November 22, 2010

Warbird T-Shirt Quilt

 In this day and age of reuse and recycle it is always fun to see something repurposed, especially when it pertains to our own personal interests.  My mom is an avid quilter.  I grew up staying warm in the winter months under her handiwork, and over the years our family has shared her interest in quilting.  As a matter of fact, we even owned a small quilt shop years ago.  It was a lot of fun learning how to run a small business, and have the opportunity to meet new people who shared the love of quilting.

In the local quilting scene mom became fast friends with a woman named Melinda Hamm Giacommarro.  Melinda has taken her own love of quilting to new heights and has made some rather unique creations.  She repurposes t-shirts by making them into one-of-a-kind quilts.  Over the years my mom had me stash away my old, worn out aviation t-shirts and this summer we finally pulled them out to give this t-shirt quilt thing a go.  
We sorted through the various types and styles and ultimately narrowed down our choices to the final 12 shirts that made the cut.  We’ve aptly named it the “Warbird Quilt”.  Like I said, we narrowed down our selections to just 12, so I have a very strong suspicion that this will be the first of many aviation themed t-shirt quilts to come.

We scheduled a meeting with Melinda at
Bluebonnet T-shirt Quilts to show her the t-shirts we had picked. We then reviewed the layout and the quilting.  I have to admit I was overwhelmed by the numerous options that could be added!  The creativity flowed and we came up with a good number of designs.  Each block would have its own coordinating theme.  Here is a breakdown of what we finally decided on:
  1. The Corsair t-shirt block has the Blacksheep Squadron patch quilted in it.
  2. The P-38 block is embellished with lightning bolts.
  3. The War Bond poster block has aviator goggles.
  4. The Super Corsair block has the “flying man” logo from the Cleveland Air Races.
  5. The Keep ‘Em Flying block has Stars and Bars.
  6. The Hamilton Standard block has the propeller from the airplane logo.
  7. The Fighter Rebuilders block has a world globe.
  8. The Old Glory B-25 block has American flags.
  9. The Southern Cross Sea Fury block has the Australian roundel.
  10. The Memphis Belle block has a 25 missions bomb.
  11. The Pratt and Whittney block has eagles.
  12. The Me-262 block has clouds.  
Not only are each of the individual blocks uniquely quilted, but we even decided on detailing all the way around the edges!  Quilted into the borders are the names of the airshows we have attended over the years where I purchased these t-shirts.  Also in the borders are the American Stars and Bars with the phrase  “Keep ‘Em Flying.”  All these designs are quilted into the background of the quilt!  One other very cool and unique aspect is that when you turn the quilt over, all of the quilting details and patterns are easily seen.   A lighter colored backing was put on it so the beauty and workmanship would stand out.  Melinda really cranked up the creativity and blew us away!

For this aviation enthusiast my new quilt is an awesome blend of repurposing the old, worn out, but highly treasured t-shirts and making them into a piece of art I can show off to friends and family!  And, my wife and I can slide the quilt off the back of the couch to warm up while watching a movie.  Do you have a closet full of airshow t-shirts you don’t know what to do with?  I highly recommend Melinda at Bluebonnet T-shirt Quilts** to preserve all of your special memories!
**Melinda Hamm Giacomarro is an exceptional quilter.  She has made hundreds of beautiful and creative creations for folks with a variety of themes including:  Disney, High School, College, and Vacation Themes among others.  If you have a pile of old t-shirts that you just can’t seem to part with, but no longer wear, here is a practical way to preserve those memories and give new life to something old and treasured!  To contact Melinda email her at melindaquilts “at”


Judy said...

Aviators and Quilters - some of the BEST of the best enthusiasts!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have been saving up a bunch of shirts to do something with, I should have known you would be one to ask. The detail is amazing. I think I have six of the twelve shirts you used!
~Jim B

Dan Linn said...

Jim... Some of those shirts we purchased at the same time at the same airshows!

Unknown said...

The detail is amazing. I think I have six of the twelve shirts you used!

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