Sunday, April 2, 2017

A great idea for when you aren't trying to squeeze in a lot of t-shirts

Disclaimer.  This isn't my design.  I ran across it on Facebook. 



 
But to me to looks like the BQ3 Pattern by Maple Island Quilts
 
 
It really does make a nice design for a t-shirt quilt, utilizing the small patches that are frequently on the front of many shirts.  I haven't tried it yet - most of the time I'm trying to squeeze in as many shirts as possible.  But the first opportunity I want to give this one a try.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Theater Quilt

This quilt was made for a friend at work for her daughter as a Christmas present.  The mom spent a lot of time and effort gathering t-shirts from teachers, directors, friends as well as cast photos and printing them on fabric.  It turned out really great and is extra special because of all the time and effort she put into it.  She said her daughter cried when she opened it - which is of course the best feedback.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

And a few more

This is technically a Onsie quilt instead of a t-shirt, but it's a similar idea.  I did add several novelty fabrics to fill in since as you know, Onsies are kind of small.

One more T-shirt.  This one the mom requested I used white and silver for the sashing.  I was worried about how that would look but it turned out ok after all.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Several more work quilts

Since I made my first raffle quilt at work, I've had several requests to make additional T-shirt quilts from work related t-shirts.  I made another raffle quilt for a yearly charity.  Then a co-worker who was leaving the company and moving to another city.  And anther for a co-worker's milestone anniversary.  For the sashing on the first two I found a dark blue fabric with an atlas print which is particularly appropriate given the company is an importer of world-wide decorative items.




Variations on a theme and something completely different

As mentioned previously I've tended to approach these quilts fairly consistently since the idea is to showcase the shirts (and the related memories).  Most of the time I've not been trying to make an artistic statement.  And most of the time there hasn't been a lot of time. 

This particular quilt is a bit of an anomaly.  A sweet quilting friend had started the quilt as a commission but then became ill.  She asked if I would be willing to finish it for her. It was fun to complete her vision and work with her fun bright colors.  The shirts were a bit odd, a legal professional group and all the same.  But that's ok.  It still turned out fun and the owner was happy.
 
A word about quilting.  My first t-shirt quilt I was very worried that the thread would fray if I sewed through the plastic of the t-shirt transfer too often, so I did my best to not sew through large areas.  I also quilted words into the quilt.  But this one was for my special daughter.  Subsequent quilts I decided the quilting wasn't going to show much and started doing all-over doodle type quilting.  It does make a fun pattern on the back of the quilt.  This is one of my favorites.
 
 
This quilt was made for another friend of my daughter's.  The young lady's sister liked her quilt so much, she asked me to made a couple of baby t-shirt quilts from her daughters' onesies. 

This quilt was made for a woman at my church from her father's t-shirts after his sudden death.  Only 4 of the shirts had transfers on them, so I used the remaining shirts as large color blocks.  I was concerned at first when I realized so few of the shirts had patterns, but I was pleased with how it turned out.  And I know the family loves the quilt and the remembrance of the dad and grandfather.

I made this quilt as a graduation present for a young woman who liked to collect odd shirts and liked super heroes.  Her mom brought me 3 grocery sacks of t-shirts and told me to just pick the ones I wanted.  I think that was the hardest part of this quilt, decided which shirts to pick without knowing which ones she would like.  I won't do that again!  In the spirit of the silly shirts, I used the wildest random fabrics I had in my stash for the sashing and borders, fabrics I hadn't been able to figure out how to use.

 
This quilt was made using a mixture of t-shirts and sports jerseys.  The jersey fabric was a little tricky to use.I discovered some of the numbers weren't fused too well and I had to figure out how to get them to stick without melting.  Which brings up a good reminder - DO NOT IRON on the front of the t-shirt without protecting the transfer - parchment paper works well (the kitchen kind).  For the sashing, the owner and I selected a dark gray marbled fabric that accented the yellow and red with black in the shirts.
Trenton's quilt
 

Getting Started

As time goes on, I'm making more and more T-shirt quilts for friends, family, friends of family, family of friends, etc.  Every time I start a new one or are discussing a new one with the owner, I wish I had central location to keep pictures, to use as a reference. So that is the purpose of this blog.  Pretty simple and hopefully useful as time goes on.
So here we go:

This is Marion's quilt, for my daughter.  It contains approx. 20 years worth of church related activities.  Preschool, vacation bible school, youth camp, etc.  I was able to squeeze in an amazing number of shirts, but I've been more judicious since.  I also made this one with an old Winnie the Pooh sheet for the backing and a cotton batting.  And it is VERY heavy.  I've switched to using fleece backing since this first one and like it much better.  Fewer layers and helps the quilt drape better too.
 
Marion's Quilt
 I learned a lot on Marion's quilt, all self taught.  I determined it worked best to use a light weight, woven, fusible backing.  I purchase a bolt with a 40% or 50% off coupon or else get it on sale.  I also discovered most t-shirts are roughly the same width.  The ones that aren't, I add some extra sashing to get them to a standard width.   Grouping the t-shirt blocks into columns simplifies the construction significantly.

Holly's New York quilt, made for one of my daughter's friends, reflects her love of travel with her family and her love of dance.
Holly's New York Quilt
Jessica's quilt was made for another friend of my daughter (noticing a trend here).  Jessica is one of my "second daughters", an honorary member of our family.  I fully expect Jessica will help take care of me when I'm old and decrepit. How's that for a happy face, I love pictures of my quilts with their new owners!


1st Raffle quilt for fund raiser at work.  For this quilt I asked co-workers to donate t-shirts received at work. The raffle raised several hundred dollars and the quilt is now proudly displayed in my boss's office.


 You may have noticed by this point, I have used a certain black with multi colored dots as the sashing and borders.  I have also bought this fabric by the bolt.  It works so well with the multi-colored t-shirts as well as the novelty I spy quilts I love to make.  The intent of the sashing is to frame and provide a background to the shirts.  The black works well, though I've used others on occasion.

This seems a good place to break - stay tuned