red flannel pantry

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

the tale of a t-shirt quilt

IMG_1049For Daughter #1, this Christmas gift was a long time coming.

Grinnell reunion206I took a t-shirt quilt class at Jackman’s a few years ago. Immediately afterward, I made my first t-shirt quilt for a college reunion fundraiser using both my husband’s and my college t-shirts plus a few that fellow alums donated. I quilted it myself on my machine–uff da!–and a classmate generously bought it.

Both daughters liked the idea of having a t-shirt quilt, and building a stash of quilt-potential t-shirts became a way of getting them to cull their drawers: those t-shirts they just could not part with but that no longer fit went down to the sewing room in a bin. In addition, we saved fabric from special sources: their first sewing projects, pj pants and favorite purses I had made them, and handmade Halloween and school-play costumes.

IMG_0788When Daughter #1 was a high school senior, I got to work. The t-shirt blocks are 12-inch finished squares, and I pieced the remnant fabric blocks and the smaller pieced t-shirt logo blocks to the same finished dimensions. To stabilize the t-shirt stretchiness, I used lightweight fusible interface on the t-shirt backs and framed them with 2-inch borders with 2-inch square cornerstones.

I had the top pieced and was ready to put together a backing when my daughter handed me two more t-shirts that simply had to be included. In dealing with this design challenge, my math-addled brain made a mistake: rather than adding 4 inches per side to the width and length of the backing, I added 4 inches total to the width and length. And of course, I didn’t notice this mistake until the backing was complete–argh! According to what I had read, that meant it could not be quilted on a long-arm machine because there wasn’t enough extra to mount the backing properly on the frame. I called one local quilter and left a message, asking if quilting this blunder on a long-arm machine was possible–I never heard back and I took this to mean that the answer was no.

I felt doomed to quilting it myself on my machine, and I didn’t want to re-make the backing, so I did what I usually do: I put it aside. The unfinished quilt sat on a top shelf, looming over me every time I sat down at my sewing machine.

Then two things happened. I read this blog entry, which stuck in my brain, and then I finally decided to clean my sewing room.

I love the Creative Chicks At Play blog–it is written by three sisters who sew, cook, and create. Their blog has a family-rooted, independent vibe, which I appreciate and enjoy. After having read their blog and admiring their handiwork for a while, I knew I could trust their recommendations. I contacted their quilter, Lynn Peterson, who is featured in the above-mentioned blog entry, told her my sorry tale, and asked if she thought she could take on this quilt. Lynn said yes–hallelujah!–and I bundled it off to her before she could change her mind. A short time later, it was beautifully quilted and back in my grateful hands. I will be sending my quilts her way from now on.

IMG_1046I put the binding on and embroidered a quilt label in time for Christmas. Here’s a view of the back that gave me so much grief but that in the end I am so glad worked out. The finished dimensions are 58″ x 72″.

IMG_1079Daughter #1, now a college sophomore, is very happy to have finally received this quilt!

Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “the tale of a t-shirt quilt

  1. Dana Silver on said:

    I’m taking the same class in March can’t wait to get started on mine !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Butterfly Gardening

Learn how to attract butterflies to your garden

It's Not Work, It's Gardening!

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

twin fibers

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

the quilted cat

@nwquiltedcat on Instagram

Momotaro Makes

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Snoop's Theatre Thoughts

A longtime fan's look at theatre in St. Louis, MO and Beyond

Trkingmomoe's Blog

Low Budget Meals for the New Normal

Wedding Dress Blue

Quilting and other things I love in this colorful world

Sew Me

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Simplify

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Letter from Mekelle

Lewis and Helen's Adventures in Ethiopia

Just Jude

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Entropy Always Wins

entropyalwayswinsblog.com

jmn

Creative Endeavours

Sew Mama Sew

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

quiltingquandary

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Elven Garden Quilts

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Christine Doyle

Freelance Editor + Passionate Crafter

Sew Kind Of Wonderful

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Darlington Delights

Welcome to Darlington

The Simple Seamstress

Adventures into the great unsewn.

K&S Design Girls

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

OccasionalPiece--Quilt!

OPQuilt: Quilts & Textiles

%d bloggers like this: