Posts Tagged ‘Tee-shirt quilt’

Okay, I completed it months ago but haven’t had the time to blog about it.  My customer, Robyn,  absolutely loved it.

I decided upon using various blocks.  Nine patch, three bar fence rail, four patch, five bar fence rail and half square triangles.  There were a few pockets that were in good shape so I used them as simple blocks.  I inserted pieces of bandannas in the pockets as I quilted them.
I initially wanted to use a plaid for the border but it wasn’t as bright as the rest of the quilt so it did not work.  Instead I used the black shirts for the first and last border with various scraps for the middle border.  The plaid was from curtains in Robin’s dad’s room.

Robyn’s dad liked nautical, so we went with ocean team for quilting. I quilted an anchor, light house, and a couple of sail boats.  In the corners I quilted ships wheels.  The multi-color border is quilted with a bead board effect.

The plaid curtain was perfect for the binding.  It really tied in all the colors.  To enhance the plaid, I cut it on the bias. 

I enjoyed working on this quilt. It expanded my creativity. Coming up with a design that would enhance the colors. Those who have seen the quilt in person have asked if it was made from ultra suede. It has such a soft look to it.

It was a challenge to work with a different medium in quilting other than 100% cotton quilting fabric.  For others who wish to work with knits, you need to stabilize them first.  I like using the light weight knit fusible interfacing from pellon.   It gives enough stability without making it stiff.  You also need to really be aware of your seam allowance and how you press them.   Having taken a class from Leslie Muir-Volpe on miniature quilts helped with this quilt.  There were times I had to clip seam allowances in order to get the intersections flat.  If they are not flat you will have issues when you quilt the top.  The bulk will not fit under your presser foot.  I used my longarm on this quilt.  If the seam intersections were not flat, my hopping foot would push at the bulk.  This would cause a pleat or distortion in the quilt top.

Robyn is very happy with the result.  So am I.  It’s a very unique quilt that will bring lots of warmth and happy memories to Robyn.


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I have a customer whose father passed away.  She has asked me to make a quilt from the t-shirts he used to wear.  Most tee-shirt quilts are made from tees that have some sort of design on them.  Like the ones purchased while on vacation, or from some event, or sports teams, etc.  This is not the case with these tees.  There are 33 shirts of at least 17 different colors.Colorful Tees

As you can see, they are very colorful.  I welcome the challenge to make a quilt that is both special and beautiful.

For the last few weeks I have been mulling over various designs.  I do not want too simple of a design but it can not be too complex.  The tees will just not work with intricate designs.  But a quilt of just plain blocks would be boring.  My thought is to use a few simple blocks and make a scrappy quilt.

Using EQ5, I started to put my thoughts into pictures.  EQ5 is a quilt design software.


First attempt. I stopped coloring this one in. I thought it was to busy and uneven.


Second attempt. I don't know. It just didn't look right.

Third attempt. I thought stars might make it look more organized.

Third attempt. I thought stars might make it look more organized.


The other day, while sitting at the guild raffle quilt at the Gathering quilt show in Nashua, I was talking to my friend, Nancy Bell.  While discussing my options with her, I had a thought,  put the cool colors with the warm colors within the blocks.  Today, while I was looking for a book that had a pattern I thought would work, I came across a pattern I used for my sister Ruthie’s quilt.   The center is made up of half-square triangles and four patches. Off to EQ 5 to figure this out.

I stayed with the half-square triangles and four patches but added nine patch and fence rail blocks.  I rotated the blocks to get a different effect.  This is what I came up with.Sampler2

I didn’t finish putting the colors in but you can get an idea of what it will look like.  The purple plaid in the border is fabric from curtains he had in his room.  I’m not sure the plaid will work once the quilt top is done.  But I will deal with that later.  I have a design.  Now off to work.  Deconstruct all the shirts.  Then stabilize them with interfacing.   Then cut – sew – press.

I am excited about this quilt.  It should be fun.

I will keep you posted on my progress.


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