Armed with a stack of my grandson's t-shirts, collected by his mom, I set out to make my first t-shirt quilt ever!
The first step was to read all about it - advice from other quilters on materials (stabilizers, sashing, batting, backing, threads) and on methods (pressing seams, quilting, special needles). I experimented with various layouts and finally realized I was going to need to put in a couple of extender rows to get the size out of only 15 shirts. I ended up adding the back of one shirt that had gradeschool classmates' names on it so I would have 16 to work with.
I pulled 3 different flannels from my sister's stash - one for sashings and backing, one for the panels and binding, and one for the outer border. After cutting off all the shirt fronts I ironed on the stabilizers and then measured to find the largest size I could get. As it turned out I could cut 13.5 inch squares from all but one shirt and for that I could bring it up to size by adding borders all around (from the back of a black shirt.)
The extending panels ended up being one near the top that ran the full width of the quilt and one near the bottom the width of two shirts. I had a plan for those so they wouldn't be so plain.
So assembly took place, sandwiching and quilting was accomplished and then I put my plan into place for the panels - iron-on lettering! I had my brother and sister-in-law use their Cricut machine to cut 'collegiate' style letters to spell out NEBRASKA in red as well as his last name, HOOPS, in black. I used a combination of the Cricut Press and my iron to apply the letters. I had already quilted at this point so it took some work to get the letters to stick down in the stitched valleys.
Here is the final result (followed by detail shots of the custom quilting in the shirts, by theme)
This got outlining of the image plus background stippling.
This is the one shirt I had to extend to reach the size of the rest. I filled the background with bubbles.
Archerygot a background of pointy meandering
Rise up was outlined and filled with scallops.
Swirly waves fill this background around the logo which is outlined.
It was perfect that this logo sat up so high. It fit perfectly in the windshield of a stylized Jeep logo.
Never having seen this show I had no idea what was up with the pineapple. But I figured it must be important since it was on a LOT of the pictures I saw. So I just madea large one on the left and meander filled the rest.
Simple echo quilting
Beets, of course!
The basketball net is not obvious on this one but yo can see the 'swoosh' as the ball goes through it!
Hard to see - left half is tire treads, right half is silhouette of Jeep tire with Jeep logo on the hubcap.
The lower panel had blank shirt backs on each end. On this side I made an X-Box controller.
Easy to assume that this is a sports reference, but it is actually his name!
Since this blank block was red, it was begging for the outline of the state.
Our bass player got three lines of music staffs with random notes for the background.
More echo quilting
And the last is allover meandering.