Business Spotlight: Val’s T-Shirt Quilts & Crafts – Lets Preserve Memories By Jannise Bush

Val’s T-Shirt Quilts & Crafts is owned and operated by Valerie Jackson. T-shirt quilts are created to preserve memories from reunions, college, and sports; memories that have a special place in people’s hearts.

Val got started after her mother passed. The family sorted her mother’s clothing and noticed the family reunion shirts that she wore for casual attire. Val wanted to preserve those shirts. Val stated, “I found a sewing class that permitted me to select the item that I wanted to make. I happened to find a pattern for T-shirt quilts. I enjoyed the classes and end product! After the class, I wanted to clear my drawers and closets of my university shirts that I did not have the heart to throw away!” Her intent was for this to be a hobby. She wasn’t thinking about starting a business, but T-shirt quilts became popular.

Val’s first public event was in 2011 during a book fair at Illinois State University sponsored by Tony Jones, an entertainment news radio personality in the Bloomington area. Lisa Nichols, a motivational speaker/life coach, was the keynote speaker. Val was invited to be a vendor at the craft show.

”What I enjoy most about quilting is the sense of ownership and creating with my hands. I enjoy shopping in the fabric stores and selecting the perfect fabric colors and designs. I get to connect with young people who maybe want a keepsake for their bed when they go off to college. The business allows me to grow as a crafter/seamstress. I’ve learned a lot.”

Val is branching out, not just making quilts to order. “I am making some that have a common theme, like American flags and sports teams. I make different style quilts. For example, I made a KC Royals quilt out of Rally Towels. There are photos of some of the quilts I’ve done on Val’s T-Shirt Quilts & Crafts Facebook page. I am branching out to offer options for toddler T-shirts and baby clothes. I’ve also started making small craft items, like mending jars, which are sewing kits in a mason jar with a pin cushion on top. They make great gifts for college students and bachelors. I make reading glass holders and recycled crafts where you use boxes and toilet paper rolls wrapped in fabric as storage containers. I create larger containers for makeup or desktop holders for pencils. I’d like to expand my business by employing students/seniors for different aspects of quilt making and teaching young ladies how to quilt.”

”I want people to know there is an economical way to preserve their memories. So don’t leave shirts/keepsakes in a closet or bag.” Quilts are priced by size. If you’d like to preserve your memories, contact Valerie Jackson at (309) 217-0827 or valstshirtquiltsncrafts@yahoo.com.

Would you like your business featured in the Business Spotlight? Contact Jannise Bush at (309) 550-5184 or jannise@jabservices.org.