DellaJane: T Shirt Quilts


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The Quilts
My brother-in-law, Dave Paisley, died in a climbing accident in Alaska in the spring of 2000. Later that year, Patience asked if I would be willing to make a quilt for her from Dave's t-shirts.

During the summer, we met in Denver for baseball games (GO REDS!) She brought two huge bags of t-shirts to the hotel and asked if I would be willing to make two quilts. She had the shirts sorted into two sets. Headbanging music t-shirts for one quilt, climbing t-shirts into another.

The Music Quilt (2000, 44" x 55") (return to top)
The Climbing T-Shirt Quilts

There were enough climbing t-shirts to make two quilts. All three quilts have Quilters Dream Cotton batting. All are heavily quilted with a variety of cotton and rayon threads.
Climb Every Mountain (2000, 71" x 80").
T-Shirt Memories
The third quilt! Sometimes in life, odd things happen. I divided the t-shirts into two quilts on the basis of color and size. One red shirt in Quilt 1, another in Quilt 2. A blue shirt and a yellow shirt for each quilt. A shirt with the list of Colorado 14'ers for each. Etc. etc. When Patience sat down and looked at the finished quilt, she was amazed. Without any conscious thought or planning, I included a t-shirt from every state and country she and Dave had climbed in this quilt.
T-Shirt Memories (2001, 72" x 77")
Our cat, Griffey, inspected the quilt on an regular basis as I quilted it. She declared it good. [CAT QUILT INSPECTOR]

Email Patience and tell her how wonderful her quilts are.
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Margery's T-Shirt Quilts
While I was making t-shirt quilts for my sister Patience, another sister (Margery) was thinking things like "quilts from t-shirts - what a dumb idea" and "these things are going to be really dumb and probably ugly". Luckily for her, she kept her thoughts to herself. When she saw Patience's quilts, she changed her tune and asked me to make her a quilt from her cat t-shirts. OK, so all of the animals aren't cats. Los Gatos y Mas! is the result.
Los Gatos y Mas! (2001, 72" x 81")
This picture shows some quilting detail on the back of the quilt. The portion shown is the wolf shirt in the top right corner of the quilt. For the back, we bought a black and white cat fabric, which I dyed blue. AFTER that, Margery sent me a couple more shirts to include in the quilt. Those shirts made the quilt bigger, which meant that I didn't have enough fabric for the back. I added some of my blue hand-dyed fabric and was very pleased with how the quilting showed on the back.

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Stanley Cup Quilt
Once you have one of my quilts, you just want another , so Margery asked me to make her a quilt using some of her baseball t-shirts. She came up with a TON of shirts. Too many for one quilt! And they weren't just baseball shirts. I decided to make her a small hockey quilt (to celebrate the Denver Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup) and a baseball quilt.

Margery (barely seen) with the Stanley Cup Quilt (2002, 42" x 54"). The fabric I used in the Stanley Cup quilt came from another sister, Becky, who had given me all her quilting fabric several years earlier. When Becky saw the quilt, her first comment was how much she liked that fabric!

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Margery's Baseball T-Shirt Quilts
The baseball quilt became two quilts - I Love This Game! (2002, 52" x 57") (pictured here) and Baseball With Altitude! (2002, 71" x 80") (below)
[BASEBall QUILT] Here it is! I finished Baseball With Altitude! on September 12, 2002. It went immediately into the washing machine (gentle cycle, minimal agitation), then into the dryer on an air cycle. I laid it out to finish drying and allowed volunteers to check it out.
Griffey lazes on the new quilt & calls it good.
Casey (who isn't usually allowed on furniture) is afraid to do anything but sit still.

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Margery's Dragon Quilt
Don't mess in the affairs of dragons. You are crunchy and taste good with peanut butter. (2002, 24.5" x 27")
My sister, Margery, did the dragon cross stitch. We chose some great fabrics to bring out the colors in the dragon. I pieced and lightly quilted it.

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Email Margery and tell her how wonderful the great quilts her incredible sister made for her are.

Copyright 2005-2015, Della Alice Cruz. All images and text on these pages may be used only with permission.