Memory Quilts from Sports Jerseys or T-shirts

There's something about the approach of fall that makes us nostalgic about our school days and the school days of our children and grandchildren.

Why not use this nostalgic adrenaline to get started on some memory quilts?

Are you looking at a stack of t-shirts or sports jerseys that don't fit any more? Or, maybe they fit, but your son, daughter or grandchild is on a different team this year.

On the other hand, possibly your husband has retired from his weekend sports teams, or has a collection of jerseys or team t-shirts that need to find a home other than a shelf in the closet.

Now is the time to create the perfect holiday gift using that collection. This is your opportunity to make a fun quilt, full of memories, where most of the fabric is stacked up on your shelf.

For some of us, the biggest question is "where to begin?"

My stack of t-shirts and sports jerseys is filling up 2 drawers, a basket and 2 giant plastic see-through tubs right now.

And before I made the t-shirt quilt for my dad, I was confused, too. But, sometimes a special project just forces us to jump in and figure it out.

Once I started, my first t-shirt quilt went together easily. And when it was finished, everyone in my family was thrilled.

You can get that same feeling of love and satisfaction simply by taking some of those sports jerseys and t-shirts and creating quilts. It's not really complicated, and once you start cutting, it's fun.

Ready to get started? Here are some pointers:

* See how many you have for your project; remember you can use both the front and back

* If you think you need something more in order to make a larger quilt, you can add traditional patchwork quilt blocks

* Consider using the entire jersey or t-shirt, as is. This can be done by either stitching fabric around the jersey, or appliquéing it onto a background fabric.

* Include the sleeves in your design.

* Add borders and sashing to make your jerseys or t-shirts stand out.

Happy Quilting!

Penny Halgren

P.S. T-shirt and jersey quilts make great gifts for a coach or teacher...

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