Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday - My Tshirt Quilt

Quilters are often asked to make t'shirt quilts for family and friends. The t'shirts they work with reflect the interests and involvement of the person concerned, usually a teenager or young adult. We had an exchange student from the USA in 2007 who said that it was the tradition of quilters in her small town to make a quilt for every high school graduate going off to college. That is a huge commitment and perhaps I got the message wrong - perhaps it was a church guild who made them for members of their congregation going off to college. I do know that our host student indicated that she deliberately bought shirts at various events for them to be cut up to go into a quilt. Personally I found this a bit of an extravagance (but then I am a tight wad) and also meant that the t'shirt was a bit manufactured somehow.

I have made quilts from t shirts for my 2 youngest children Boyo and Kombi Boy. I got in early with them and swiped t'shirts as they grew out of them and were passing them on. I wasn't so tshirt aware when the two older ones were going off to university so missed out on a number of shirts from Fangirl and Massage Man. They do have some special t shirts still but they are still wearing them and won't hand them over to go into their quilts so until they are surrendered, they won't get a t'shirt quilt. I realised I don't have photos of their quilts... not sure how they slipped through the net. I do however have my own t'shirt quilt. Yes, I made one for me and it too reflects my interests and involvements over the years.

I attended Curves for several of years and earned quite a few t shirts as I made it to 500 workouts and beyond. I was also involved with ABA for a number of years and have a few shirts from that. 

My AFS commitments saw me accumulate a number of t'shirts too, several from other countries - gifts from exchanged students. I have a few other shirts on the quilt from our trip overseas in 2006 and from my involvement in Guides where I was a member of the parent committee for several years. The sashing, cornerstones and binding were hand dyes I had made in a workshop.

The back of the quilt was made from a cloth sign from NMAA - Nursing Mother's Association of Australia. I was a counsellor with this Association (which changed its name to ABA - Australian Breastfeeding Association) for almost 20 years and a member for 26. The cloth was originally creamy white but had become somewhat discoloured so I dyed it before using it in the quilt.

HomeThis year ABA/NMAA celebrates its 50th anniversary. I am no longer a member or counsellor but am a supported and advocate for the Association. It gave me so much support over my years as a breastfeeding mum and I learned so much in my training to be a counselor and in my years that I served the association and the community in that role. I am off to an afternoon tea to celebrate the Golden birthday next month.

Linking up with Quitin Jenny for Throwback Thursday

Quiltin Jenny


  1. What a great quilt! I especially love the touch of Alabama :)

    I have never made one of these either, mostly because by the time my kids are willing to stop wearing the shirts, they don't really care about it being in their quilt anymore either. One point to the argument for buying extra shirts just for the quilt I guess.

    If I were to make one, it would probably be for myself also since I have saved some shirts that either don't fit or that I didn't want to get ruined so I don't wear them anyway. I might have to do it just to check this off my list.

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. Beautiful quilt! Breastfeeding can be so difficult; I think it's great that you were able to help other mothers for so many years :)