Items you can used in a T-shirt quilt for a swimmer:
Sweatshirts and Sweatpants
Bags & Backpacks
If you are a swimmer or the parent of a swimmer, sitting through the 1000 or 1650 can be torture. My daughter Milie is a sprinter. She swam 4 events, yet she only swam 300 yards.
I had to keep myself entertained while I sat through the long events to make it to the sprinter events.
I decided to catalog every item that swimmers have that could be used in a T-shirt quilt. I also compiled a list of things that cannot be used in a quilt. Here is that list.
That's Milie in the photograph.
Items That Can be Used in a T-shirt Quilt
Sweatshirts and Sweatpants
Towels Some swimmers have favorite towels that they use at every meet. At the swimming meet, one young woman was wearing an Elmo towel type cape. I could tell it was special and loved.
This type of item can be used in a T-shirt quilt. (And as a side note, her mother should have taken that towel away after the fifth grade! Not appropriate to wear as a college senior at a college level competition.)
Bags & Backpacks We can use the team logo or name off backpacks and bags. I know that I have gone through a number of Speedo backpacks having the zipper fail long before the bag! If there is a name or a team logo on it, we can use it.
We have used goggles in our T-shirt quilts. We add them in a way that the strap is gone and the goggles themselves are removable. This way the quilt can be washed without the goggles.
The issue with goggles is that the silicone or foam around the eye socket will deteriorate over time. But since we make the goggles removable, in the future, the goggles could be removed or replace.
As a swimmer or a parent of a swimmer, you know that swimming suits deteriorate from the chlorine. We can use a swimming suit in a T-shirt quilt, but if it is roached from the chlorine, it will continue its decline in a T-shirt quilt. Most swimsuits that we use are competition suits with team logos that were not worn on a daily basis. It’s important to wash any swimsuit you plan to use so all the chlorine is removed. We also put another piece of material behind a swimming suit so, if in the future, the swimming suit deteriorates there is not a hole through to the batting in the quilt.
Medals We can make places for you to attach medals to your quilt. They would not be permanently attached to the quilt. This way they can be removed for washing. But carefully consider if you want your medals on your quilt. They would not be too much fun to sleep with. But if you plan to hang your quilt on the wall, then this might be a good place for a few medals.
We have used the three prong flip-flops in our quilts. They can be a lot of fun! We don’t use the sole, just the upper part. If you want more information about how we would use a flip-flop in your quilt, let us know.
To learn more about the different types, styles and qualities of T-shirts, download our T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide. It’s a great place to begin your journey to finding a quilt maker.
Items That Can't be Used in a T-shirt Quilt
Latex Swimming Caps Swimming caps will deteriorate. And they cannot be sewn because the sewing machine’s needle gets sticky and the stitch tension can’t be held. They would also rip.
Ribbons that are not removable Ribbons are made out of fabric called acetate. When washed, this fabric shrinks and bleeds. It would ruin your quilt.
To preserve these and other similar types of items, consider making a shadow box display.
As you are getting items ready for a T-shirts quilt, think beyond the T-shirt. Look at all the items that tell the story of all the miles swam.
Be sure you know everything you can about T-shirt quilts before you have one made. Since you only have one chance to have your T-shirt quilt made, make sure it’s made how you want it made. Your quilt should last you a lifetime, therefore make sure your quilter does quality workmanship and uses quality materials. Read more about finding a quilt maker here.
Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.