Life Lessons Making a T-Shirt Quilt

I'm alive!!! I was just knocked out for a full week with strep, (omigosh - I've never had strep! The chills & body aches were horrific!!!) and then cheer actively began (practices, Cheer Camp, & Opening Ceremonies - no longer just planning for those things) so I've had zero online rec time -- so much so, that I even MISSED the start of the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale yesterday morning!!! :-O If you know me, you know this is MONUMENTAL!!! How could I forget one of my most coveted mornings of the year?!?! Fret not: I remembered 15 minutes before I had to leave to teach Zumba, so I still got a few cute things...and honestly, probably saved myself from buying more I didn't need. (I *HATE* shopping for me. The bi-annual Lilly sales are two mornings ALL YEAR I remotely give a flip about clothes.) I'm trying not to wonder about what I missed the first 2.5 hrs... ;-)

So I'm playing catch up this week with a few rewinds! Today's installment: one New Year's (not-really-a)-resolution realized!!! I MADE MY T-SHIRT BLANKET!!!

How did this happen? The boys went on their annual football team-building overnight camping trip, and I wanted to do something special with Annelise that we wouldn't have time for with the guys around: sewing. BIG sewing. HOURS of sewing.

This entire experience was full of life lessons & personal evaluations...

I just jumped in. I didn't overanalyze - I thought about it on a whim as the boys loaded the truck and asked Annelise, "Want to do this?" Yep. Done. We kept invoking one of our fave quotes from a Joyce Meyer children's DVD: "Do it afraid!" This was a *SUPER HUGE* overwhelming project I'd been afraid to actually attempt for 15 YEARS. What good were those shirts doing another day in my closet? I wasn't ever wearing them. Even if I messed up a little (or a lot!) it was still better to JUST DO IT.

I thought when I *finally* pulled ALLLLLLLL those high school & college shirts out of my closet that it would look like I had donated 1/3 of my wardrobe to the Salvation Army!!! Nope. It looked like NOTHING CHANGED. My jaw dropped. I only had 18 shirts. :-/ In my mind, over the years, I felt like I had 50! It was a big bummer surprise when it came down to actually doing this.

We went out to a delicious girls' dinner and then to the craft store, where I bought my first rotary cutter (AMAZING!!!) and crazy-soft purple minky dot fabric for the backing. I used this website tutorial (out of literally hundreds!) - not because it looked highest quality, but because it looked EASIEST. I'm realistic: this thing isn't going on display anywhere, and I don't have 3 weeks to invest in making it a true showpiece. I wanted to bang this sucker out! :-D

Edges weren't straight. T-shirt fabric is so stretchy that it's hard to accurately measure when you're trying to make multiple squares all the exact same size. Some shirts were an absolute BEAR to sew through, b/c some of the screen printed design ink was so thick, (esp. the metallic gold on my college Odyssey shirt! I thought I was going to scream! ...OK, I *did* scream at that one.) This was *VERY HARD* for my perfectionist-self to be OK with!!!!! But, in front of my daughter, I kept saying out loud to myself: "Just go with it. It's not perfect, and that's OK." By the end, I even believed myself. ;-)

My first square cut with my new rotary cutter! (& it was the infamous Odyssey shirt! :-)

I ended up with 9 squares, b/c I used multiple shirts on a couple squares and ended up hanging 2 back in the closet (...for now. They just wouldn't fit the pattern. I would've needed one more.)

Sewing concentration...

Ta da!!! (Hey, it's good enough... :-P) And every time I see it, I will think: "Just go with it. It's not perfect, and that's OK."

Coming soon: Cheer Camp, Will's 11th bday, & Opening Ceremonies...


  1. Glad you're feeling better!! Love the blanket, too!

  2. THANKS!!!!! I still don't believe I actually *DID* it! :-D

  3. I love this for so many reasons...mainly because I totally identify with the perfectionist and know the struggle to keep that from creeping in. Awesome job!!!

  4. The struggle *is* REAL!!! :-D


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