Modern T-shirt Quilt

Hello,  do you remember me?  I know I’ve been gone for awhile, but I am back now.  I plan on getting caught up with lots of ideas and enthusiasm for quilts and sewing!  My camera is full of the projects which I plan on blogging about and I just need to sit down and write.  School will be starting soon here in the United States and the weather will be getting colder.  My youngest will be starting his senior year in high school (where did all the time go?).  It is time to plan his ‘graduation’ t-shirt quilt.  I have been faithfully collecting the out-grown t-shirts in a box under my longarm.  Over the next few months I will walk you thru my T-shirt quilt creation process.

Step one:  Collect T-shirts.  When my niece was a senior, several years ago, I offered to make a quilt for her.  Her mom and grandmother gave me a series of t-shirts from her high school theater productions (they brought over a stack of neatly laundered and ironed t-shirts!).  Collecting t-shirts around a theme helps to make the quilt more cohesive.  Themes can be narrow, e.g. marathons, baseball, theater, band, scouts, etc., or they can be broad, e.g. school activities, family vacations, etc.  Sometimes I just collect them around a color, or I just empty the collecting bin.

IMG_0631Jessica Quilt

Step two:  Cut, fuse, and trim the t-shirts.  First, I cut the front of the t-shirt away from the back and roughly trim it so that there is at least an inch or two away from the design.  At this point I can tell if all of the t-shirts will trim down to the same size (rare) or multiple sizes (the norm).  Then I fuse the t-shirts onto French fuse (tricot fusible) or a light weight fusible interfacing.  If I use the tricot fusible I make sure that stretchiest direction of the fusible is fused to the least stretchy direction of the t-shirt. Thus, making the t-shirt less stretchy in all directions.  Lastly, I trim the t-shirts to their finished size plus 1/2 in (seam allowance).

Step three:  Edit.  I decide which t-shirts will appear on the front of the quilt, and if I have too many, which will appear on the back of the quilt.  At this point, I interview the recipient–which t-shirts are the most important? what designs do they like:  traditional, modern, regular, irregular; what colors do they like? etc.  I like to place their name on the front of the quilt in some way, either with a t-shirt, appliqued or embroidered.

IMG_0630Jessica Quilt

Step four:  Design.  My niece wanted a ‘modern’ quilt with grays/blacks as the background.  I used google to search ‘modern design’ and found images of modern designs.  I thought that this type of design would be perfect for my niece.  I designed each block in EQ7 and then arranged them in a quilt.  I made sure that the quilt was going to be the right size for her college dormitory (extra long twin)

T shirt for Jessica

Step five:  Piece the quilt top and the back.  Using my EQ7 design, I cut background fabric and pieced together the blocks of the quilt.  The back of the quilt is a good place to put leftover blocks and fabric.

IMG_0624Jessica Quilt

Step six:  Quilt as desired.  I always keep in mind that these quilts are loved and laundered frequently.  I like to quilt them at least every inch and use good thread so that they will stand up to all of the love–these are probably not the quilts to use heirloom custom quilting on.  My oldest son’s t-shirt quilt, which was tied, not quilted made it through 4 years of college…barely.

Step seven:  Bind.  Make sure that your binding is sturdy and sewn on well because it is the part of the quilt which gets the most use.

Step eight:  Label.  Unfortunately, my photo does not show my writing on the label, but it is there–my name, the date made, place made and why I made the quilt.

IMG_0626Jessica Quilt

Step nine:  Give it to the happy recipient.

IMG_0623Jessica Quilt

I look forward to working on my son’s t-shirt quilt with you.  Do you have a bin of t-shirts ready for a quilt?

Lovelli Signature

Quilt Design a Day–Getting back in the groove

My designs slowed down in September and October.  I wasn’t able to design every day, but I am getting back in the swing in November.  With these 30 designs I have earned my “150 day badge” with Quilt Design a Day.

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Experiencing ‘quilter’s block’ is no fun!  I think that most of the block was due to an increase in family obligations, septic issues (yuk) and the inspiration pictures we were using on Qdad were getting stale (I lost count of the photos of the same geode, lol).  Our Qdad leader, Anne Sullivan, switched us over to member contributed photos.  Every day I am excited about the design inspiration and the palettes which go along with them.  My turn to post photos will come right after Christmas.  I am exited about some new projects in the months to come and, hopefully, some blog hops with the irrepressible Madame Samm.  Please stay with me on my journey.

Black Cat Crossing and Wicked Witch-y Way

Thank you Wicked Wendy for leading us on a blog hop featuring fabric from the Black Cat Crossing by Maywood Studio.  Thank you Madame Samm for organizing such wonderful hops with interesting themes.  I promised a Halloween quilt and a tutorial.  Today’s quilt is a Quilt Design a Day finish–yippee!!  My first finish from the designs which I have posted on Quilt Design a Day is from September 11, 2014.  Here is the design as I originally posted it:

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And here is the finished quilt:

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A closer look at the scary/whimsical witch-y houses:

 

I fussy cut the eyes/windows in the witch-y houses so that the spiderweb prints would look like eyes.  Each house has a door/nose using a purple background print, the houses/faces are a green print and the roofs/hats are a black background print.  I used fabrics from the Black Cat Crossing line and some solids which were in my stash.  The web quilting design was by Jessica Schick.  The spiderweb embellishments were free-motion free-standing lace.  They were definitely a spooky addition and easy to make.

To make the webs I started with Aquamesh Plus, a water soluble stabilizer, Bridal organza and embroidery thread.

IMG_1146-1Web Tutorial 7

I set up my machine for free motion stitching, lowered the feed dogs, installed the free motion foot, changed my needle for an embroidery needle and installed the straight stitch throat plate.  Please consult your sewing machine’s manual for how to do this.

IMG_1134-1Web Tutorial1In order to stitch the colored webs, I threaded both white and colored threads through the machine as if they were one thread following the same path.  Both threads should be threaded through the one needle.  Please consult your owner’s manual if this does not work on your machine or if you have excessive thread breakage.  I stuck the adhesive side of the stabilizer to the bridal organza ribbon (after removing the wire from the ribbon) then I hooped them together in an embroidery hoop.  I used a 7 inch diameter hoop.

IMG_1135-1Web Tutorial2If you are insecure with your free motion stitching drawing ability I suggest that you draw your web on the stabilizer/organza with a water soluble marker.  I drew my first web with a non-soluble pen and it transferred to the thread when I dissolved the stabilizer.  The resulting web looked very dirty.  After drawing a few webs I felt comfortable enough to go ‘off-road’ at the sewing machine.  The first stitches are an ‘asterisk’ shape which form the skeleton of the web.

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I found that setting the needle speed at approximately midway between the slowest and fastest kept thread breakage at a minimum.  The needle will be going fast, but your movements should be slow and deliberate.  First lay down the base stitches–I stitched the lines upon which I would build the design.  I usually went over the lines twice.  Next I went over the spiderweb ‘straight’ lines with a tight looping stitch.

IMG_1139-1Web Tutorial 3In the above picture you can see both the straight lines and the beginning of one line of the looping stitch.  Watch that you do not have excessive thread build-up in one place, you don’t want to pull your needle out of the needle bar or break your needle.  The width of each line when finished should be 1/8 inch.  When stitching the outer lines of the web be careful not to bump into the hoop with the presser foot.  Also I noticed that my hoop was not travelling  smoothly because my sewing surface was not completely flat–I used my Silicone Slider to fix that issue.

IMG_1140-1Web Tutorial 4

 

After stitching the skeleton of the web and the outer shape I stitched the inner lines.

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Once you have completed stitching the web, remove it from the hoop and following the manufacturer’s instructions dissolve the water soluble stabilizer.

IMG_1147-1Web Tutorial 8

Remove the webs from the water, dry them in a towel and press them.  I then carefully cut the organza out of sections of the web to add to the ‘webby’ illusion.   Arrange them on the quilt and tack them down with a few stitches.

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Thank you so much for your time.  Please visit the other blogs on today’s schedule:

VroomansQuilts

Lovelli Quilts

Pampered Pettit

TeaTimeCreations

Whims and Fancies

Have a quilty day!!

lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

Travelling Stash Box, 120 Day Qdad badge…

Welcome!!  It was so nice to send my son off to his first day as a Junior in high school.  How time flies!!!  It seems like yesterday that he was a babe, now he is 6’4″!!!  He views my quilting projects with a critical eye and knows where to find freezer paper in the grocery store.  Time has certainly flown this summer and I know I haven’t been blogging enough.  I have been busy off-blog working on projects which I will show you on September 8 for the See you in September blog hop.  I hope you will be pleased with my upcoming–‘What I sewed this summer’ projects.  Tomorrow is the first day of the hop, so please visit tomorrow’s blogs which I will list below.

 

 

I continue to design quilts for Quilt Design a Day, I earned the 120-day badge!! Here are my designs from August:

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In the slideshow you will see quilts from two weeks of Qdad challenges, including the Medallion Quilt challenge. Another challenge starts next week:  ‘Shapes in our neighborhood’.  I’m always amazed by the wonderful quilt designs which my fellow Qdad-ers post.  Come join in on the fun!!

Starting tomorrow check out my fellow blog-hoppers summer projects:

 

Wednesday, September 3

Sew Incredibly Crazy
Bumbleberry Cottage
Thimblemouse and Spouse
Mad Quilter’s Disease
In The Boon Docks

Thursday, September 4
Jane’s Quilting
Life in the Scrapatch
Sew Many Yarns
Gracie Oliver Arts
Everyone Deserves a Quilt

Friday, September 5
Stitchin’ By The Lake
Coeur d’Alene
Words & Stitches
TheSlowQuilter
Pig Tales and Quilts
All Thingz Sewn

Monday, September 8
Quilting Quietly
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Procrastination Queen
Lovelli Quilts
Cherry Blossoms

Tuesday, September 9
Just Let Me Quilt
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
The Quilting Queen Online Blog
Marla’s Crafts
K and S Sweets and Stitching

Wednesday, September 10
Secretly Stitching
Buzzing and Bumbling
Quilt n Queen
Quilted Delights

Grandmama’s Stories

Thursday, September 11
Susie’s World
Needled Mom
Cate’s Linens
How ART you?
I Like To QuiltBlog

Quiltscapes

Friday, September 12
Sunshine-quilting
Sew Peace to Peace
MoosestashQuilting
More Stars in Comanche
Living With Purpose

Monday, September 15
I Piece 2-Mary
Till We Quilt Again
Vroomans Quilts
Nini and the Sea
Seams To Be Sew

My Quilting Journey

Tuesday, September 16
Life, quilts and a cat too
Meadowbrook
Apple Avenue Quilts
Just Keep Swimming
Patchwork Sampler
Sew We Quilt

lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

Quilt Design a Day featured on Sew Mama Sew

There are a series of interviews about Quilt Design a Day (Qdad) on the Sew Mama Sew blog: Amy Gunson of Badskirt, Anne Sullivan of Play-CraftsMichelle Wilkie from Factotum of Arts and Stacey Day of Stacey in Stitches.  Amy is featuring her first pattern and a giveaway.  I really enjoy designing for Qdad, it is daily practice for my creative ‘muscle’ and a wonderful, supportive community.

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My first design April 8, it took another month of fits and starts before I started posting regularly.

When I first started designing daily I was not sure that I would be able to keep it up, and I was afraid that my designs would not be ‘good enough.’  Now with a portfolio of more than 120 designs behind me, I still feel that fear, but now I know that I can use it to design and quilt.  There are stages we all go through as we design daily:

Fear–Can I do it?  Will it be good enough?  Will others like my designs?

Embrace the Rock
Embrace the Rock

Boredom–What, didn’t I see that rock/door/ice cream before????  We joke about seeing the rock/door/ice cream before, yet we still design.  Purple again?!?!?!  We don’t always like the palettes, but that is part of the challenge.  It has helped me to design in spite of my color ‘allergies.’

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My first design using EQ7’s Serendipity

Search for additional challenge–trying new software (purchasing new hardware just to try out new software, lol.), learning new functions in our design software, designing in a series, designing on a theme and designing with a particular block.  For example Anne Sullivan’s Alien Flora, and Amy Gunson’s Woven Slashes series.  Recently a longarming friend challenged me to design several designs using the same block.  I’m now halfway through my week of designing  with the same block.  Come back on Friday to see a slideshow of my designs with the Santa Fe block  and for my first giveaway.

Linking up with Anything Goes Monday and Patchwork Times’ Design Wall Monday

Have a quilty day!

lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

Designing Starlight on Water with EQ7 Serendipity, part 1

Designing Starlight on Water started with a Design Seeds photo and palette on July 12.

http://design-seeds.com/index.php/home/entry/color-escape9
http://design-seeds.com/index.php/home/entry/color-escape9

I immediately thought that the white boat was a striking part of the photo, and I knew that it should play a role in the quilt design.  I also thought that the ripples in the water added a subtle texture to the photograph.  My first block was a very simplified EQ7 applique drawing of those inspirations: Starlight 2 I couldn’t stop there, because the drawing didn’t express the calm I felt from the photo.  I started playing with the block in EQ7’s Block>Serendipity>Kaleidoscope. Starlight a The above screenshot shows EQ7’s  ‘Create Kaleidoscope from Block’ dialogue box.  I have 3 different boat blocks on the left, because I tweaked the original block a bit before I was ready to play with Kaleidoscope.  On the right are 4 different triangle subsections of the selected block. The selected subsection, marked by a turquoise box and multiplied by 8, makes up the center block.  By selecting different subsections, I can get 8 different blocks.

When I find a block I like I click the ‘Add to Sketchbook’ button in the dialogue box.  Sometimes the kaleidoscope is really beautiful, sometimes I like the shapes, and sometimes I choose not to add it to my Sketchbook.  Here are the blocks I chose for Starlight on Water:

I further edited the colors in the blocks once I started putting them into the quilt.  Creating the center star used another Serendipity function which I will show you tomorrow.  The blocks will be constructed using fusible raw edge applique. Have a quilty day! lovelliquilts.wordpress.com