My husband and I met in marching band – our first few months as friends were spent on the KU football field and in the stands, entertaining ourselves with jokes and trying to stay cool in the late Kansas heat at the games. By the time our winter games and the cold, 6am game day rehearsals in the dark rolled around, we had swapped cell phone numbers and had a hard time saying goodbye after our evening practices. Evan was a senior at the time and I a freshman (scandalous, I know!), and now the Epperson household has 7 years of KU Band gear accumulated.
KU’s School of Music was very lucky to receive swag from our sports teams that was personalized for the marching band – every year we left one of our early rehearsals with piles of t-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, gloves – you name it. All of our sweatshirts and t-shirts have spent years squished in a box under the bed or rumpled up in a drawer, and sorting through them this winter inspired me to turn them into something far more useful.
I’m grateful for the sewing skills and knitting skills I’m slowly acquiring, but I’m determined to only make useful items for our home. Our goal is not only to cut down on our carbon footprint but to also cut down on our homestead footprint – do I really need 7 potholders sorted by holiday, 16 scarves, 4 quilts for every season, and throw pillows so plentiful I can’t find my couch? It doesn’t make it easy for storage, moving, cleaning, or even remembering that those items exist. I don’t mind knitting or sewing items as gifts for family and friends, but utility and usefulness are a big part of my craft investments.
So here I was with two armloads of old t-shirts that we haven’t worn or looked at in 5 years that have just been taking up space and plastic storage containers under our bed, and I decided that a simple t-shirt quilt will be just the right thing to give them a new life. I picked out 12 shirts for a 3 x 4 quilt pattern and researched some ideas on Pinterest (both helpful and unhelpful all at once), and I’ve settled on a simple throw pattern with sashing to border the t-shirt squares and outside edge. It’ll be smaller than a twin-size quilt, but I can easily hang it or use it as a throw for my KU-themed guest bedroom. I’ll detail the full project in a future post, but here is a sneak-peek of an early step in the process: