Monday, November 18, 2013

All About T-Shirts, and Other Stuff

I have been quilting the t-shirt quilt for my son, in hopes of giving it to him for Christmas.  I must say it has been a royal pain in the behind!

At first I was going to quilt the sashing around the t-shirt blocks, then go back and quilt the blocks.  I quickly realized that was a huge mistake as there was WAY too much fabric in the t-shirt blocks to try and "quilt in".  So then I decided to quilt the t-shirt blocks first and then go back and quilt the sashing, but I ran into the same problem, with too much fabric to quilt in to the sashing.

I had little choice at this time though, unless I  wanted to remove a LOT of quilting stitches, so I kept at it slowly but surely.  It looks OK, but I am not as happy with it as I wanted to be.  There are a few puckers here and there but nothing drastic (because I DID end up picking out quite a lot of quilting to make it work!)

Look at this photo on the left - don't you hate it when that happens?  The backing fabric got folded over and quilted into the border, so even MORE picking out stitches....

I am now ready to put the binding on and then I will post a "finished" picture.  I hope it looks better all done, and after I've had time to de-stress about it.  It is after all a t-shirt quilt and will most likely get a lot of use as a bedspread.  But....I still want it to look good!
 So, I am wondering if the answer is to quilt the blocks and the sashing from the center out and not block by block?  That is the only solution I am seeing to this problem, but I welcome suggestions!

Speaking of t-shirts, a friend told me how to make scarves out of t-shirts!  I googled "how to make t-shirt scarves" and found a video and voila!  They are SO easy to make, it takes about 10-15 minutes each.  Here are four that I've made for Christmas gifts.

Here I am modeling one.  It is best to get XXL t-shirts and wash and dry them before starting.  My friend and I checked out a lot of stores and found the best ones to be at either Hobby Lobby (for bright colors) or Target (for more muted colors).  You want to look for t-shirts without side seams too.

You can dress them up with a pin which makes them even more fun, and you can change the pins out when there is a holiday - just pin on a holiday pin!  I happened to have this butterfly pin but found some great pins at Target and Herbergers :)

Here are some more quilts from Houston that I liked:
"Cathedral Stars" by Anna Faustino from Pennsylvania.

"Visiting many churches, sitting on the pews, and admiring the beauty of the windows and paintings inspired my quilt."

Reverse machine appliqué, embroidery stitches, free-hand craft knife-cut appliqué, couching, air brushing, stenciling.

"Vincent: Haunted Genius" by Danna Shafer from California.

"Inspired by Vincent Fan Gogh's 'Starry, Starry, Night', I wanted to simulate the look of paint using only textiles.  Made as a wedding present for my daughter and her husband, they were married five years before it was completed to my satisfaction."

Raw-edge appliqué used to simulate paint on pieced background; edges secured with invisible thread; machine quilted.

"Kells" by Christina McCann from Oregon

"This quilt was inspired by the illuminations from the Book of Kells, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.  Discharged fabric gives the feel of parchment.  The work of the monks was beautifully imperfect, which appeals to me."

Discharged fabric, beading, embroidery, hand quilting.

"Willow" by Debra Crine from Florida.

"Original design inspired by antique tapestries.  Hand-dyed fabrics were used for the appliqué and fused to the silk background.  Quilted with YLI silk thread.  Appliqué motifs inspired by Deb Kimball.  Border quilting designs by Sharon Schamber."

"Celestial Splendor" by Rachel Wetzler from Illinois.

"Canterbury Cathedral's central tower ceiling served as the model for this geometric composition.  Known as Bell Harry Tower, this magnificent example of English Gothic architecture was designed by John Wastell and completed in the late 15th century.

Machine pieced, appliquéd and quilted.

"Designer Bootique" by Holly Nelson from Texas.

"If some of our iconic quilters designed boots, what would they look like?  This is what I imagine they would come up with.  My deepest thanks for their support of my attempt to translate their styles  (Boots that did not make the cut are on the "Clearance Rack" on the back.)

Applique using liquid sizing; machine pieced and quilted.

I love this quilt!  Such a clever idea!  I also took this picture for my other daughter who loves cowboys, boots and all things "country"!

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