My best friend is married with two sons and her oldest is off to college in the fall. He's had a few bumps getting there - all character building in my opinion - a little grey hair making in his mother's opinion.
A long time ago we started looking at a box of t-shirts my friend has been saving since both boys were little. She always had the idea to make something for them when they leave home. My friend is very good at many things (and my chief organizer when I need it), but sewing isn't one of her many talents.
She stayed over a few weeks ago and we got to work creating a memory pillow for her oldest. He didn't want a quilt and preferred a pillow.
It sewed up very quickly and looks great finished
I offer myself, and anyone else, a few recommendations:
-knits stretch, a lot, stabilize them with light weight woven interfacing to help them keep their shape
-cut the squares bigger than you think you'll need
-lay everything out first using a template the size of the finished pillow (I used both a paper template and tape on my table)
-use some kind of woven backing to quilt the t-shirts to - it will help stabilize them; I just used some cheap broadcloth/muslin
The younger son has seen the pillow and announced that he wants something to wrap himself up in - we've got a little bit until he graduates.