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Keeping Memories Alive with Quilts

by | Feb 3, 2018 | Home Decor, Liz Foss | 5 comments

Liz Foss blogs about the challenges of making a tee shirt quilt and a prom dress quilt.

Liz Foss at work on a quilt.

I spend a lot of time browsing fabric stores and websites, searching for the right patterns and colors to make my quilts. When a customer handed me a bag of tee shirts and asked me to make a quilt as a graduation gift for her son who loved sports, it was a mixed blessing.  These weren’t materials I would have chosen, but the project was meaningful and fun.

A bag of sports tee shirts Liz Foss will use for a quilt.

Tee shirt quilts are not a new idea. In fact, there are books about how to make them, but the tee shirts are usually in boring straight lines. I wanted to do something more creative while keeping in mind that the quilt would go on a college student’s bed in his dorm room.

A bag of sports tee shirts Liz Foss will use for a quilt.

There are limits to what you can do with the fronts of tee shirts, but I liked putting the puzzle together.  The graphics came in different sizes and colors for me to play around with and I added some geometric shapes to fill in the gaps. Here is the finished product. I hope that my customer’s son will enjoy it for many years.

Liz Foss: Quilt made from sport tee-shirts

I have also made memory quilts from loved ones’ clothing and even horse show ribbons. A friend of mine commissioned a prom dress quilt as a gift for her daughter, who had gone to several proms but couldn’t hang on to the dresses forever. Fortunately, my friend gave me her blessing to cut up the dresses and no special instructions except to “make something funky.” That’s just the kind of freedom an artist loves.

Liz Foss: Quilt made from prom dresses

The materials, silk and satin with lots of sequins, were a challenge. They didn’t behave like cotton and I had to use lots of pins.  I added flowers, embroidery and some of my own fabrics as embellishments. Now the dresses will live on as a wall quilt.

Liz Foss: Quilt made from prom dresses

Do you have an idea for a quilt that will rekindle fond memories? I’d love to hear from you.