Tag Archives: T-shirt quilt

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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Attics, Shirts, and Turkeys

For over a week now, my husband and I have been spending our nights in the attic. I haven’t done much sewing since we sleep during the day, like Mo. (Remember Mo?) We’re installing the heat and air conditioning in our house. It’s much more complicated than just a change-out (replacing equipment) because this place never had air conditioning. Since it never did, we can’t use any of the old spots for duct work because they’re too small. Plus we’re moving the furnace from a closet to the attic. So it has been quite the project.

The good news is that there are four very small things left to do: two fittings, install the thermostat, and prime the compressor. Then we can turn it on! Woooo! Another piece of good news is that even though I’m quite accomplished at duct work now, I won’t have to touch another piece of that devilish fiberglass insulation for a very long time, if ever. Sweet relief. I’ve already showered so here’s the shot you get of the attic from the access hole.

AC Attic

I’ll get to focus more on my quilting now that this job will be finished today. I’m excited to begin the T-shirt quilt for a customer. The box of shirts arrived, complete with a chart of where each shirt was going…. which is super helpful. This customer decided to use both sides of some shirts and just one side of others. We’ll also alternate lights and darks in a grid pattern. Fun!Box O Shirts I’ll also be finishing up the tops for the two twin-sized quilts for the Turkey Clan room at Crystal Lake Camps. I have one done and the other needs a few borders before it’s large enough for the bed. Photos coming soon! Here’s one way I keep projects all together. I have plastic containers with drawers and can keep both blocks and fabrics together for easy access. And, you know, so I don’t use the fabrics for something else in the meantime. It’s happened. Don’t laugh. 🙂

Turkey DrawerExpect a post soon with photos of pretty quilts! Until then, a friendly reminder. Please take care of yourselves. Self-care is something that needs to be practiced and paid attention to. I have a few friends who had some health scares this past week. I’m both grateful that they got immediate help and reminded how important it is for me to pay attention to my thoughts and body.

 

Head of Marketing and The Rainbow Bridge

I’m not unemployed, I’m self-employed. I’m the owner and artist-in-residence for QUILTArtbymegan. There. I said it. And I’m terrified. Why? Because, even with all the resources and cheerleaders I have, it’s really up to me. I’m the CEO, CFO, and head of marketing.

Marketing, ho boy. This means I not only need to promote my work, but myself. That gets difficult sometimes when I fear I’m made up entirely of unrealized potential locked away in self-doubts. This week’s blog post by Les Kertay addresses this problem head-on. It’s good to be scared… and to take the leap anyway. Oh crap, I’m human. Go read the blog post. Really. It’s intensely vulnerable and inspiring all at once.

I had a chance to talk with an amazing business woman in last November. She took her art from painting in her home studio to being wildly successful internationally. She spent some time to mentor me, tell me some things that helped her get where she is. As a shy artist who preferred to work alone, as so many of us introverted emotional artistic types are, she has a trick for marketing her work. She pretends that she’s selling someone else’s awesome stuff. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently and think it’s a great tool to get out of my own way. So, in that spirit, here’s some of the cool stuff that’s available to you from QUILTArtbymegan and its amazing artist-in-residence.

Portrait quilts are unique, beautiful, fiber heirlooms. They’re great to celebrate any occasion, including memorializing the death of a loved one. This piece was a gift to someone who had recently lost her companion. Anyone who has ever loved a pet can understand the effect that their passing can have… especially since they were a part of your daily life for so long. This is a great way to honor that connection. Here’s the photograph that inspired the piece.

dog photo for PaulaHere’s the 12×12 art inspired by the above photograph. My customer asked for a top only, not a quilted piece so she could make this into a pillow.
Final Dog Sample

 

Here’s the final product, after it was given to the woman in the photograph, who’s mourning her friend. I’m so honored to be a part of this memory piece. The embroidery around the edges is from the book “The Little Prince”  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and reads, “But if you tame me then we shall need each other… to me, you will be unique in all the world,.. to you, I shall be unique in all the world.” My customer also did the beautiful quilting before making the piece into a pillow.

Paula5

 

I am working out the details for another memory piece. This time, it’s a T-shirt quilt. The shirts are team shirts from college, which will be turned into a bed quilt. I enjoy every project but these memory pieces are extra-special to me.