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a quilt for my sweet boy

Remember this color palette? Finally, the quilt is actually done. And my boy couldn't be happier. This is the first quilt I've actually finished since I took Joelle's patchwork quilting class almost three years ago.. it sat for over a year all pieced and ready to be quilted, and then once quilted, sat for a few months patiently waiting to be bound. And of course, now that it's done, I have a million ideas for the next one.

For those of you who are new, this quilt was made from a pile of old dress shirts my husband was throwing away. I love the idea of my son sleeping under a quilt made from his father's shirts.. I tried to incorporate as many little details as I could, a pocket here, a placket there.

I sewed most of this quilt while visiting my mom. When I lived back East, I would try to fly home each summer for a few weeks to visit my parents in California. This quilt came with me on a few of those trips. My mom has a beautiful Pfaff that sews like a dream, and switching back to my machine sometimes felt like switching from a Mercedes to a Pinto. (For my birthday last year, I finally got a Pfaff of my own.. not quite as nice as my mom's but it's so lovely to sew on..)

I made a little sketch of my quilt in Illustrator before I cut up the fabrics, so I could see it a few different ways. I decided to just keep the design very simple, in hopes that it would have a classic feel and that my son might keep it on his bed for some time.

For the backing, I wanted something with a very subtle pattern. I found a Japanese grid fabric at Purlsoho that was perfect. (thanks for your help Jen!)

When it came time for the binding, I didn't know what to do. I had originally bought a solid blue fabric, but it seemed so plain. In the end I decided to sew together some of the extra squares I had leftover from the shirts and piece the binding. I'm so glad I did. I think it makes the back look almost as pretty as the front.

I did a very simple "stitch in the ditch" quilting. For some reason, I'm just scared to death to throw it in the washing machine, so it has yet to be washed. I think the squares will have a little more poof once they've been washed and dried.

I wanted to leave a message to C somewhere so I finished it off with a little cross stitch... "to C, love MOM". Using a grid for the backing certainly came in handy.

After finishing my quilt I started researching other quilts made from men's dress shirts... turns out it's not such a new idea. I came across so many beautiful examples, I will be sharing them with you over the next few days. They make my simple little quilt look quite elementary... but my son loves it, and that makes me so very happy.

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Reader Comments (64)

I absolutely love this.

04.29.2009 | Unregistered Commenter*mindi*

This is so beautiful. I love all of the little details- the binding, the perfect backing and the message you stitched on. Best of all it seems to have been made with so much love. What a wonderul idea to use your husbands old shirts, it makes the whole thing even more lovely and meaningful.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaye

Stunning, thoughtful and something your son will have forever. Just beautiful - well done!

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkate Dixon

i love it, its beautiful, such wonderrful detail and colours. you are very talented.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commentertwolittle buttons

It's wonderful!

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenteramanda

I think you did a fabulous job!!

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdrienne

I love this. You did a great job.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commentertracy

i would think this will be on his bed for a long, long time. it's lovely and will make a terrific keepsake.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjane

how awesome.
it looks simply smashing!

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commentersummer

I love your quilt. Your son is VERY lucky. What a wonderful idea to make a quilt with your husband's old shirts. That is a great keepsake.

Have a great day!

I can see why he loves it!
This is destined to be an heirloom.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjess

That's awesome! I love that you used your husband's old shirts. I need to do that!!

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKama

I love this idea!! I would have never thought of that on my own... and i love how you kept some of the original shirt character on some of the squares!
I finished up a quilt for my daughter recently, and I did the same thing for the binding. I really like the look of the pieced binding.
Great Job!!
ps. I don't know why I"m not able to leave my blog address here so I'll try this:

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Otis

This quilt turned out beautifully. And the sentimental value puts it in a category of it's own. Very nice.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenteramy smart

My husband was about ready to toss one of his old dress shirts- I told him I would think of something to do with it. Thanks for a great idea! It's a very handsome quilt.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMandee

Terrific. What a great gift for your son - please forgive me for stealing your idea (eventually).

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBear

It's just lovely... you've done a fantastic job.

What a great idea! Your version is beautiful :)

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Gorgeous!! The color palette is so serene, and I love the simplicity mixed with the shirt details. My favorite part is the binding! Great job.

I recently finished my first quilt--when I finally finished I said "Never again" but now I have another quilt in my head.... : )

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaige

I've always wanted to make a quilt while I'm pregnant for a future baby. No kids yet, not pregnant yet, so I still have time. But all the work that goes in to it is sort of turning me off of the idea....thanks for the inspiration though, whether I end up doing it or not. Your quilt is beautiful.

04.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMerrick

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