Fixing A T-Shirt Quilt

This is a sad tale, but has a very happy ending. My friend wanted a t-shirt quilt for her husband and unbeknowst to me she had someone on the internet make it. She had talked about this for years – a quilt made from her husband’s annual father’s day shirts. She sent me a picture of it, and, as a quilter, I was concerned. It is a fine job, but us quilters know that this is not good – there is no quilting, nothing holding this together memory quilt together.

She is one of my very best friends, responsible for me meeting my husband, and I couldn’t let it go at what I had seen. We agreed they would present it to him for his birthday, and then I would do a little magic on it afterwards.

The Quilt

Once I got the quilt, it was as I expected, un-quilted. Furthermore, there was some give to it but not a lot of extra fabric on the edges of the quilt. I asked a long-arming friend what she would do, she would take it apart. I knew that was not a good option.

As is often the case, I kept thinking about it and looking at it. Finally, I finally came up with a plan and I would quilt it on my Bernina 570. I would baste it with pins to help with the shifting of the batting. It was a polyester batt, with some loft, but with no “stickiness” to the shirts/backing. Like an unruly pet, it needed to be tamed. I would use a serpentine stitch as wide as I could make it, to go over the seams and secure the top, batt and backing.

It worked quite well. It secured the quilt. There were a few puckers; we concurred it would be fine. When it is washed, I believe it will tighten up a bit. Furthermore, my friend thought it was the right amount of whimsy for the quilt!

I was done as I also felt it needed a label. I created one in Embrilliance, and used my embroidery unit to make the label. It was then attached it to the quilt by hand.

All in all, the quilt was rescued and they were thrilled with it. I know it is a great memory quilt for him, and now it will last. He can watch TV and cuddle with it and throw it in the wash and it will be fine. My friend said the maker was inexperienced, but really, I think there is no excuse for not quilting a quilt or tying it or something. I can rest easier, knowing that it is quilted and will last.

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9 Comments

  1. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting
    June 14, 2023 / 7:56 AM

    No quilting–I’m stunned!!! Kathleen to the rescue!!! Great save, Kathleen! Great friend, too, to introduce you to your hubs! Nice touch, adding a label!

  2. June 14, 2023 / 8:33 AM

    Yes, you are so right, it needed quilting so it will last through using and washing. Nice of you to contribute some quilting for a special memory quilt.

  3. June 14, 2023 / 9:13 AM

    Nice save, Kathleen! Did your friend believe she was getting a “real” quilt? There are inexpensive T-Shirt BLANKETS available online. They are pieced, but not quilted and usually have a fleece backing with no batting. I’m really surprised that your friend didn’t consult with you prior to her purchase!

  4. Cocoa Quilts
    June 14, 2023 / 9:30 AM

    Great save Kathleen. Sad that folks are out there offering their services, that really don’t meet the goal. Glad you came to the rescue!!

  5. June 14, 2023 / 10:08 AM

    Oh I am so glad you were able to add to it – I had a quilt like that and the batting is now all at the bottom…. so Super happy that you stepped in and helped make this memory last a long time!!!

  6. June 14, 2023 / 11:35 AM

    Fortunately, your friend has you! This is a wonderful keepsake and worth saving! 🙂

  7. June 14, 2023 / 12:39 PM

    I’m so glad your friend showed you the picture and you were able to come up with a good solution to help secure and make this gift last.

  8. June 15, 2023 / 7:39 AM

    So glad your friend gave you the quilt to save! It looks wonderful and cuddly now. Great job!

  9. June 16, 2023 / 5:45 AM

    Oh my goodness, Kathleen, that was one shoddy piece of work if I have ever seen one. What did they do? Just put three layers together and turned inside out? They should not be advertising/taking money and messing with such valuable pieces of memory. I am aghast.
    But like you said, all is well that ends well. You managed to salvage it. Love the label. You are a very good friend. Big hugs to you!

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