Leave A Legacy – Memories in T-Shirts
Collection of T-shirts
Every one has them – ¬†a collection of favorite T-shirts. That collection may include high school events such as band, theater, cheerleading, football, baseball, track, swim team, church youth group mission trips and the all important “CLASS OF” senior shirts. The collection may even include college events such as fraternities/sororities. Don’t forget about the shirts you picked up on vacation or at a special concert, rodeo, NASCAR event or anywhere your life takes you where you can say “been there, done that, got the shirt!”
Collections can be as random as your life journey or completely themed as in a serious collection….such as one man’s collection of Harley Davidson T-shirts….
Turning that collection into something usable
In September 2013 I received the following email:
My mother would like a t-shirt quilt (king size) of my father’s Harley T’s. Would like to schedule an appointment to drop them off.
At the appointed time both mother and daughter arrived at my studio with several bags heavy laden with T-shirts.
During our initial consultation I learned that the collector of the Harley Davidson shirts was recently deceased. “he always said he wanted to make a quilt from his Harley T’s”
Making t-shirt quilts would be the simple part – dividing up the shirts to make into six t-shirt quilts would take some time! This massive collection would be touching six lives with a legacy – wife, two daughters and three grandsons would all have a T-shirt quilt to cuddle under and be comforted with as they would ¬†forever be surrounded with their loved one’s memory.
Leaving A Legacy To His Wife
Harley Davidson T-shirts are beautiful – vibrant, colorful, intriguing. I totally admire the HD graphic art team! As we were preparing the shirts to cut into blocks for the quilts we were amazed at the vast collection of this gentleman. There were Harley T’s from around the world such as London or Mexico as well as the coveted Sturgis Black Hills Rally T-shirts from multiple years and our own local Lone Star Rally held in Galveston. ¬†A virtual scrapbook!
My only instructions were to have “mom’s quilt done first” , make it a king size quilt and include two special shirts – the 2013 Sturgis and the B.A.C.A. shirt, an organization the couple, together, were very active with in our local community. The remaining shirts would be utilized, all parts and pieces, to make quilts for the rest of the family.
This is the fun part! Preparing a large logo from the shirt to make a block or getting creative by ¬†taking a sleeve logo here, a small chest logo there, pockets, etc to piece together to form a block. After all the blocks were prepared we then divided into six piles – trying to evenly distribute the “colorful” shirts with large logos, balance the “outside the USA” shirts as well as the pieced blocks to give all the family something special.
Leaving A Legacy to His Daughters
The king size quilt was finished and delivered first. As expected, there were tears upon first seeing the quilt. Tears of joy in honoring his wishes to have a quilt made from his collection. Smiles of recognition as each block was examined and memories were rekindled.
I like to hang the t-shirt quilts in my studio for my customers to view as they enter the room – it’s such a wonderful way to truly “see” the quilt in all it’s glory. Weeks¬†later a second visit was made¬†
to my studio to view the two queen size t-shirt quilts for the two daughters. Again smiles as blocks were examined, recalling the occasion of the purchase of the shirt, or “he wore that one all the time, you can see how worn out it is.” Then the decision of which daughter gets which quilt (grin). ¬† I will mention that although the quilts were similar in size they had a distinct variation in the fabric used for the sashing and cornerstones.
Leaving A Legacy to His Grandsons
Phase Three was to piece three lap size t-shirt quilts for each of the three grandsons. Again the emphasis was to balance out the “colorful” shirts with the pieced blocks to share the inheritance. Again distinction was made between the quilts with a variance in the fabric used for the cornerstones separating the blocks and sashing. I can only imagine how cherished these quilts will be through the years – a special remembrance of a much loved grandfather.
¬†Memories Never Fade With T-shirt Quilts
Sometimes it’s the little things that add a special touch. As we prepared the t-shirts to be included in the T-shirt quilts there was a large collection of t-shirt tags – authentic Harley Davidson logos….I couldn’t resist…I added a tag to the top of his wife’s t-shirt quilt to make it a little extra special. ¬†
Truly memories never fade – especially of a loved one. T-shirt quilts are a fabulous way to hold on to memories, whether it be your own “college memories” or a graduation gift for your senior, or a legacy for future generations. I can say with deepest conviction that we at Quilts ‘N Kaboodle are truly honored to be entrusted with your precious memories, and as corny as it sounds, we do feel a little connected with you and your family as we collaborate on this labor of love to combine your favorite t-shirts into a one of a kind T-Shirt Quilt.
On a personal note: Our love and continued prayers go out to this family in their time of loss. It was our hope that somehow these quilts made your first Christmas without Billy Mac a little easier to navigate. May God give you a continued peace. May you be comforted as you wrap yourselves in this incredible legacy left to each of you in the form of a quilt. Thank you for allowing us to be a small part in your lives. ¬†Karen & Johnny Overton, Quilts ‘N Kaboodle