in memory

I recently had a commission from a woman who had a tote bin full of her deceased dad’s t-shirts.  Quilting in crisp to quality cotton is the best, but there is something special about being able to create something new to treasure from a loved ones old clothes. I have made a few different memory quilts and one other t-shirt quilt, so I had a bit of a plan on how to attack this challenge.

First big step is to cut the images out of the t-shirts, and attach interfacing so that the t-shirts don’t stretch when attached to cotton.  Then layout…

These were the first parts I had a clear picture of in my mind.

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C requested NOT the traditional t-shirt quilt of all just t-shirts.  Also lots of white if possible.  Lots of dark t-shirts made that a challenge.

So more playing with layout, leaving space for white.

Finally put it all together.

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C also requested fleece hearts, if possible.  And some free motion quilting.

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I stitched around a lot of the icons on the shirts.

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This is the result before I bound it in white.

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I stipple quilted all the white, adding a heart shape here and there, and for an extra touch, I put C’s dad’s name in the quilting.  Right near his photo.

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C had a few squeals and claps and a big grin.  I take that as a satisfied customer.

This one was 5 1/2 by 7 feet.  Big! I worked from the center outwards in all directions, no puckers!  I often add a pucker or two for character;) heehee.

Now back to all my WIPS.  Oh wait, it’s baseball season. Better cut a few hand quilting projects to do in the stands!

Enjoy the sunshine.

 

and sew it grew

Here’s where you hope your hubby isn’t looking!

My hubby wears white cotton t-shirts under his dress shirts for work everyday.  Over the years I have had the kids make handprints and footprints with craft paint (with a few drops of textile fixer) on these t-shirts and given them as father’s day or birthday or Christmas gifts.  Of course white shirts get yellowed and gungy so there is a decent turnover.  And being the saver, I have stashed all these memory shirts away in a drawer.

And now my man is coming quickly to the big 5-0.  Time to put my plan into action.

Manly colour palette, check.

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I started cutting out the prints and using fusible webbing to make the t-shirt material less stretchy. I was short a few blocks, so added some of the boys old favorite t-shirts.DSC04123

I also had the boys do one more set of handprints on quilting cotton.  Some of the bigger prints ended up 12″, so I added borders to make the others come up to size. Then a black border.  The blocks were getting pretty big by now and I still had more to my quilt design. Block 1 with my youngest boy’s current mitt size

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And then it just kept growing

until I got to this…

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those grey tiles on my floor are 1′ square, that makes this quilt 5 3/4 x 9 1/4 feet! Huge! Although it was intended as a lap quilt, this will now work well for on his side of the bed on winter nights when he is cold and I am warm.

I have now pin basted and am starting to quilt.  October 6 is my birthday deadline, so I better get back to sewing while he is at work.

Fabric note; I am not a fussy fabric girl, and this quilt is typical of me.  There are some thin cottons, some stiff cottons and of course the t-shirt cottons.  I square up lots and press lots and seem to end up with pretty good results without worrying about it all being pristine equal weight fabric.

Have a great rest of your week!

 

ballpark quilting

I even quilt at the ballpark!  and in between games at home.

The baseball t-shirt quilt has come together well.

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next up, to back and quilt.  I decided not to use batting.  There is heavy blue and white fleece as the backing, which I have found is enough for bulk and comfort.

I started with stitching 1/2″ inside each block, but decided it still wasn’t enough to hold it well together.  After a bit of discussion with other quilty friends, I decided to free-motion quilt around each “Lakehill”.  This came together surprisingly fast, with a pretty good result.  Different colour thread to match each shirt.

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I really enjoy free motion quilting, but forget when I haven’t done it in awhile.  Just better do more of it I guess:)

Now for the part I can take to a ball game.  Binding. DSC04030

Half done.  I used to make larger binding, but find that cutting 2 1/4″ strips and pressing that in half makes a nice size edge.   Slightly soft but not too floppy.  The added bonus of doing binding in the stands is to create interest for a potential buyer at the silent auction.  And maybe interest in a commission.  maybe:)

time flies

And a week flew by…

I decided I needed a new project! Hahaha, yeah right.  But I came across something I wanted to do.  Making a quilt for a silent auction or fund raiser is something I have long thought about.  I have been thinking about doing a baseball quilt for such a purpose.  After brainstorming and searching for ideas, I just didn’t have a clear image of what I wanted to make.  Now, I have seen many versions of t-shirts quilts and I have made a few memory quilts with a few t-shirts in them.  Our baseball park was having a sale to clear out old t-shirts, jerseys, hats, and other gear.  Ooh! I thought.  Logo t-shirts here I come.  And the ballpark let me have them for free when I told them my intention.  With about a dozen cut, I am at 36″x24″.

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Lots to go and I have put it out to others in the ballpark with the hopes of getting more shirts. Cutting logos off t-shirts makes for a lot of waste fabric.

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I also bought some fabric for fill in spots.

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I also made a few more blocks for my Canada 150 sampler quilt this week.

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The other block I made is intended to be like the prairies seen from the sky.

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Image result for patchwork prairies from the sky

hmm, not quite, but the image is conveyed for me.  And it is tough to make images with only 2 colours.

That’s all I have for now.  Time to get some rest before the new week begins.