Tag Archives: fusible

T-Shirt Quilt – Sewing the Top

Do you want to see how the T-shirt quilt is going? It’s spray basted and ready to quilt. Here’s how I made the top.

***I will write a father’s day post, just not today. Growing up, my Dad had a yearly meeting on father’s day weekend. So we never actually celebrated with him on that day. I’ll be celebrating my Dad (and the fathers I got when I married my husband) in a post later this week.

Okay, back to the quilt. I’m making a queen sized t-shirt quilt, so I was sent enough shirts to get thirty six 14″ blocks out of them. (Some used just the front of the shirt, others were double-sided.) After cutting the shirts apart and into big square-ish shapes, I ironed fusible interfacing on the back of each one. Why interfacing? T-shirts are stretchy and these ones had different thicknesses too. The interfacing stabilizes the fabric so blocks stay the size I cut them to, leading to a nice quilt instead of a puckery wonky mess.

I chose lightweight Pellon fusible interfacing. It happens to be the cheapest one available, which is nice, but it also has this cool feature. Can you see it? I ironed the interfacing to the back of the shirt AND the ironing board cover. You’re not supposed to do this. Also, don’t mess up and try to press it sticky-side-up. Your iron won’t recover nicely.

fusible ironed to towel

This lightweight fusible, however, peels right off the cover and leaves no residue. This meant that I could get nice firmly fused edges on all the shirts. Yes!
peels right off

Alright, so here you have your stack of shirt squares with the fusible on them. Once I’ve got the layout just right, I put sticky notes on each to know where they belong in the grid. So the one on top of this one goes in the fourth row (D) and the fifth column.

stack of shirt blocks

Then I trimmed the shirts to 14.5″. The extra half an inch goes into the seams, 1/4 inch on each side. I didn’t have a large enough ruler to measure out this size, so I combined two of them. To make it more likely I wouldn’t have mess-ups I marked the 14.5″ line with tiny sticky notes with arrows. When I could, I centered the motifs.
cutting squares with postit notes 
Here’s the top! It’s not a super-glamour shot but you can see the whole thing. Now it’s time to quilt it!
tshirttoponcouch

 

 

 

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Jim’s Gym Bag

My baby brother turns 14 today. Let’s face it: he isn’t a baby anymore. This young man excels in sports, scouts, and school. He even has a girlfriend. So this year I asked for his input on a gift. I wanted to make something he’d like to have… not that I’d like him to have. (See the difference?)  He asked for a gym bag. Okay, I can do that.

More conversations revealed that he’s like to fit a basketball, sneakers, and clothes inside the gym bag.. and that his favorite team is the Boston Celtics. So here’s what I came up with, after going back to the sketchpad many many times. I’m happy with its simplicity… which makes it more likely for this manchild to get good use out of it. I even managed not to cut the “m” into a heart-shape.

 

I made this bag out of one yard of designer-length tapestry cloth. It has two large pockets inside and a long strap. Jim’s name is fused on with heat-n-bond ultra hold. The dot over the letter “i” is the Celtic’s logo.

TIP: Choose your fusible webbing wisely! Heat-n-bond ultra hold is great for this thicker fabric that will get a lot of use. Don’t sew through it! It’ll gum up your sewing machine. I use seam-a-steam2 for the portrait quilts. It holds well, is stiff, and is still easy to sew through. If you’re making something that needs to be soft I recommend misty fuse. This is not paper-backed, which is why I don’t use it for the portrait quilts. It would take a lot more time than my current method… but when it matters, it will keep the fabric soft.