It has been 20 years since I graduated from college. Yes, I am old! I went to a small women’s college nestled near the North Georgia mountains that I loved so very much. It was the perfect school for me. It was just far enough away from home that I got away from my little hometown, but it wasn’t too far away that I couldn’t easily go home to visit on the weekends. It was also the perfect size school for this shy, innocent teen at the time. I loved every minute of my 4 years there. Even though I hadn’t planned to, I joined a sorority and met the most incredible women who I have bene lucky enough to call friends. While I was there, I collected a plethora of t-shirts as I think most college students do, and I have hung onto (or at least my mom hung onto) them for the last 20 years with the intent of one day creating a quilt out of them to capture all my memories. At one point my mom was going to try to do it, but she really didn’t have the time or know how. Then she was going to have a friend to do it, but life always got in the way and it just never happened. Of course, it got brought up every now and then over the years that we really needed to do something with the shirts or get rid of them. Well, it may have taken 20 years, but I finally was able to get it done! My mom ended up getting my sister and me gift cards to Project Repat for Christmas to cover the cost of a full-sized quilt. It then took another 6 months before I got my act together and mailed in all my shirts, but I finally did it, and I couldn’t be happier that it is finally done.
The gift card was for a full-sized quilt which allowed for 30 shirts in 12X12 squares. My first chore was to go through all of my shirts and select the 30 I wanted to use. That was not as easy of a task as you might think. There were some of my sorority letters that I decided to keep in the hopes that maybe one of my girls will pledge the same sorority one day. Wishful thinking, I know! Anyway, once I had selected my 30 shirts and chose the color backing that I wanted them to add to the quilt (I chose grey), the instructions were to cut the shirts so that just the side you wanted shown on the quilt was mailed in. They had a video to watch that showed you how to cut them, and it was super easy to follow. My fingers did get a little sore after cutting up 30 shirts, and it was a little heartbreaking to cut them into pieces. I had to keep telling myself that it would be worth it in the end. Next, I packaged them up and mailed them in, which was a little nerve wracking. I was terrified that they would get lost in the mail. In fact, they did end up taking a few detours along the way, and I thought they might be lost forever. Thankfully, they eventually showed up in the right location. I did end up paying an extra $20 over my gift card in order to make the square size a little larger (14×14) to allow me to use some shirts that had a larger design. I didn’t want anything to get cut off. There was one shirt that got a little off center and got cut off a bit, but I will forgive them for that because the rest of it is so amazing! It took around 3 weeks to get the quilt back once it arrived at their facility. I cannot tell you how much I love the end product. It is exactly what I wanted and is now one of my all-time favorite things.
I highly recommend Project Repat if you have a collection of shirts you want to keep. It is certainly a cool way to hold on to those memories. I don’t think they are very expensive, and they offer sales and discounts throughout the year so it is a very affordable option if you are unable to sew it yourself. I have actually been saving all of my daughters’ gymnastics and cheer shirts for all these years to do the same for them when they graduate from high school. I thought it would be a neat thing they could take to college with them. Anyway, I am totally in love with my quilt and I know that I am going to be curling up with it for years to come.