I also recently finished a t-shirt (onesies) quilt. Think we are connected...somehow.

Ann said...

Oh, Preeti, your photo of Mono Lake is much better than mine! So clear and blue! T-shirts are as important as jeans today. No wonder t-shirt quilts are so treasured and meaningful. I also noticed you have a lovely kaleidoscope quilt in oranges. Be sure to add it to the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies linkup Oct 1. Everyone will enjoy seeing it.

Kaja said...

What a great 'boy' quilt, and what a wonderful find for the back. 'Use the best fabric first' seems to be one of those things we all need to be reminded of.

Ann said...

Thanks, Kaja. It was different (& fun) to make one for a boy after so many girl quilts.
I constantly fight the battle to use the best first rather than saving it.