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Quilt Round Up #1: June 2019

It’s been an exciting few months here at Tangible Culture with the first orders for custom quilts coming in and a lecture on the development of the block-style quilt for the Bloomington Quilters Guild! I thought it would be fun to share a few highlights from the custom quilts that I have made in the past few months.

If you are interested in having me make one for you remember all those details can be found here.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Affiliate links are clearly marked.


Festival T-Shirt Quilt

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Custom quilt made from festival t-shirts

First up is this fun t-shirt quilt. It is extra special because it was the first custom quilt order that I received after I officially started my business! It’s made from t-shirts from festivals run by two generations of the same family. The customer’s parents helped run a local beer festival every year and the owner has been saving the shirts and hats from each festival. She was thrilled to be able to clean out an entire storage bin and get a fun quilt from the shirts. This particular individual also helps to run a local quilt show and so she added a few of her t-shirts from the quilt show to the mix. Now she has a quilt that tells the story of the involvement of two generations in local festivals and events!

This quilt has an all over meandering quilting design, which comes with the base price for each quilt I make.

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Close up of an all over meandering quilting pattern

In addition to the meandering pattern, I will also select a few fun patterns from the shirts themselves and trace around them. This makes the quilt just as fun from the back as it is from the front!

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Back of the festival t-shirt quilt, showing the quilting

Here is a detail of one of the quilting motifs as seen from the back:

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Sun motif traced from t-shirt design as seen on the back of the quilt


I-Spy Baby Quilt

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Custom I-spy Quilt

For the second quilt, the customer reached out to me and mentioned that while they didn’t have any clothing that they wanted made into quilts they were wondering if I would be willing to make an I-spy quilt. I-spy quilts are really popular quilts for kids. They are made with all different fabrics and make a fun game for kids to find specific items in the quilt. It’s kind of like a cloth Where’s Waldo book!

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Detail of I-Spy quilt

For this quilt the customer selected a set of pre-washed and pre-cut 4.5 inch squares from (the following is an affiliate link) MyriadFabrics on Etsy. The pre-cut blocks were sent to me and then I created the layout, pieced the top, and quilted the quilt. Again this one has an all over meandering quilting design. It’s backed with a cozy flannel which doubles as the binding around the edge of the quilt. Here is a picture of it all wrapped up and ready to ship to its new home:

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I-Spy quilt all wrapped up and ready to go to its new home

I hope this one brings its new owners lots of fun play time!


Fraternity Fundraising Bike Trip T-Shirt Quilt

JOH front
Journey of Hope Fundraising Bike Trip T-shirt Quilt

The third quilt wasn’t a commission, but is a gift for my brother-in-law. When my brother-in-law was in college he participated regularly in the Journey of Hope, a charity cross-country bicycle ride put on each year by his fraternity. As anyone who participates in any sports or fundraising events knows, you end up with a lot of t-shirts! For his birthday this year my sister pulled all of the shirts and snuck them to me and I made this t-shirt quilt for him.

As with any t-shirt quilt order, after I cut out the shirts and create a layout I send a photo of the layout to the person ordering the quilt to make sure that they like the design and placement of the blocks. Here’s what an initial layout looks like before the blocks are sewn together:

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Quilt layout sent to customer for approval

A special detail in this quilt is the backing fabric, this design by Art Gallery Fabrics depicts bikes arranged in a kaleidoscope in the colors of my brother-in-law’s fraternity. I was only able to find 4 yards of this fabric, which turned out not to be enough for the full back. So I created a fabric road to run through the back and help make the backing fabric long enough.

JOH Full back
Back of bike trip t-shirt quilt


JOH Back fabric detail
Detail of backing fabric for bike trip quilt

This quilt is quilted by block, meaning I used a different design in each square or rectangle of t-shirt. This style of quilting is an upgrade that you can add to your custom quilt order if you would like. Simply indicate you are interested in quilting by block in the inquiry form and I’ll make sure to include that as a line item in the custom quote I create for you.

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Interlocking quilting pattern on a Journey of Hope t-shirt
JOH Michigan block
T-shirt design with horizontal lines quilted in it to compliment horizontal lines in the outline of Michigan printed on shirt
JOH Hammer front
T-shirt with a meandering quilt pattern and an outline around the hammer motif
JOH Hammer front
Outlined hammer motif as seen on back of quilt

I had lots of fun working on these and other projects over the past couple of months. If you would like to have me make a quilt like these (or if you have another idea for a custom quilt you want to run past me) please check out my Custom Quilts page and either fill out the Inquiry Form or reach out with an email. I’d love to make something for you!


Photo Credit: All photos by author.