Softball Jersey Quilt

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.

Tabitha's quilt picture
School yearbook picture – I scanned this and included it in the quilt as a surprise since she’d lost all her softball shirts from high school.

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.

photo 3
Softball backing

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Brownie’s Quilt

Author: Quest Quilts

Just your average citizen who loves literature and quilts and has an uncommon proclivity for both.

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