Saturday, January 28, 2017

T Shirt Quilt

    Today- I have the honor of showing you a special quilt. Don't get me wrong, I think all quilts are special in their own way, but this one has a little something-something if you know what I mean. 😉. A few months back I received a call from a former co-worker. I thought she was calling just to chit chat, soon into the call, I realized the real reason. Her dad had recently passed and she was wondering if I could make her a T Shirt quilt. I was like--Oh my gosh, Yes!!!! This is were I personally think that quilts help comfort and heal. "T Shirt Quilts" fall under the category as a "Memory Quilt". Very important. We talked a bit more on the phone and made arrangements for me to get the t shirts.

     Once I received them all- I laid them all out on my studio floor and looked them over. I had my pen and paper out and I started to make notes and write down what ever ideas came into my head. I was not given the usually amount of t shirts to work with that you see in many of these types of quilts. No big deal---I just knew that I would have to be creative. We had decided on a nice size lap quilt. Now...... I just have to say this...I do not like little lap quilts. I fully expect a lap quilt to cover me from my chin and down over my toes. If you want to cuddle with your quilt, why would you want your toes peeking out? Am I right?--of course I am!

     I took my time with this quilt. I would draw a plan and then change it, this happened a few times. Oh was I happy the day that I finished the plan and could go to the store and buy the supplies. I couldn't wait to start on it. Got home and scurried into my studio, shut the door and went to town. I ironed Pellon on the the back of all the shirts, I cut them down to the size that I wanted, I arranged them all out on the floor on how they were to be placed. In the mean time, I was washing the background fabric first. I had chosen a really nice soft  flannel. I know that flannel shrinks terribly, so off to the washer and dryer it went. The flannel was ready to be cut once my t shirts were all cut. Great timing! Measure, measure--cut, cut and then repeat. That was the theme in my room that day. Remember I said earlier that I would have to be creative because I did not have many t shirts? I was only given 11 shirts. I used the scraps of the shirts and made quilt blocks. I planned on using them as fillers so that it would brake up all of the background material I was planning on using. 

     When it was all cut out and the blocks were all sewn--I had it all laying out again. I was getting so excited. I could see it taking shape. Now came the time to start sewing in the background fabric---stitch after stitch after stitch....a couple hours later...Wha la!!!!! The whole top was pieced. I loved it!!! It was just as I had pictured in my mind.

     Looking at the shirts that her father wore, I had gotten the sense that he may have been a  former military man---or at least, a very patriotic man. Given that knowledge----I choose a red background fabric and a dark blue backing/binding fabric. I used a batting that was mostly cotton but some polyester to give some loft. I loaded it all up on my longarm frame. I used Superior Threads Magnifico #2151 to quilt. I did an edge to edge free motion meander on it. Near one of the shirts that I could tell that he wore frequently- I wrote his name into the quilt.

     The binding went on pretty fast. I sat in the living room and watched a few movies. I had already sewn in the label. I like to do it in the bottom corner. Labels are very important! We as quilters need to archive our quilts so that the future generations know all about them. Plus, the label allows you to put more then just information on it. You can write your feelings, your emotions, hand sign your name---all things that help breath life into the quilt.

     Finally, the day came to deliver it!!! I drove to my old place of work--excitement building in me with each step. Well fate is a funny thing----as it turns out, Susan was in a meeting. That just meant I had to sit and be patient for a bit. When I finally saw her--I could not open it up and display it fast enough. Now, of course you know me--I made her close her eyes until it was open all the way. She loved it!!! You could see her happiness in her face in every way. That totally warmed my heart!!! 💗
Here it is!!! Ta Da!!! Isn't it wonderful?! I can just picture Susan wrapped up in it and feeling surrounded by her Dad

This is a close up of the meander stitch. I love this red flannel---it is like a mottled red flannel. So soft and fun to fondle and cuddle with!

The picture does not show the true blue color of the backing---or the color of the thread as I would have liked. But I do like the way the quilting is shown.

P.S.- She loved the Label!