Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"B" is for Boise State

It's "B" day on the A-to-Z Challenge!

In our case, B is for Boise State! Our family is a huge fan of the Broncos. Football season is a serious time around here. One of the biggest fans is my I decided that he needed a Boise State themed present for Christmas in 2012.

For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that each Christmas I do the Christmas Project Countdown, where I try to finish everyone's gifts before time runs out on Christmas Eve. I've gotten better at it every year, but it's still always a challenge. You also know that each year, one person gets the big present...the one present that is the total time suck (it's almost always a quilt...they take FOREVER). Well, in 2012, it was Dad's year.

A BSU T-Shirt quilt!

I enlisted the help of Collin and his family to make this thing happen. I got the shirts from thrift stores around the valley. I tried to get a pretty good mixture of them. (I'm pretty sure I bought up just about every decent BSU shirt that was available at the time...except for those that were duplicates.) I even had Collin's mom scoping out the stores on her side of the state to help me out. Phew! That was a LOT of shirts.

I washed, folded and separated the shirts by color. I think I ended up with about three Staples paper boxes stuffed full of shirts.

I then cut out the logo portion of the shirt and separated it from the rest. In some cases, I had double sided shirts that totally paid off. Yay for a 2 for 1!

I used my carpenter square to keep things as straight as possible and make piecing an easier task. The shirts came out all different sizes and shapes, which I wanted in order to make the quilt look more unstructured, but which made sewing a bit more challenging.

I kept the extra fabric for future projects. We always use BSU colored fabrics around here. You'll see some of the scraps show up later this month in the "X" post.

I started out laying out the shirts upstairs in the library. But...even with the large table removed, I quickly ran out of room.

So...I packed everything up and took it down to the family room. I had to take some of the furniture out of the room to clear up enough space, but I made it work. The worst part was the stupid cats running all over the fabric while I was trying to get everything lined up. They're total jerks sometimes.

It took a lot of moving things around to make it look the way I wanted. Once I got it there, I took a bunch of pictures of the sections so I'd remember how I had things. Then I packed up the pieces by row(ish) and headed back upstairs to sew.

Some areas were more challenging than others. The edges didn't end up perfectly straight (I am not the world's best seamstress), but I think it all came out pretty well.

I used plain white fabric for the back and a thin batting in the middle to thicken it up and give it a little more warmth. Thanks to Collin's mom, Carole, I was able to use her serger to sew the edges together. That made things a LOT easier than trying to get the edges done and flip the quilt using my sewing machine. I highly recommend a serger for this type of project if you haven't used one before. Now...if I just had my own... (hint, hint Collin...)

And then it was done! I even finished it before Christmas Eve. Go me! And I think Dad was pretty happy about the results. I know I was. As much as I curse when making a quilt, I always feel pretty good when they're all done.

Thanks to all of you stopping by from A-to-Z Challenge! I love new readers. Make sure to leave me a comment below so that I can return the favor by visiting you. 


  1. Yay!!!! I have been dreaming of creating a quilt but I'm more of a "collector of memories" rather than someone who knows how to sew. But maybe one of these days, I'll have one done...Thanks for the inspiration :) (A-to-Z-er here, BTW)

    Wish I could click on a LIKE button. I'd like to follow you, too...

  2. What an awesome quilt. A present with so much thought, planning, preparation and doing. Your dad will cherish it forever!

  3. Haha, as I saw all that blue and orange coming up, I thought Broncos!
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

  4. That's pretty awesome. I'm impressed that there are so many different t-shirts for your team! We don't really get that over here in the UK. :-)

  5. Elle, you’re amazing. I’ve looked at your A, B, and C projects—love them all but especially the beer bottle cap coasters—and landed back here because of what you said about cursing and quilt-making, which is pretty much the same when stitching together a complex, long short story!
    See you for D!
    Miss A

  6. Looks awesome. Amanda has been asking me for years to have a t shirt quilt made using her old college shirts. Now that I have learned to see and quilt I hope to start it in the near future.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies


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