Giving someone a quilt always fills me with anxiety. How are they going to react to this gift that I've been agonizing over for months- planning, designing, debating each and every fabric choice endlessly, hours and hours and hours of cutting, sewing, and pressing. It's not an easy or small gift. Are they going to even like it? Appreciate it? Love it? What if they just hate it? Sometimes I get a reaction that makes all those hours worth it.
About a year ago, my father-in-law shipped me a big box stuffed full of t-shirts and asked me to make a quilt from them. T-shirts from his first job, deployments, plays. I spent a while paralyzed with fear- these shirts were absolutely irreplaceable. I'd never really made a t-shirt quilt before. What if I screwed it up? I read books, studied internet tutorials, debated patterns and after Christmas I finally cut into my first t-shirt. This past week I got to deliver it in person.
I made him cry. You know, in a good way.
And a few of his kids get a little misty-eyed.
It's 96" by 96"- hey, it was a big box of t-shirts. No real pattern- I cut 6", 12" and 18" squares and a few 12" by 18" rectangles- all depending on the shirt. Then I jigsawed them all together. There was no way I was tackling the quilting on this on my machine. So, I took it to the lovely Heather of The Quilt Barn for long arm quilting. I love the chevrons!
Let me tell you, I may never make another t-shirt quilt. It was a pain in the butt. Days of trimming off sleeves and hems. Yards and yards of interfacing to be ironed on. More trimming. Trying to get everything to fit together. Plus, it was heavy. That's about 7 1/2 pounds of quilt up there. Doesn't sound like much until you're trying to move it all through your sewing machine.
But, no matter how tough it was, I am very glad I had the chance to make this one. There is no doubt that this quilt is loved and appreciated.