Tee shirt quilts are a great way to keep your memories and actually enjoy them.
However, what's the point if they never actually get made into a quilt? This post will help you take the next step and get. it. done.
There they were...piles of t-shirts that I no longer wore. One memory after another that I could not part with, so I organized them into a large lidded bin that was labeled "Memory Shirts."
It wasn't a bad solution, but it also wasn't supposed to be permanent. They were out of my closet where they were taking up valuable space, they were organized and protected.
I knew one day I wanted to turn them into a memory quilt, but that "one day" has turned into years. Years!
I know getting your memory shirts turned into a quilt is not a high priority on life's task list, but you do want to actually get it done, right? Me too!
My procrastination got the best of me on this one, but that ends now. I will take my own advice and bust through this procrastination like a muscle-y football player busts through a paper banner when entering the field on game day.
Since my memory shirts are already sorted out of my closet and organized together in a bin, my next step is to figure out which company to use. I'm not a quilter. I can barely sew, so knowing I needed to outsource this project was an easy decision.
I started doing research online and came up with the list below. Check out these reputable quilting companies! Now, which one should I choose?
Project Repat tee shirt blankets are made in the USA, and the PolarTec fleece backings are crafted out of recycled plastic bottles. It's important to note that they are not stitched throughout like quilts; they are blankets. Project Repat takes pride in creating a meaningful product for their customers, making a social impact by manufacturing their goods in the United States and having a minimal carbon impact by using recycled materials.
Keepsake Theme Quilts was established in 1998, and their tee shirt quilts are made out of 100% cotton, fleece or flannel fabrics. Their social mission is to hire, train and promote Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in a work environment free from communication barriers.
Campus Quilt Company is praised by customers for professionalism, frequent updates throughout the quilting process, quality and quick turnaround. They don't simply sew your shirts together or tack the corners to a backing. Campus Quilting Company uses long-arm quilting machines to stitch a pattern throughout the entire quilt which makes it more durable and less prone to stretching or distorting.
The Quilt Loft constructs their tee shirt quilts with high loft batting which means there is a layer of insulation between the front and back of the quilt. They also stitch a pattern throughout the entire quilt rather than simply tacking the corners. This makes the quilt more durable and much warmer.
Custom Memory Quilts not only creates tee shirt quilts but also offers memory pillows and teddy bears as well as photo quilts and quilt hangers. They've also won several local quilting awards. There are lots of photos on their website. Check it out.
The T-Shirt Quilt Cafe uses fleece fabric for their tee shirt quilts, and they have different quilt styles. The mosaic design looks pretty cool. AND, they have a referral program in which they reward you $25 towards your next quilt for each referral. SO, if you decide to order from The T-Shirt Quilt Cafe, tell them I (Nealey Stapleton) sent you. :)
Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts don't have rows or columns like the others. They create quilts out of your memory clothing in random block sizes, and piece them together like a puzzle. AND, they have a referral program as well. Each referral gets you $35 towards your next quilt, so tell them I (Nealey Stapleton) sent you if you decide to order from them.
3 Stitch Creations makes memory quilts, animals, pillows and even stockings. They also stitch throughout the entire quilt for a more durable product. An interesting feature in their ordering process is you don't pay for it until the quilt is done and you've approved the final pictures they send you.
Quilt Keepsake makes memorial quilts, baby clothes quilts and tee shirt quilts. They incorporate all different types of clothing into their quilts including ties, belts, hats, wedding dresses, leotards and even dog collars!
Last, but definitely not least, a quilting resource for Etsy lovers! Here's a list of Etsy shops selling custom t-shirt quilts to check out.