Friday, July 26, 2013

College T-Shirt Quilt

You all know how it is: If you didn't get a shirt, it didn't happen.

I've been saving all my old college shirts for a t-shirt quilt for a while now... not that it has really been that long since I graduated but as many times as I've hauled this t-shirt box around it feels like forever. This sad little box has moved with us not once, not twice, but four times! At one point, I was so convinced I wasn't going to ever get it done myself I almost sent it off, but ironically, never got around to it. 

I was considering isolating my Greek shirts apart from my other college activities, but then found that I was making a throw instead of a more substantial quilt. As I started to cut more shirts and play with more arrangements, it was interesting how symbolic the arrangements were becoming, and how each shirt is tied to such a distinctive memory. I could isolate the sorority shirts, but really, that was a small part of who I was in college. I was also an advocate for safe drinking practices, a member of the orientation team that moved in hundreds of Freshman each year, a leader in Greek life in promoting unity in our campus, and a member of our distinguished Honors College. It's really too bad I don't have a t-shirt for the English department... but I guess a diploma will work for proof on that one.

This quilt is an image of who I was for four years--an image of who I was becoming. I can see who I am now emerging from all the different activities I participated in, as I discovered what really mattered to me, and what I could stand to let go.

Now four years later, the quilt top is complete. The box is empty, and there are new projects to ponder. I'm sending this one off to a local quilter since I can't quilt big projects very well on my machine and I want this one done professionally. I can't wait to see what it looks like completely finished!

There's still a lot of growing up to do, and I love these craft-room milestones along the way. A four year work in progress: CHECK!

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