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

Related blogs and posts:

Brownie’s Quilt

Auburn T-shirt Quilts

This was a Father’s Day commission.  I’ve never really been into sports unless I was actually on the team, so I had no qualms about making an Auburn quilt or two.  I’ll admit it was a good thing I didn’t care or have any loyalty to another team because I was up to my elbows in orange and blue for a long time.  Right after this commission I had an order for a Detroit Tigers quilt, so MORE orange and blue.

Detroit Tigers quilt with alternating frames style

It was fun, though, because these quilts had a lot of “trash talk” shirts, and I chuckled at more than one of them.

I also had some baby clothes to try and work in – a couple of hats and a bib along with a pair of shorts and a couple of baby shirts.  I was able to do it with the help of fusible interfacing and invisible thread.

One of the trash-talk shirts and above it is a baby hat.


One of the quilt was my standard size and sashing look.  The first row, second from the bottom, was a handkerchief, and I used the back of one of the other shirts and made it into a block.


The other one took a little more thought because it was what I refer to as “jigsaw”.  I spend a lot of time working on my graphic paper pad for the jigsaw style because everything has to fit together just right.


The backing for the jigsaw quilt was fun because we decided to split the back between orange and blue.  I kept my usual method of fold-over binding, so the binding is also duel-colored!  I also did my usual loops and swirls quilting pattern.


Related blogs and posts:

Auburn University Healing Quilts Initiative

Auburn University Quilts of Gees Bend



Runner T-shirt Quilt

This commission came as the result of one of my craft fair shows.  It was fun because the colors were not the conventional ones I was used to, but I loved loved loved them!

Instead of my traditional sashing style, I used the alternating frames look and let the harvest orange and eggplant purple frames play off one another.  The backing was the neat brocade print with a darker orange design on top of a lighter orange.  In my head I was referring to it as “pumpkin spice” orange.  As I went on and kept seeing the colors together I began to like them more and more.  I remember debating with my client for a long time in the store over the different color combinations, and I remembering saying something along the lines of “if you want to play it safe, then go for blue.”  But we both kept coming back to the orange and purple combo, and I was eager to start.

One thing that made this quilt more challenging was the runner bibs element.  The client had read somewhere that sewing them was possible, but I wasn’t so sure.  I noticed that one had foam on the back and several had stickers on the front.  I kept imagining how my machine would act when it hit that foam and how the stickers would act once the quilt was washed.  Neither scenario was good.  In the end, she took me up on my suggestion to scan the bibs and then applique them into a block.  She had so many that we used up two blocks to make it all work out. It helped when we realized we didn’t need the sponsors section of the bibs and I could crop them out.  In the end, the bibs were only slightly smaller than the original ones, and she had her original ones back – unharmed.

In the end it was the color combo that had me so excited for this particular quilt, and I still think it’s one of the best and boldest combos I’ve seen.

I scanned running bibs and incorporated them into the bottom two corners of the quilt.

Related blogs and posts:

Runner’s T-shirt Quilt

Am I a Runner?

So You Want to be a Runner

Quilted History


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