My first t-shirt/memory quilts were the first four I did for my family from my father’s clothes. The first quilt I did for someone else was a softball quilt I made for a friend. In fact, it was the same friend who commissioned the Harry Potter quilt! Since I’d cut my teeth, so the speak, on those first four, I’d learned a lot and was fairly confident in my ability to do her softball jerseys justice.
One thing I hadn’t done before but was confident I could handle was putting a name on the quilt in addition to the jerseys. For this one, I printed large letters and cut them out against fabric with fusible interfacing. Nowadays I just use a projector, and I can get more creative with my fonts as a result.
The one surprise I managed to work in for her was a picture of her state champion softball team from the high school yearbook. She had softball jerseys from every part of her life except high school. Those had been purged a while back. But I could tell this was important to her, so I found a yearbook from that year, scanned the picture, and printed it on to printable fabric as a nice surprise.
To quilt this one, I chose to use the invisible thread since there were so many colors. My machine didn’t like it even though the quilt itself looked great.
I also made a pillowcase from the leftover shirts that weren’t able to make it onto the quilt. I’m rather proud of this one, but it threw me for one last loop right as I was getting ready to hand it over.
Sometimes people don’t understand that quilts are supposed to “dimple” up, and they’ll do that after the first wash. As a result, I tend to wash the quilt before handing it over to my client so that it already looks like what it will be, no surprises. I did the same with this one, but since the shirts had been in a tote in the garage for years the letters didn’t hold up. I pulled the quilt out of the dryer and panicked when I was cracked and incomplete letters on several of the shirts. I just couldn’t give it over like that! I turned around and grabbed some black t-shirt paint I had from a different project and basically “spackled” the letters, filling in the gaps with that t-shirt paint so that they would hold up better. In the end it worked, and my panic went away.
For the backing, we had a hard time finding a fabric that didn’t scream “baseball”, and in the end we went with this one. I liked the overall look.
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