My Last T-Shirt Quilts

I am pretty sure these will be the last.

About two years ago I wrote about my uncle dying.  It was kind of sudden, he’d just had surgery and the surgery was supposed to have gone well, but he died from complications of that surgery.  I was really upset about it.  He was one of few men in my life that I grew up around that wasn’t absolutely the worst (to put it lightly).


Shortly after he passed and my mom was having to go through all of this belongings, someone mentioned to me about making a quilt for my mom out of his clothes.  This wasn’t something I was crazy about doing.  First of all, I didn’t like the idea of cutting up my uncle’s clothes.  Secondly, I had never made anything like a t-shirt quilt, and it seemed daunting.

Now that I’ve made two, and they were not quite the beasts I thought that they were, but they were still pretty daunting, I knew I could probably do this.  Still not crazy about cutting up his clothes, but I knew they were either going to be donated or thrown out so this would be a better life for them.

My uncle owned a paint and body shop, and a lot of his clothes were his company shirts and a lot of them have paint on them.  Just memories, which is what I’m trying to keep intact.  He also smoked, and a lot of these clothes, even after being washed twice or more, still have a little smokey smell to them.  I’m not trying to keep that part in tact.

I’m making three quilts out of his shirts because there are so many.  One for my mom, one for my Aunt Peggy (AL)* and one for my Uncle Billy.  I think I may have a few extra shirts, so I may actually make a small quilt out of those as well.  I’m making these shirts into “rag quilts” so I’m cutting the shirts into 17″ squares, layering the fronts and backs with flannel, quilting a large X across them, and sewing them together.  After that, I’ll have to trim up the edges.  Very simple, no interfacing to fuss with, pretty cut and dry.


Here’s the problem, and why I’m not doing t-shirt quilts anymore.  I keep getting sick.  I have gotten a sinus infection after opening every single box of clothing.  It’s not that they’re dirty or gross or anything like that, I just have the wimpiest sinuses ever apparently.  I know that all of these clothes are coming to me washed and folded because I open the boxes and they’re all folded up and clean.  It’s just when I open the boxes up it’s like a bomb of foreign to me house smells, dust, detergents, etc, and it overwhelms my sinuses.  So unless I start charging people about $100 on top of what I was charging already to cover my co-pay, medicine, and missing work, it’s not worth it for me.  Plus, let’s be honest, it’s keeping me from finishing my WIPs!

So sorry (not sorry) I’m taking myself out of the t-shirt quilt game!  Until next time, happy sewing!

*I have two Aunt Peggys, one in OK and one in AL

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