A hallmark of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair — the annual fair T-shirt— has been reimagined by the Island’s Modern Quilting Guild, which has assembled 13 quilts out of three decades of fair T-shirts. The quilts, on display July 23 to 30 at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury, will be auctioned and raffled off this summer to support the Agricultural Society’s farm service and education initiatives.

“The Ag Society has a lot of T-shirts left over from various years,” explained Anna Marie D’Addarie, who volunteers for the Ag Society and serves on the quilting guild’s board of directors. She initiated the project late last year, when her daughter proposed that the old Ag Fair tees could find new life in the hands of Island quilters. The finished quilts, her daughter suggested, could help raise money for the Ag Society.

“I took the T-shirts to both the quilt guild and the Ag Society and everyone was excited about it,” Ms. D’Addarie said.

Members of the modern quilting guild cut, stitched and stuffed old T-shirts throughout the winter and spring. According to Ms. D’Adddarie, the project members aren’t just any quilters.

“The women that have made these quilts are the women that have won blue ribbons, multiple ribbons at the Ag Fair,” Ms. D’Addarie said. “These [quilts] were done by the master quilters, and I think that will be evident when you see the quilts in person.”

Mark Alan Lovewell

Despite using many of the same repurposed materials, each quilt carries its own signature style and details. Words and phrases like “tractor pull” and “come to the fair” have been hand-stitched into the fabric of one quilt. Ms. D’Addarie’s own work sets the cut-out T-shirt designs into a patchwork of rich, colorful fabrics.

“I think when people see [the quilts], they will appreciate the work that went into each one,” Ms. D’Addarie said.

Both Ms. D’Addarie and Lauren Lynch, the executive director of the Ag Society, hope that the quilts catch the Island’s attention and help the Ag Society fundraise to support its educational programs.

“The whole programming side of the society is [about] educating people and giving them access to these crafts, like quilting,” Ms. Lynch said.

Ms. Lynch added that funds raised by the project will also contribute to the Ag Society’s ongoing effort to “to provide more services to farmers,” like agricultural grants.

“We are trying to reestablish the society as a go-to resource for farmers,” she said.

The online auction for the quilts begins July 23, when members of the Ag Society’s email list will receive a digital invitation to view the quilts and place bids. Bidding will close August 20, with winners able to collect their quilts at the Ag Fair.