Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My First T-Shirt Quilt

I have quilted countless t-shirt quilts for customers.  I probably could count them but the point is there have been lots of them.  But I have never made one myself.


a coworker wanted me to make her a t-shirt quilt with all her Blue Cross Blue Shield shirts as a retirement gift to herself.  Sure, I can do that...right?  I was a bit nervous.

One day in April, a trash bag full of various shirts was given to me.  Now this was real and I knew I needed to come up with a plan.  My first thought was I needed fabric to work in with the t-shirts as well as borders.  I knew I had to work with blue fabric because everything is BLUE at Blue Cross!!  I went fabric shopping and came up with two fabrics for the body of the quilt and two for the borders.

I purchased a very lightweight fusible interfacing to stabilize the shirts.  I set out to cut shirts and iron on the interfacing.  Once I could see what I had to work with and the approximate sizes of each block, I began making scribbles...I mean a design...for the quilt.  I came up with several of these designs...

This is a plan...sort of.
It didn't take me too long to realize this plan was not exactly to scale.  I knew I wanted the shirts to fit on top of a queen-size bed so 60x80ish.  I got the first row together...

This was a breeze...until I went further.  Reality was not meeting with my "plan" and so the plan was tossed out the window.  I ventured on...designing as I go.  I am convinced this is the way all creative people work...right?

Probably with some divine intervention, I completed the body of the quilt.  Not too bad!  My confidence increased.  Now to the border.

I really love the blue batik I found for the border.  It had the same blues that was in the two fabrics in the top.  I found a marbled dark blue batik to use for the small borders to add a little interest to the otherwise large border.

Now, the fun part!  Loading it on the longarm.  It was actually pretty square.  (I pause to pat myself on the back.)  LOL

Here is the backing I selected.  I didn't want more blue...you actually CAN overdo the BLUE!  This had the same tone as the blue border and I think it helped tone down the front a bit (if that makes sense.)

I selected a medium gray thread and Contempo pantograph.

I didn't get a picture of the quilt with binding but this is the finished quilt fresh off the frame.  I am very pleased with the result and have learned a lot about pushing myself past my comfort zone.

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