In the meantime…

I’ve been trying hard to get the t-shirt quilt for my daughter done.  I want to at least get the top put together before I have to start packing up the house for our move.  I’d love to have it all done before her graduation party but I’m not super-human!

I had to find and order some more of the grey fabric that I’m using for the sashing & border.  I knew I would but I had to get things put together a little bit so I could see how much more I would need.  And now I’m just waiting.

I thought I could work on fabric cutting while I wait.

cutting fabric

Remember this quilt I started last year?  You would not believe all the little pieces that go into this quilt.  I have to admit that the fabric cutting part of quilting is my least favorite part.  I cut out little pieces until I can’t take it anymore and then I put it away.

This quilt is a scrap quilt that I was using my son’s cut up shirts in.  I’m cutting up the pieces and putting them in baggies so eventually, I’ll be all ready to put it together.

cutting fabric

Long ago, I learned to make a couple blocks first so that I could make sure that I understood the cutting instructions.  There’s nothing more frustrating than cutting all your (expensive) fabric up and realizing when you start piecing that you did it wrong!  And the older I get, the easier it is to misread the directions.  I thought it said 2  3/8″ but it really said 2  7/8″.  You know what I mean? (This happens when I cook too!)

fabric prep

This quilt has star points in blue & brown, corner pieces, pinwheels, log cabin pieces and hourglass pieces.  I haven’t even gotten to the border triangles yet although I think those are the same as the star points.  Plus, I like to make sure I’m using a good mix of all my scrap fabric so it’s a little time consuming.  So far, I think I have all the blue star points cut out and some of the log cabin strips.  I guess I’d better get back to work now.

Crabapples Finished!

I finished the Crabapples Scrap quilt-top this weekend!

Crabapples quilt

I’m so happy I found this project to use up some of the fabric I already have!  Sometimes you order fabric online and it’s just not the right color/style when you see it up close or you buy more of a fabric than you need for one project and next thing you know, you have a bit of a fabric stash.  I used up that ugly brown that I bought for my Farmer’s Wife quilt (and never used) on the outside border of this quilt.    Can’t wait to see it quilted.


T-shirt quilt Part 2

This week I’ve been laying out the t-shirt blocks, moving them around and trying to get some idea how I want to proceed with this quilt.

I found some wonderful inspiration on the internet in the form of a quilt that had shadow blocks behind the t-shirt blocks.  I loved it.  I thought the quilt that I’m making would look good with those shadow blocks since they’re not all the same size.  I found some black fabric and pre-washed it and made a couple blocks to show you what I’m talking about.  I also pulled some pretty grey fabric out of my stash to use as the background/sashing/border between the blocks.  My daughter is into grey these days and this makes a really nice light background.

t-shirt blocks

Not sure if you can see it since I just threw these down on top of the grey fabric but the black “shadow blocks” will really make the t-shirt blocks pop up.  Trust me, it’ll look better when I’m all finished!

I really liked putting my son’s name on his quilt so I decided to put my daughter’s name on this quilt.  I used the free pieced letters technique that I learned in Bonnie Hunter’s Love Shack workshop.

Pieced letters

It’s pretty easy.  You just sew some fabrics together and then cut them however big you want your finished blocks to be.  That “S” was really hard though – don’t look at it too close.  These blocks are 4  1/2 inches, unfinished.

So, the whole plan is to put the shadowing blocks behind all the t-shirts, grey fabric in between then I’m going to use these name blocks on the top and add some colorful star blocks to it to make a border for the top.  I want to use the same colorful fabrics to make a checkerboard border for the bottom.  It seemed like the middle part of the quilt would be pretty square so I thought adding a border to the top & bottom would make it a better size.  We’ll see when I get it finished.

t-shirt quilt layoutYes, there’s a blank white block on the right side.  It’s printable fabric that I’m going to print out one of my daughter’s cheerleading photos on.  I just have to get her opinion on which one to use.

t-shirt quilt layout2

That’s the plan; now I just have to get to work and get it finished!

T-shirt Quilt

This week I started working on a t-shirt quilt for my daughter.  It’s hard to believe she’s graduating from high school next month!  I very much doubt that I’ll finish the quilt before she graduates but we’ll see.

I recently got her to clean out her closets and clothes and she added more t-shirts to the pile.  We’ve been collecting them for quite a while and I know there’s no way we can fit them all into a quilt (well, we could do shirts on both sides of the quilt but we probably won’t).  This is the one thing I don’t like about t-shirt quilts – the shirts are all different sizes (if you’ve been saving them as your child grows).  I never really know how it’s going to look;  I lay out the shirt blocks and try to figure out what sashing or blocks to put in between to make everything come out square.  It’s always a surprise what we end up with!

So, first step is to cut your t-shirts.  I usually cut the front or the logo off as we discard them and then I just have to save that little bit.  It saves space over the years.  Obviously you would want a square with the logo centered but I’ve found that a lot of shirts have the logo up high on the shirt so that’s almost impossible to do.  You end up cutting into the neck or sleeve seams and that’s just awkward.  Do your best to cut out as much of the front/logo as you can.  You can always trim up and square things up later.  If you’re dealing with adult t-shirts, you’ll have an easier time of getting a nice square and probably be able to get everything the same size.  Our shirts were all different sizes.

T-shirt pieces

The next step is to add some stabilizer to help keep the shirts from stretching all over the place.  You’ll want to use a lightweight fusible interfacing.  You can buy it by the yard or in a package.  I got 5 yards and it should be barely enough. Follow the manufacturers directions and iron it to each of the t-shirt squares.  I usually square up the shirt blocks AFTER I iron on the interfacing because it stops them from stretching and it’s just easier.

Cutting out the interfacing

Ironing on the interfacing

Next we’ll want to square things up.  Sometimes it’s easier to do this after you lay everything out.  Maybe you can group some together that are near the same size; cut some the same size, etc.  This part takes me the longest time.  I lay them out; I move them around; I decide what would be a good complimentary color for sashing or other blocks.  I decide if I’m going to add letters or applique.  When I made my son’s quilt, he wasn’t ready to cut up his rowing shirts but that was a big hobby of his in school so I wanted to add a rowing applique.Quilt for Gunnar

My daughter has given up just about all her Irish dance shirts but doesn’t want to cut up her cheerleading shirts so I may try to add some sort of cheerleading theme.  It seems like my son had a lot more shirts so maybe this quilt will be smaller.

Next week, I’ll lay the t-shirt blocks out and go on to the next step…