Well, This Raises Decorating A College Dorm To A New Level!

A mom who saved all her daughter's old t-shirts put them to good use.

Tis the season for dorm-room shopping trips and many a mom-daughter duo have made their way down the bedding aisle clutching a fistful of Bed, Bath & Beyond 20 percent off coupons.

But no matter how hard they look, they will never top the love and memories contained in this quilt comforter that Karen Harvey of Los Angeles gave her daughter Sulyn. Sulyn is headed off to UC Davis next month as a freshman.

Sulyn Harvey holds up the back side of the memory quilt. She is headed to University of California, Davis.
Sulyn Harvey holds up the back side of the memory quilt. She is headed to University of California, Davis.

It was a labor of love, says Harvey. “I’ve always saved Sulyn’s clothes out of sentimentality ― her baptismal dress, her first soccer shirt, and so many other clothing items that it takes a whole shelf in my garage.” Harvey wasn’t sure what to do with all the stuff she saved until she met a quilt-maker, a mom at the the school where she is an administrator.   

Beth Anschultz offered to make a memory quilt from the old shirts as a surprise for Sulyn’s graduation from high school.

Since there’s a story behind every tee-shirt, said Harvey, she and Anschultz met to discuss layout. “Sulyn is a total California girl so the California t-shirt had to be placed in the center of the quilt,” said Harvey. The pink Maui shirt represents Sulyn getting over her fear of the ocean and taking her first surf lessons on that trip. The ocean is a central theme in Sulyn’s life: She is a California state lifeguard and her Junior Olympics swim shirt are both on the quilt. The Girl Scouts shirt represents Sulyn’s nine years as a scout. There is even a shirt from her elementary school’s musical production and another one that represents her eight years of playing soccer as #7. 

“Sulyn was so surprised to open the quilt and see her t-shirts symbolically representing her journey from elementary through high school clubs, sports, and leadership roles,” said Harvey. “She loved her Blink-182 concert T shirt and wondered where it had gone!” Sulyn had almost forgotten the Mud Run and seeing the t-shirt brought back the event.  

Memory quilts are widely available on the Internet for a range of prices and work as gifts for any number of occasions. 

Said her mom: “As Sulyn heads off to college, I hope the memories of these shirts will help her feel she is taking a part of her past journey into her future life with her. They hold such amazing memories for me, and these memories are something she and I both shared together.”

Now if only there was a quilt for empty nest syndrome. Here are some closeups of Sulyn’s memory quilt.