Jollifiers: T-Shirt Quilt

Monday, November 10, 2014

Do you have a gigantic pile of T-shirts slowly taking over your bedroom? Well, I have an idea for you!

I haven't blogged much about objects on here because it doesn't come naturally for me to muster enthusiasm surrounding a product (I'm all about splurging on experiences though, like, you know, eating dessert) -- but I was recently reading this post over on Cup of Jo that uses the term "jollifier" which are things in your home that make you smile when you see them.* And I liked that concept! So I thought it might be fun to start doing the occasional post on my life's little jollifiers (to share ideas of things you may want or even gift ideas for the holidays.)

So my problem (insane amount of gym tees) officially turned into a "jollifier" (object that makes me happy) this weekend. My mom's friend, Joan, hand made me a quilt with a bunch of my old tee shirts. It turned out beautifully (especially considering what she was working with)! What a great transformation! Here it is:

It's pretty big! On a king bed for these photos. It was made to use on a couch as a throw blanket. A pretty nice weight, not too heavy, not too light. My first custom quilt!

The stitch used is called the "meandering" stitch. Isn't it fun? Free-flowing but still consistent and professional-looking. Learning all this quilt lingo** made me want to pick up a needle and thread. (Of course, I own neither of those things.) Also, sorry to rub in your face that I was the Beaver County Bantam Basketball 5th Grade Champion in 2000 (or Y2K as we cool people called it.) When you accomplish something that special, it needs to be immortalized and bragged about to other lesser-accomplished beings. You wouldn't understand. (Unless you, too, possess a shirt of such splendor.)

Yesterday was not the best day to celebrate my Steelers fandom, but every day is a great day to celebrate my Rock Solid AAU basketball team, my Bucknell Bison-ness, attending Madison elementary school in Iowa, and a mediocre track career at Hopewell High.

I just love it! If you (or a friend/family member) have an overwhelming number of tees, this is a GREAT thing to do with them. It also encouraged me to donate a bunch of old ratty shirts, because the exercise of choosing the shirts for the quilt made me reflect on which were my favorites, and which probably needed to be donated (or turned into rags) years ago.


The quilt took a few months to make (As I said, made by a friend - thanks again, Joan!), but there are many services on the internet that offer t-shirt blankets as well. Most of the internet ones are ~$500 so I'd recommend googling local quilters in your area who offer custom-quilt services. I searched around Madison and quite a few local quilters offer this service. It may be a little too late to order one in time for a Christmas gift, but it's never too early to start the process. If you're thinking of making your own (more power to you!) a few tips: note how she made all squares the same size. She did this by choosing the biggest one, and then adding borders to smaller shirts. Also, she sewed them all together and then sent them to a quilter to do the meandering stitch.

No matter what time of year you get yours, it's such a nice thing to have around the apartment - filled with memories.

The whole thing! 20 T-Shirts. This shot involved standing on a chair (and almost hitting my head on the ceiling fan.)
The things I do for you. ;)

p.s. I just started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering by Marie Kondo, and she is also all for only having items that "spark joy."

p.p.s. Just so you know, I'm actively reading 3 books simultaneously (so when I said I was reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn that is also true. :) I've been slowly reading multiple books. Strange method, but keeps things eclectic.)

*Term coined by Deborah Needleman who wrote The Perfectly Imperfect Home. (which I haven't read)
**I learned two quilting terms. I forget the other one. But that is certainly one heck of a meandering stitch.

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