Hello Dolly! Hello Quilts!

theater t-shirts made into a memory quilt
These high school theater t-shirts were used to make a memory quilt!

When our eldest son, Ryan, attended high school he became interested in the theater department. He was cast in most of the musical productions, which resulted in a collection of t-shirts that were signed by the cast and crew of each show. When Ryan was a senior, his younger brother, James, entered high school and also began performing on stage! Another collection of musical t-shirts came home! They wore them several times, but soon they were put away as they moved on to college. Since they were left behind, I knew I had to store them away for a quilt to be made for each of them, someday. Well, Ryan graduated in 2007 and James received his diploma in 2010. I guess it was about time I made these quilts!

Part of my hesitation in beginning this project was knowing how to make t-shirt quilts. I researched online and found so much information on how to prepare the fabric. Now for the pattern! The backs of the t-shirts were signed by the cast members and others associated with each production. Several of the shirts had a small logo of each play on the front, while a few had larger images related to the musical on the front. There was no consistency in the shirts at all! Well, since this was the case, I had to cut the shirts in different sizes and come up with my own pattern.

theater t-shirts made into a memory quilt
These were some of the shirts I used to make a T-shirt memory quilt for Ryan!
high school theater shirts were used to make a memory quilt!
James’ high school theater shirts were used to make a memory quilt!

I finally decided to cut the front and back of each shirt into a 16′ x 16′ square. Since most of the productions were musicals, I decided to use fabric with musical notes as the borders and between the shirt panels. I chose to piece each quilt back with the fronts of some musical shirts, and included some other shirts they wore before going off to college.

theater t-shirts made into a memory quilt
The back of Ryan’s quilt included theater and magic t-shirts!
theater t-shirts made into a memory quilt
The back of James’ quilt also included shirts from his guitar and Jazz band performances!

I found a great way to make the labels from Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation. (She makes beautiful quilts! I especially love the quilts she made from her grandfather’s shirts!) You should visit her blog!

quilt labels
This was the perfect name for my son’s quilt!
quilt labels
Most of the shirts were from musical productions, so this was the right name for my son’s quilt!

I had intended to have these two quilts under our Christmas tree this year, but my husband knew I was so anxious to see their reactions when they opened them, so he thought I should not wait until Christmas. (Thanks Honey!) I was also concerned with them ‘snooping’ before Christmas! So, I was able to give them these special quilts when they both happened to be in town together in September. (Very rare these days.)

theater t-shirts made into a memory quilt
Ryan had not seen these shirts for over 5 years!

Ryan was surprised to see the logo from the “Poof’ magic and entertainment production he wrote, directed and starred in during his senior year! He didn’t have a t-shirt of this special show, so I searched my files and found the information to transfer onto fabric to include in his quilt! He has been interested in magic since he was 9 years old! (If I am allowed a proud mom moment…Ryan is a professional magician living in San Francisco. His professional name is Ryan Kane and you can check out his website here!)

theater t-shirts made into a memory quilt
James enjoyed looking over his old high school t-shirts!

Okay. If you will allow me another proud mom moment…James played Barnaby in Hello Dolly and won an Elly award for his performance! Well done James! (I miss seeing him on stage, but since he is getting ready to graduate with a degree in Molecular Biology, he doesn’t have much time for rehearsals and musical performances these days.)

Since our sons live on the California coast, (San Francisco & Santa Cruz) it is often chilly, so giving these quilts to keep them warm before late December was great for me…and them! It was so wonderful to see their reactions! My heart melted.

Thank you for visiting my blog! Enjoy your Creative Time! ~ Vickie

I appreciate you visiting my blog!  Enjoy your day!
I appreciate you visiting my blog! Enjoy your day!

16 thoughts on “Hello Dolly! Hello Quilts!

  1. I have seen quilts made out of marathon and triath-o-lon T-Shirts advertised in the magazine Runner’s World (my husband likes to read this magazine). This is another great creative variation. Your talent and creativity always amazes me. ~Thea

  2. Thanks for the inspiration to make a t-shirt quilt. I have saved so many from both my daughters, now I just need to “start”. Lol
    Thanks for always stopping by my blog and commenting too…very much appreciated!!

  3. Making quilts from families and friends old/used clothing reminds me of the old days and they’re very special with great memories. Thanks for stopping by my blog today and Clicking the Like Button. Great Post. Blessings Always, Mtetar

    1. Thank you Mtetar. I agree that making new items from old things adds a special meaning to the newly created gift. Handmade things are the best. I appreciate yoeur comments and support for my blog. I hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Vickie

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