The Quilt Goes to College

Off to college Go Gingham

Remember when I sewed a quilt for my son? Well, when it was finally finished I swore up and down that it wasn’t going off to college with him. I had worked too hard on it and it was too nice for college. I wanted him to leave it at home. Something else that wasn’t quite so precious could go with him for use in his dorm room.

Quilt for college Go Gingham But, then the quilt got a little worn and it got a little smelly (you know – teenage boy sorta scent). I started to think about how it wouldn’t be so bad if the quilt went off to college. It was an extra long quilt – at my son’s request – so the bed could be easily made by tucking it in. That’s how long ago I started the quilt…when he still made his bed. (Heads up: most dorm rooms do have extra long beds.)

With new extra long sheets in his favorite shade of blue, I offered to make him a few extra pillowcases. Like any good sewer, I had fabric leftover from sewing the quilt and I needed to use those scraps on something. Sheet sets never come with enough pillowcases and I refuse to buy pillowcases. They are so easy to sew and yet they are so expensive!

Pillowcases for college Go Gingham

Of course, gingham pillowcases with contrasting trim were in order. These are standard size cases and it’s 45″ wide fabric simply folded in half. I added the contrasting trim before I sewed the pillowcase. (Here’s how I mended several pillowcases.)

Gingham pillowcases Go Gingham

Here’s what I was forgetting: it wasn’t my quilt. I had made it for him and he could decide what he wanted to do with it.  I had to let go of the idea that I got to decide everything. It can be hard to let go – especially when gingham fabric and special quilts are involved.

So, the quilt, the pillowcases, and the teenage boy along with all of his smells went to college last week. It’s not too far away so we were able to drive him. We piled everything into the car and headed for the quilt’s rightful new home. And, really, it’s right where it should be – on the dorm room bed of college-age boy, who is becoming a man and who gets to decide how things ought to be.

College drop off Go Gingham

Yes, we miss him…but not the smells.

Quilt for college from Go Gingham

For healthier dorm room bedding and towels: Look for 100% cotton or other natural fabrics that haven’t been treated with stain repellents, are ‘wrinkle free’ or other quick dry claims. These all have added chemicals called PFCs or polyfluorochemcials and have been linked to cancer development. Also, be sure and skip the drier sheets. These keep towels from being absorbent and are full of chemicals. Find out more about what laundry detergents we use.

Have you ever sewn a quilt? Have you ever given a quilt away?

Go Gingham related links:

Want to learn to sew? Start here with easy cloth napkins
Sew your own homemade lunch sack
How to sew a Harry Potter cape complete with wand pocket

16 thoughts on “The Quilt Goes to College

  1. When I moved into a freshman dorm decades ago, I just took my regular bedding from home. One thing that did help was that the Resident Advisor gave each of us a plastic pail, to carry toiletries back and forth from the communal bathroom. It was an old building, and was not plumbed for a shower and sink in each individual room.


    1. Very smart, Karen! I like your RA ~ 🙂
      My son’s college is very old and there aren’t in-room bathrooms or sinks either. Years ago, I sewed some little mesh bags for swimming lesson showers. They have a long strap that can hang from anything and hold shampoo, etc. My son asked if he could take that and of course I said yes!
      Thanks for writing in, Karen.


  2. this is too funny. I made a quilt for my nephew, Donovan. His first year at college this year. Well, his mom told me he wasn’t taking the quilt I made him and I told her not to worry. She was worried someone would steal it from his room, lol. So, I tagged it as best I could and off he went. She was really worried, but it will be fine. I also made him a big 36″ x 36″ pillow and he took that too. Love it, so funny you guys felt the same way.


    1. Bobbi, you are a good aunt! Yes, us sewers love our homemade items, don’t we? 😉
      I’m glad your nephew took what you made him. Those little pieces of home mean a lot.
      Thanks for sharing, Bobbi!!


  3. My youngest daughter is starting her senior year in college this year. (I have had 3 children in college over the last 9 years) Every now and then she calls for advice and I give it to her. But every now and then I try to give her unsolicited advice and my husband says “She’s in charge now. Your parenting is over. Let it go.” That’s the hardest lesson to learn! Sounds like you got it right this time!


    1. Jill! We have brilliant husbands!! 🙂 Mine says the same stuff to me. I don’t always learn…letting go is hard.
      Hats off to you and your husband on the college graduates and one more almost done! That’s a lot – as we are finding out and very soon will have two in college as well.
      Thanks so much for writing in, Jill ~


    1. I did NONE of the quilting by hand. Years ago, my friend organized a quilting class taught by woman who had a machine quilter. That machine is a life saver! The class involved piecing the top together and then she stitched it all together on her huge machine. I’d never dream of doing all of that work by hand – my hand would fall off! LOL!!
      It’s not an inexpensive project but every quilt I’ve made has been pure joy because it’s allowed me to start and finish the entire project.
      Thanks, Ruthie!!


  4. Aww, so sweet!
    I was making pillowcases this weekend and managed to make 5 out of a flat and fitted sheet my mom gave me when they ripped in the center due to wear. (My daughter had been sleeping on them during a visit when they ripped. That’s when I discovered they were the same sheets I had slept on 30 years ago!) Fortunately, the edges were still “thick” enough to make cases out of.


    1. What a great use of an old sheet, Liana! I use those ol’ fitted sheets for box spring covers since the rip/worn through part is in the middle and no one can see it. I like the pillowcase idea though! Thank you for the brilliant idea and thanks for sharing! 🙂


  5. Oh, Sara. It’s about so much more than the quilt, isn’t it? I am a year away from this, and already feeling such feelings about it all. I’m glad he’s within driving distance.


    1. Rita, yes! It is so much more than the quilt. I know you’ll be in this situation times two in a year! 🙂
      Senior year is a busy one but I know you’ll manage and it’s an exciting time.
      Our house is so much quieter and we haven’t had to run the dishwasher every single night – which is unheard of for us. Oh, and we have leftovers!
      Happy school year, Rita!!


    1. Ohhhh….thanks, Alyssa! I know we are on the opposite ends of parenting 🙂 but time really does fly – even though you’ve had some long days the past 9 months or so with a new baby!
      Happy end of summer/start of school to you. Are you going to IFBC this year? I’m not – my travel budget is called ‘college’ these days! LOL!!


  6. Beautiful quilt! I bet your son loves having a little something from home with him at college. Thinking of you during your life transition.


    1. Thanks so much, Kris! It is a transition but I am enjoying how strangely quiet our home is – especially today! School started yesterday for my daughter.
      Hope your end of summer/start of school is going well! Thanks for writing in ~


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