A Soccer T-shirt Quilt for the Win

Much to Sue’s annoyance, another collection of t-shirts made its way into our home right before Christmas 2022. A former coworker contacted me to see if we would make a t-shirt quilt for her granddaughter. The granddaughter had played soccer since pre-kindergarten and had a collection of shirts to comprise the quilt. Of course, I couldn’t say no. I did, however, promise to be much more involved with the whole process from start to finish. Here’s our story . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ll be sharing on Quilting Gail‘s Thank Goodness It’s Finish Friday.

The Soccer T-Shirt Beginning

We were given a nice assortment of t-shirts and jerseys and it made our To-Do Tuesday list at the beginning of January. Sue started sorting through the two bags of various shirts just to see what we had and how many would work for a quilt. The “Yes” pile grew to around 30 or so, and some just had to be included regardless of their size.

Using the June Tailor t-shirt interfacing, we began ironing that on the reverse side of the shirts. It gave us a bit of an issue with the jerseys, which is a thinner fabric. We persevered and won the informal war. Interfacing – 0, Us – 1 on the scoreboard. Once that was complete, I started working on trimming all the shirts to a useful size.

I used the June Tailor T-shirt Ruler for the first time, and I can’t help but wonder why we never used it before. It was a cinch to determine the center of the shirt, at least from side-to-side. Most of the time, the design was not centered on the shirt from top-to-bottom and it was very close to the neck opening. For those shirts, I had to just get as much room above the design as possible.

I used a washable marking pen in pink or blue to mark where to cut. A few of the t-shirts were a smaller size. We aimed for 12.5″ but for some of them we were lucky to get 10.5″, like those from her first-grade team. We added a small sashing to one side and the bottom – some leftover jelly roll strips worked just perfectly.

Here’s a layout and then a black/white check. We ended up swapping just two blocks in the fourth column to balance out the darker colors.

Quilting a Soccer T-shirt

Quilting large projects on a longarm are so much easier, and we thank our friend, Carol, so much for sharing with us! One Saturday by mid-morning we loaded the quilt.

If you look closely at our loaded quilt, we had it on incorrectly. It is supposed to be underneath another rail at the top, which we didn’t catch until the first row was quilted. Never fear! We unrolled it, put the quilt on the rails correctly, and we continued on without issue. Look how close we were to the top of the batting and backing – that was unnecessary because we had ample. We took it off the rails before 3 pm! All quilted in one day. That’s amazing to me and I had no neck or shoulder pain.

Finishing off a Soccer T-shirt Quilt

Once it was all quilted, it was time for some quiet time and hand binding.

We chose a nice simple solid black fabric for the binding which compliments almost everything. The binding picture shows a wee bit of the gray hashtag backing. We used a gray Glide thread for quilting and I’ll be dipped if I can remember what quilting pantograph! It seems like once it’s washed, the quilting design is immaterial for the most part.

The quilty squishiness is high and it feels so good to have it finished. There was one t-shirt that was too big for the layout but I thought a Michigan State pillow would be perfect. It took just a few minutes to sew (and more to stuff) but I think it will look nice on the soon-to-graduate’s bed.

One last look! It’s headed home to Michigan this weekend.

♥ ♥ ♥

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14 Responses

  1. Sally says:

    Great job. That quilt will have lots of good memories!

  2. Dawn says:

    This t-shirt soccer quilt will be treasured! I didn’t know that there is a special t-shirt ruler! Good idea for centering the motif. What a nice help to share time on a long arm for the quilting! Is one in your future? When I have needed to add to a block to increase the size, I have used pieces of t-shirt cut-offs so the texture is the same. I’m sure it didn’t make much difference, but an idea. Great job Roseanne and Sue!

  3. Chrisknits says:

    Perfection! I am filing away tips for when I am called upon to make one for my great-nephew. And the pillow was a great idea for another shirt.
    Yay for Addison finally getting to wear her hat!!

  4. Karla says:

    The soccer quilt turned out great and the pillow was a great idea. The recipient is truly lucky!

  5. Rochelle Summers says:

    So Awesome! And what a good friend to do this! And Sue is quite the helper. I am so happy to pay a quilter to do LA my quilts. It is saving many $$$ at the chiropractor!! Will your friend come pick up the quilt or are you making the trip to her? Have a great weekend.

  6. That soccer quilt turned out wonderfully!! Great job!

  7. Gail Sheppard says:

    The soccer quilt is great!!! Good for you quilting it yourselves with Carol’s longarm!
    Thanks for linking to TGIFF!

  8. I’m with Sue on the t-shirt quilts, but when people you love ask for one, it’s hard to say no! This one turned out beautifully, Roseanne. Your quilting is impressive, too! Great finish!

  9. Kathleen McCormick says:

    What a lovely finish! I should send my son’s shirts to you and Sue….just kidding. Yes, the longarm is a god send for getting things done and all in a day is so nice. Wonderful that your friend shares it with you!

  10. Wendy says:

    A nice finish! I’m sure the quilt will be enjoyed for many years!

  11. Linda says:

    What a treasure! I never knew there was such a thing as a T-shirt Ruler, good to know. I like the interest that the sashing on the smaller tees adds to the quilt. What a hoot it must be to listen to you and Sue as you quilt! It looks great, but I agree, once it’s washed it becomes immaterial. Enjoy your weekend!

  12. Vicki in MN says:

    Awesome work, so glad the longarm sharing is working out great! I was going to give panto’s another try yesterday but I can’t find my laser light!!!

  13. Connie says:

    Love the quilt! And hearing about the process too…I still haven’t gathered the nerve to try one, but love the results!

  14. Tracie says:

    The soccer quilt turned out so nice! What a great gift.

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