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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 am really really loving this quilt. I just recently discovered your blog and have been looking back into your "archives." How fun is your blog.

I have two children getting baptized this year and I would like to make something like this for them out of dad's old shirts or their own old clothes.

Would you mind sharing the square size and also if there are any tricks to putting it on the diagonal. I love that. I would imagine you piece the squares together and then add triangles at the end? Am I way off?

Is the white just a cotton or are those from old shirts too?


It's not allowing my URL in the space provided. Here it is: www.ididntsaybanana.blogspot.com

07.2.2009 | Unregistered Commentersarah

I too have made a quilt for my son using shirts. I used some of his outgrown shirts as well as some worn out ones of my husbands!

I love the pattern on yours - you are right it is very classic. He is a lucky chap.

08.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBake and Sew

I really need some help. My girlfriend lost her husband to cancer (he was 50) about six months ago. She has finally decided to start going through his clothes. She would like me to make two quilts....one with his polo golf shirts and one with his dress shirts and ties. She wants the quilts to look similar to a t-shirt quilt. In other words, she doesn't want the shirts cut into pieces. Any ideas on how to proceed with this project?

11.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Love this quilt...what size are the squares?

03.24.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

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