My favorite tee-shirts are one I buy from Beall's Florida. They are very soft, wash and wear nicely, and have some lovely images with a touch of bling. I've also gotten some nice ones in cruise ship gift shops.
This parrot image I liked so much, I bought two tees, knowing the first one would wear out or I'd spill coffee on it. So now there's one in the quilt and one to wear. But after the tees are worn to near oblivion, I carefully cut out the image before tossing the shirt. Just can't bear to part with these images, so the question becomes "What do I do with them?"
The answer came in the form of a Craftsy online class titled "The Ultimate T-Shirt Quilt" with Winnie Fleming. She offers all the instruction and ideas you need to create a quilt using any size and style of tees. Her methods, formula, and grid system make designing a custom layout manageable. I just pulled a lot of scraps and fabrics from my stash and jumped right in. This quilt is the result, and it's soft and comfy.
So now, those tee shirt images are finally out of storage and my fabric stash has dwindled just a little. Here are a couple of the images included in the quilt. I mixed everything- whether Christmas or not. If it had bling and once graced a shirt, it went in the quilt.
Of course the question then became how to quilt the project which has so many different elements in it. That's where longarm quilting friend Katherine Wohler came in. We discussed and puzzled for awhile, and then she got started. She brought it to me when it was partly done, and we both felt the knit blocks needed a bit more quilting to secure them. However, the glitzy parts were a challenge in terms of breaking a needle and how to quilt around them.
So back home the quilt went with her. She was able to quilt right up to the images while using softer, meandering stitching throughout the rest of the quilt. This is the back of one block. She also found a lovely bronze-colored thread that blended all the colors nicely. The quilt took quite a bit of work to piece all the fillers and try out different layouts, so I may feel able to go ahead and toss any glitzy tees in the future. But you never know!