Sam’s Jersey Quilt

A while back, my sister asked if I would make a quilt with some of the jerseys her son, Sam, had worn over the years.  My sister’s family is quite the opposite of mine.  They are all about sports – football, skiing, running, baseball, lacrosse – they all play something!  The family also follows pro sports, both football and baseball.  My family? Um, not so much. In fact, one year when a dance Julia attended (in junior high) was sports themed and the kids were supposed to wear a shirt from their favorite team, we had nothing. No favorite team, no t shirts or pennants – nothing!  She ended up borrowing a t-shirt from her cousin to wear for the dance, making her a Giants baseball fan for those three hours.

Sam pitching for Varsity baseball at Cherry Creek High School in Colorado.

Sam just graduated high school and is off to college in Colorado where he will pitch for their baseball team.  He has played baseball for years and also played football in high school and with all of that, he has amassed quite the stack of jerseys.  It was fun to look through the jerseys he sent me, but wow, I was so hesitant to start his quilt. I have had the jerseys sitting in the sewing room since April. I would look and think about it but then fold them up and put them away. That slick jersey material and the rubbery numbers and logos made me nervous.

Love the intensity of Sam’s expression in this shot.

I asked around for suggestions and ideas and lots of people came to my rescue.  Namely, Sarah Craig, of Confessions of a Fabric Addict, who has made loads of memory quilts.  She and I emailed a few times and she gave me a few tips and also recommended a fusible interfacing by June Tailor that she likes.

My first step was to cut the front from the back of each shirt at the side seams.  I also saved any smaller logos from the sleeves.

Julia helped me with this and we sort of folded the shirt fronts and backs into similar size squares and laid them out on the floor. Once I got to that point, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.  So, I did what any sane quilter would do and put it back in the bag and set it aside. 🙂

Finally, I did a little more research and found this book, Terrific T-Shirt Quilts, by Karen Burns.   It has been very helpful.  Somehow, I couldn’t picture what I wanted this quilt to look like. It definitely needed to be masculine and with red, blue and dark blue jersey and logos, there was no question it was a guy’s quilt. But it needed some sort of structure or organization.  When I saw this quilt, it gave me just what I wanted. This pattern calls for the shirts to be cut to 12″ x 14″ and stabilized with fusible interfacing.  The June Tailor interfacing recommended by Sarah worked really well. It is a woven fabric and adhered to the slick jersey fabric without any problem. Getting the logos to work within the 12″ x 14″ block was tricky.  Some of the logos were too wide, others were featured up at the top of the fabric (just below the seam line across the shoulders in the jersey). Because of this, the designs are not centered well within the blocks. This doesn’t bother me a whole lot though.

I love this block with his last name on it but I barely fit it within the 12″ width requirement.

After getting the jerseys prepped and cut, I started to work on the sashing and border pieces.  After checking in with Juanita (my sister and Sam’s mother) I decided on gray and red for the fabrics. As luck would have it, I had a great gray and white polka dot in my shop. It is actually a wide back fabric by Red Rooster (and it just happens to be available here!!) In addition to the gray and white polka dot, I chose a cherry red textured solid by PB Textiles. (Why yes, thank you for asking, I do happen to carry it in my shop.  Click here!)

Doesn’t it look great??  I am so happy with it and hopefully Sam will like it as well!  I added a fourth row of blocks so I could use more of the jerseys. Plus it needed the extra length – Sam is a tall guy.  With the fourth row, the length grew to 72″. I have some ideas about using the little logos from the sleeves, as well as some of the wider logos that wouldn’t fit in the quilt top design, to make a pieced backing. For now though, I need to set this project aside once again.

Before I can finish Sam’s quilt, I need to finish a different project I am working on.  I am reviewing a new book by Dorie Hruska, called Making Connections. It is a great tool for free motion quilting or long arm quilting with a continuous flow, thereby avoiding starts and stops.  Remember my post about my entries at the fair when the judge commented she could see too many starts and stops?  Well, this is helping me correct that!! There will be a fun blog hop which begins on Monday (but my post won’t come up until September 8th. ) I will be hosting a giveaway of one copy of the book so be sure to come back and check it out!

Have a great weekend everyone!  It is going to be insanely hot so I will be inside taking advantage of the A/C and sewing.  How about you?

Linking to my favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

(This is an affiliate post, meaning if you click through and purchase Dorie’s book, I will receive a small commission.)

 

 

21 thoughts on “Sam’s Jersey Quilt

    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Sarah. Have a fun weekend in the sewing room! Surely this heat will break soon. I heard it hit 99 degrees in San Francisco yesterday which is unheard of. Yikes!!

      Reply
  1. Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

    What a great solution for the quilt top, it came together really well. I believe some projects like that need time to “stew” and for the right opportunities and information to pass by. I’m glad you got help from Sarah on stabilizing the material.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      For sure — the more I look at something the better my plan becomes. Often times, that is the most laborious part. I love the feeling when you finally know what you want to do and can just begin!

      Reply
  2. Wendy

    You did a great job on the quilt, Bernie! I have a pile of t-shirts of my daughter’s that are in the “stewing” stage, and may be there for a bit longer yet. Someday, though, it will get done! I’ll come to you and Sarah for info and encouragement when I do!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      If you get to the point where you want to make your daughter’s quilt, let me know and I will happily share the book with you! It has lots of nice layouts and then you don’t have to work out all the math. 🙂

      Reply
  3. JanineMarie

    This quilt looks wonderful, Bernie! I really like the gray and red and how the layout connects all the jerseys. Yay for you working up the nerve to see the project through! Do stay cool this weekend. I’m writing this under a quilt for the first time since last spring. It’s unseasonably cool here–in the low 60’s during the day and the 40’s at night. So strange! I’m trying not to complain about feeling cold. Too bad I can’t send you some cool air.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Ugh — I am so jealous of your weather. It hit 104 yesterday and will again today. We have another week of this and then we cool off but only to about 90 degrees. That will be much better tho. This heat just drains you. Enough whining. I will be hanging out indoors until it breaks!

      Reply
  4. Juanita (aka Sam's mom and Bernie's sister)

    LOVE IT! and I am sure Sam will as well. I love the colors and agree that the gray goes really well with the bright red for the background. I think he will cherish this forever. Thanks again sister!

    Reply
  5. Preeti

    Oh, I am sure Sam will love this jersey quilt. T-shirt quilts are painstaking and look like you had some help 🙂 Taking a break is completely understandable.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I think he will like it. I did go slow and try to have a good plan because once you cut the jerseys or tshirts up, there is no going back!
      Have a great weekend Preeti!

      Reply
  6. Kristie Cook

    This turned out great! The t-shirt quilts I’ve made in the past were just rows of the logos. These were quilts with lots of tees & big enough without borders. I really like this layout & the grey polka dot! I’ve been looking for a background material for a Christmas quilt & this is a good contender. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you!! I love the gray and red fabrics too – It all came together nicely.
      I just put a square of the gray fabric in the mail for you – that way you can see if it does indeed work with your quilt. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Deb E / Oregon

    Great job with the top, the way it was laid out in the quilt top is terrific. I’m sure he’ll love it! Have you thought about using the smaller blocks along the two sides to make the quilt just a little bit wider? Maybe mix in there a few blocks of pictures of him as he was growing up, in his shirts? It makes it a bit more of a memory quilt that way, seeing himself in those shirts as “a little guy”, enjoying all those activities….
    Deb E / Oregon

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      That is an interesting idea. I have been thinking it may need to be a bit larger. Have you washed quilts with pictures? It seems like they wouldn’t hold up to a lot of laundering?

      Reply
  8. Mary @ Fleur de Lis Quilts

    You’re really putting some thought and worry into Sam’s quilt. Thanks for all the links and the book title. I love the the way this one turned out. It’s such a smart way to fill in the space between the jerseys. Beautiful finish!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you. It makes the challenge more enjoyable if I take the time to think about a project for a while and come up with a plan I am happy with, as opposed to rushing through it. Take care Mary!

      Reply
  9. Linda

    First of all, what a handsome nephew! And congratulations to him for going to play on the college team. What fun to have Julia helping you with the quilt. I really got tickled at your documentary of picking up the t-shirts, then folding and putting them away. 😀 I love what you’ve done with them – that is a great pattern, and I would never have thought about using fusible interfacing.
    I’ve been approached twice by relatives and friends about making a t-shirt quilt and I guess I dawdled so long about ideas for them, they finally stopped asking. Lol! At least now I’ll have your post saved to refer back to – if they ever ask again!
    I’m looking forward to seeing the back.

    Reply

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