Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Making T-Shirt Quilts

My summer began with 4 commissions to make. The first to be checked off the list was the baby quilt for young mom Molly and her little Ella. Next, was the beast, aka Elisa's king-size original.

Now I am at work trying to finish up the remaining two - both t-shirt quilts. While I normally would work on one to finish, and then begin the other, since they are the same design with the same construction steps, I am working assembly-line style. Below are stacks of cut shirts.


1. Cut out shirt fronts - and sometimes backs, too - at 15" square.
2. Cut 15" squares from lightweight fusible interfacing.
3. Iron interfacing to backs of shirt squares.
4. Layout shirts in pleasingly random fashion, distributing color evenly.
5. Determine the color of the fabric to use for sashing, borders and backing.
6. Shop for sashing, borders and backing fabric.

And that is where today's post comes into play. I contacted the clients for each quilt to see if a particular color was important and/or desired. This varies widely with every single person, so I never presume to press my preferences on them. Generally, people go with a favorite color, or a school color, or a particular "look." This has never resulted in an ugly quilt, in my opinion, so as far as t-shirts go, anything works.

One customer requested green, and sent two color swatches to show me the right shading. The varieties in this picture were all I could find in the correct range, and these had enough yardage for the purpose at hand. We ended up selecting the next-to-last fabric in this grouping.

For this green quilt, I have cut the sashing strips and have sewn the horizontal rows; I have a start on attaching the rows, too. I could have the top center finished in short order. It will be ready for the quilter very, very soon.

The other customer requested orange for the sashing, borders and backing. Even being October, I had a hard time finding a lot of variety in orange. (Maybe because it's October, the selection was limited.) I don't know. Anyway. I bought the two fabrics above. Neither had the yardage needed for the whole job, but I thought I could use the mosaic-looking piece for the sashing and borders, and use the little print for the backing. That is my current plan anyway.

This second quilt will be much larger than the first. One will have 16 blocks (set 4x4); the other will have 25 blocks (set 5x5). This difference doesn't seem like it would be that significant, but it is. My sashing strips are 2" (finish at 1.5") for the green quilt. I have not yet cut the strips for the orange - and I may go narrower simply to keep the size manageable.

The remaining steps for the list I began above are:
7. Cut sashing strips and attach forming rows.
8. Attach long sashing strips between rows and create the quilt center.
9. Measure, cut and attach borders.
10. Prep backing.
11. Take top, batting and backing to quilter.
12. When quilted, cut and attach binding.
13. Deliver finished quilt to client.

In news on other projects, I have quilted on Erin's Diamonds for a total of about 4 hours. It seems to have barely made a dent, so I need to pick up the pace.

I have enjoyed quilting this, and even though I have a whole lotta' quilting ahead of me, it will be fun to see it finishing so prettily.

The sewing room straightening and sorting continues. DH's painting continues. We have our DD1's cat Rocky here for a week's stay. And our DS Adam is home for a few weeks from his job in Oregon! We were expecting his return, but this early arrival surprised us just a bit.

With all of this going on, maintaining my focus on cleaning and quilting is sometimes harder than you think! *wink*

Happy Quilting, Friends!


1 comment:

Pam said...

Your diamond quilt is just stunning. I think your quilting on it really emphasizes the pattern.