Sending a child away to college is a heartbreaking experience for any mother. Worrying about whether your son or daughter will be alright without you, if they will make the right choices, and how they will handle themselves when things go wrong is hard for a parent to go through. Wipe away those tears, Mom, because you can send him to college with a little piece of your heart sewn into every stitch and memory of a T-shirt quilt! Pick out just the right shirts to give your child a walk down memory lane each time he cuddles up beneath it.
1. Family Vacation Spots
Family vacations are full of stories, whether they are good stories or frustrating ones. If your college student has shirts from family vacation spots, include some of them in your T-shirt quilt. Don’t forget shirts from specific places like zoos or museums in addition to shirts that simply have city names on them.
2. School Shirts
Let your graduate take some of their high school spirit with them to their new home-away-from-home. Include spirit shirts, uniforms from team sports they played in school, or simple shirts in their high school colors. High school shirts will remind your kid of all of the friendships she still has, even if they aren’t at her new school with her.
3. Iron-On Shirts
Iron-on pictures are a great way to add sentimental or fun photographs to a T-shirt quilt. You can purchase iron-on transfer paper at a craft store that lets you print pictures from your computer printer, and then transfer them to a solid-colored T-shirt that you can use in your quilt. Pick out pictures that will bring laughs, happy tears, or nostalgic smiles to add the most value to the quilt. Baby pictures, siblings, favorite pets, or goofy photos are some great ideas.
4. Baby Shirts
If you are still holding onto shirts your little one wore as a baby, a T-shirt quilt is the perfect way to pass them on. Because baby and young children’s shirts are smaller than adult sizes, you will probably need to piece a couple of these together to make block sizes the same. You could also add a fleece border to any blocks that you need to make just a little bigger.
5. Mommy and Me Shirts
Any shirt that holds a specific memory of something special the two of you did together should be added to your quilt immediately. Your child might not be a preschooler with separation anxiety anymore, but he still needs to know that Mom is there for him whenever he needs you—even when you are miles apart.
Vacation shirts, school shirts, concert shirts, and more are all options for making a T-shirt quilt, but remember to include shirts your child won’t be uncomfortable with showing new friends and roommates. College is, after all, a time to put away embarrassing things.
Lauren Houston is a freelance blogger and mother of a college student. If you are interested in getting crafty with shirts, she also suggests making your new college student personalised polo shirts as a way to preserve memories.