Home away from home

Send off your college-bound kids with a piece of home to take with them

By Jeanne Field
How to make a T-shirt quilt @hallmarkstores @hallmarkstoresIdeas

Last year, I sent my firstborn off to college. To help with the leaving-the-nest jitters, both his and mine, I decided to make a quilt. I've been making quilts for about 22 years, so I know very well that when you're headed into unknown territory, there's nothing like a quilt to provide a feeling of security. (Maybe Linus was on to something.)

You see, a long, long time ago, on my own trip to college, one of my Grandma Howell’s quilts accompanied me. She didn’t make it especially for me—it was already well used by the time I got it. And it was too short for the bed. And it had a few holes. And the fabrics were faded and very dated. But none of that mattered because I loved it. It was soft. It kept me warm every night. And it made me just a teensy bit homesick—not enough to be miserable, but just enough to remind me of the family who was there for me.

So, last year, I did that for my son. I made him a quilt for the same kind of security and warmth it gave me. If you want to do that too, but you aren’t a quilter, try your hand at making a T-shirt quilt. It will be a physical reminder of where your kid came from—and where home will always be.

Download the t-shirt quilt instructions

More T-Shirt Craft Ideas for the Grad

If you like the T-shirt quilt idea, but are a little intimidated by the thought of tackling an entire quilt, here are some solutions:

  • Hire someone else to make it (there are lots of websites that will do all of this for you).
  • Start with something smaller, like a scarf, tote bag, pillow or this easy t-shirt canvas wall art your kid can hang in a dorm room. All of these are easy projects to test the T-shirt crafting waters. Then, with more confidence, you can go big.

Jeanne Field is a Hallmark editor who loves finding ways for her kids to get as messy crafting as she does.