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

Finish A-long 1st Quarter

My word for 2015 is: Concentrate.  I realized, after looking back at 2014, that I tried to do too many things and that I tried to be too many people, e.g. mom, quilter, volunteer, blogger, appraiser, design, office manager…..  I also realized that I start a great many projects and finish very few.  Concentrate is an objective which will hopefully result in more focused efforts on my part in the coming year.  Many of my unfinished objects last year remain on my to-do list this year.  I hope to whittle down this list, starting in Q1.

1.  Flower Strip quilt–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.

2. Winding Ways–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.

3.  1930’s reproduction quilt–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.

4.  Quilt the 4 Quilts of Valor tops which I have received.

5.  Finish Imperial Blooms, pattern by Sue Spargo (www.suespargo.com).

6.  Finish Crimson Tweed, pattern by Sue Spargo.

7. Riley Blake–here is part of my mock-up in EQ7:

Riley Blake Challenge

I need to re-do some quilting and bind it.

8. Mission Triangles, this is a quilt I have made with the help of our Mission Stitchers group at Onalaska UMC from donated flannel triangles.  It will be soft and warm.  Here is the EQ7 mockup:

Mission Triangles
Mission Triangles

The top is done, well almost, I need to put on some borders and quilt it.

9.  Log Cabin quilt–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.

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10.  Various mug rugs, place mats, and table runners–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.

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I think that is enough, for now.  I do need to sew a lot of bindings onto quilts–there are a great number of binding tutorials out in blog-land, but I will also write one.  One of my goals this past year, and the coming year, has been to improve my bindings.  I’ve learned a great deal about binding as I have worked on that goal.  Hopefully I will be able to branch out this year to some shaped bindings.

January is an exciting month–I have 3 blog hops scheduled and I will be writing a pattern for my quilt guild’s quilt show quilt.  I am looking forward to concentrating this month!!

Lovelli Signature

 

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.

IMG_1145-1Web Tutorial 6

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!!

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