Small Town Living at Its Best

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday, May 11, 2009

What you say???? What in the world is this pile of t-shirts doing on a metamorphosis post?
Well, scroll down and I will show you how to turn it in to something fun.
If you are from the midwest, you are accustomed to getting a t-shirt for any and every event that comes along, whether it's your 100th gallon of giving blood, the opening of a new store, or you walked a 2 K in 4 hours, if you do it-----you get a t-shirt. Is there anything in your closet more comfortable than your old t-shirt? What do you do with them when they get stained, streched out, or just start to really look bad? Well, for a long time, I threw them away. That is, until one day I decided there had to be a better way - to keep them yet make them useful. Our t-shirts usually have memories with them and are connected to something we did as a family or with friends. I bought a template and using my rotary cutter and mat, began the trial run of something that turned out really neat. Pulling out every t-shirt, and I mean every one that I'm still not too attached to and wearing occasionally and put them in a pile. My first quilt/blanket has 25 t-shirts in it, 5 wide/5 long, making it a huge but manageable throw. I have it at the lake, where on a cool evening someone invariably needs a blanket out on the deck, or rather than turn on the fireplace- you just cover up. It's VERY washable, and because it's made from old t's who cares if it gets dirty or stained. You know t-shirts are very easily cleaned. Throw it in the washer and dryer and it is as good as new. This is how I do it.....

I hand press the t-shirt out on my cutting board, with the decorative part laying the direction that I want to to be on the quilt/blanket. I have done them every direction, depending on the design and what you want it to look like. Take into consideration however the stretch direction, when you are sewing them together. Ones that are on the bias are going to be a little harder to manage. I have always used the biggest design for the front of the quilt/blanket, and the smallest design for the back. I use the 12"x12" template, and just rotary cut around it - double thickness, zip/zip/zip/zip - done. I use the same template to cut batting, place it between the two pieces of t-shirt and pin together. The t-shirt squares are then sewn together with 1/2" seams. It seems pretty wide, but because of the next step it actually works well. Below is the back of the blanket. You see, some of them had sponsors on the back, and the one had the ship that was on the front upper left when wearing it, but now is on the back.
I use heavy crochet thread to bind the seams on the back of the blankt/quilt, so if there would be a chance of raveling, it will keep it from doing so. I think the binding makes it look a little more clean than leaving it. I have also thought about using a contrasting color or thread to make it a little more decorative, but just haven't yet.

The completed blanket/quilt is decorative, and as I said usually could tell a story of its very own. I don't worry too much about placement, but try not to have the dark ones all together, unless that's the way you want. It's yours, do it your way...... I promise you will not have a more fun, warm, talked about blanket in your entire house. Everyone LOVES to look at it and remember where we were and what we were doing when we got this shirt or that. I recently cleaned out the t-shirt drawer again, and have enough to do another 25 blanket/quilt. I'm sure that it's never ending. Our grandsons are involved in sports and of course we have to have a shirt.......

As you can see by this and previous posts, I don't throw much away. I try to re-use, repurpose, re-invent everything I can, even used t-shirts. Enjoy your Met Monday, and be sure to go see Susan over at for more great ideas.


  1. Love it! I work at a college, and I know what you mean - we accumulate 20 tshirts/year, I'm sure. Great idea!

  2. What a wonderfully cleaver idea. I saw a quilt made from political t-shirts auctioned off one time for quite a bit of money!

  3. Great job and what a great idea ! This type of quilt holds alot of memories, which are the best !
    Hugs ~ Kammy

  4. I'm sending this link to my niece. She recently made a quilt for her senior project for HS, and she is now wanting to do something with all her old tshirts...she was a cheerleader in HS so...she has TONS of shirts.

  5. I like this idea, I have tons of Baseball and Soccer T-shirts that would look good made into a quilt.

  6. What an ingenius idea and it looks beautiful. Besides being warm I'm sure it is really soft too. Thanks for such great inspiration. Hugs, Marty

  7. Nothing is more comfy than a t-shirt - so how appropriate that a quilt would be cozy as ever. Very creative. Blessings, Barb

  8. What a great idea! I agree what a story you could tell with different shirts :0)
    Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Very creative. Love all of your photos.. You have a beautfiul Family.

  10. This came out really beautiful! :)

  11. Great Idea. Thanks for sharing~ ~Ahrisha~ ~


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