The T-shirt Rug

I thoroughly enjoy making quilts out of t-shirts. I would like to submit Exhibit A, B, and C into evidence:

Exhibit A: my own t-shirt quilt in the making.
Exhibit B: a Christmas present for my supervisor’s hubby
Exhibit C: a baby quilt for sweet little Sophia.

And although t-shirt quilt making is totally awesome, it generates a lot of waste. If you’re like me, you feel bad throwing out all that good fabric so you hoard it. You hoard it to the point that you actually have a contractor bag full of this crap and you’re perfectly willing to haul all 50 pounds of it from your home, to the storage unit, and then into your tiny new apartment. No biggie, it’s all in a days work for the avid sewist! I knew eventually this collecting would pay off at some point. And did it! A few months ago I found a t-shirt rug tutorial on one of the gazillion diy blogs I stalk. Bingo! Instant affirmation that hoarding does indeed pay off. So here’s how it turned out:

Voila! My diy rug-making masterpiece!
Yup, I wear socks with thongs (yes, I call flip-flops thongs). I’m not ashamed. I go out of the house like this. I even have special big-toe socks just for thong wearing. Yes, I’m fully aware that someone’s going to call What Not to Wear on me one of these days.

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To make your very own t-shirt rug, here is a helpful tutorial. The base for their rug is a towel which is totally ingenious! I wish I’d thought of that before I started. I used a heavyweight (and butt-ugly piece) of upholstery fabric that I would never use otherwise. The person in the tutorial used a triple stitch, which I cannot advise enough. You’re going to be walking on this thing so it’s gotta be durable. Not to mention that it has to withstand frequent Risky Business Tom Cruise dancing. I suggest the triple stitch but also a zig-zig to account for any stretching the fabric may do. If you don’t have the triple feature on your machine than do what I did and use a straight stitch and then go back over it with a zig-zag. Then, to make it a non-slip rug, I added hot glue to the back. Yup, another little tip I picked up from the diy ether. I ran the hot glue all down my stitches on the back just for a little added insurance. I would advise starting out with something small, like a bath mat. It takes a lot of fabric to make the size rug I did. A lot! Like I said, it took easily a garbage bag full of t-shirts to make this rug. It’s super awesome though!

Straight stitch and then zig-zag the heck out of it. Go over it as many times as you can even…or utilize the triple stitch option if you have it. Then run over your stitches with some hot glue for some added slip protection.

Memory Quilt

This t-shirt quilt took me 6 months to make and I was soooo glad to finally present it to its rightful owner on Christmas morning. The quilt was a gift from my supervisor Reidin to her husband Danny. The first day I met her she sent me home with a box of Danny’s t-shirts and told me to make a quilt out of them. That was it. I was given no indication of what she wanted it to look like so it was up to me to design the entire thing. Telling from his shirts I knew that he was a NASCAR man so I went with checkered flag sashing and binding and I thought red flannel would be a nice touch (little did I know that red is his favorite color).  All this time he had assumed she threw out his favorite shirts but in reality I was cutting them up and making them into something new and different. They both agreed that there was a lot of my personality in the quilt with all the weird and random decorative stitches. I even hand-stitched some of it because I love the look and general idea of a hand-stitched quilt.  At some point, they want me to embroider my name in it because I totally forgot to do it. Duh, Jaime! Watching him unwrap his gift was a treat for me. He had memories for each and every shirt. And he kept turning flipping it over to inspect all of the little details of his life I hid in there. I made little patches and hid them in larger designs so new things continued to jump out at him. Later on Christmas day, Danny told Reidin that the quilt is his most favorite possession. That makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it for me. However, it will be a long time before I make another double sided quilt. I don’t think people appreciate how much precise measuring and math goes into lining both sides up perfectly. It turned out great though. (Sorry about the blurry photos but you get the idea.)