By Anna Grace Usery
Judy Wood kept and stored her children’s school T-shirts in the attic for years. Well after they graduated and became adults, she decided to repurpose the high school memories into T-shirt quilts.
After someone showed her the logistics of putting the quilts together, she made her husband and each of her children one for Christmas. When she saw the joy her gift produced, she decided to turn her creative fervor into a business — Cotton Wood Designs.
“It’s a great way to preserve memories and tell someone’s life story,” Wood said.
She’s made quilts for a variety of people in the LOU community including those in sororities, fraternities and high school. One woman even found all her late grandfather’s shirts to turn a quilt into her own permanent memory of him.
“I think it’s very comforting for people to have a memory to wrap up in,” Wood said.
She said she has a quick turnaround time producing the quilt, estimating a week if she isn’t super busy. Wood starts by cutting the shirts and machine quilting each square, then moves on to the detail work she said adds a special flair to each. To put the final touches and add to the comfort of the quilt, she backs them with 100 percent cotton flannel.
Aside from the work being fun and creative, Wood said it’s satisfying to see the look on the person’s face when she hands back memories in quilt form, with a special hand-embroidered message on the back.
“I love the feeling of telling someone’s unique story through T-shirts,” she said.
For those interested in having a T-shirt quilt made, the minimum amount of shirts needed is 12, but she can make them as large as 30. Contact Judy Wood through Facebook, Instagram, or through her email, firstname.lastname@example.org.