I can post a picture of the full-size mosaic t-shirt quilt I made as a Christmas present for my friend’s daughter, who is a Georgia Tech cheerleader.
The Too Cool T-Shirt Quilt by Andrea Funk was my inspiration for this quilt. You can buy a copy of her book here if you want to DIY. Be forewarned that this style of quilt is a LOT more labor intensive than a traditional grid-style t-shirt quilt. That’s why they cost more (in case you are looking to hire someone to make it for your special someone).
How mine differs from the book:
~ Every bit of t-shirt fabric is backed with fusible interfacing.
~ Batting is Pellon’s Nature’s Touch, which has a soft hand.
~ Each block is individually quilted in a meander style (per customer’s request) with top thread color changed to mach the t-shirt.
A friend who makes t-shirt quilts like this on a full-time basis (she is a franchisee) warned me that the quilt would be extremely heavy to quilt because of the fusible interfacing. It was. I quilted it over a weekend and by Sunday afternoon, my hands were so sore from gripping the fabric that I could hardly write my name. (Note to self: remember this is why you prefer stadium/throw size and smaller quilts!)
I’m not going to give away any secrets in the book; but one tip I will share is that if you think you’ll make more than one quilt in this style, it’s a great idea to invest in your own set of acrylic templates. If you are like most quilters, you probably already have the square rulers in your stash (4-1/2″, 8-1/2″ and 12-1/2″ – perhaps the 16-1/2″ too). I found a local supplier, Professional Plastics, who was willing to cut the remaining templates to size for me (about $50 including tax). The templates were ready for pick-up the next day.
My end-of-year purchases included completing my set of templates for the mosaic style t-shirt quilt (so I can keep my other rulers separate) and a bolt of woven fusible interfacing (Pellon SF-101). Another friend has promised to bring me a batch of sorority shirts for me to make into a throw size mosaic t-shirt quilt when I return to work in January.
It all started with a pile of t-shirts and a picture on Pinterest.
Missy asked if I could make two big (20″) pillows for her daughter from old cheerleading t-shirts that she’d collected over the years. She wanted them in a mosaic style and showed me a picture of a quilt online that she liked. Sure, I was game. I’d never made a t-shirt quilt quite like this, but I was willing to experiment with some pillows for a Christmas present.
As I’ve said before, my co-workers and friends think I can do almost anything when it involves a sewing machine. It seems I get one project a year that stretches my limits. Cynthia…Megan…and now Missy.
Well, the pile of old t-shirts was E-N-O-R-M-O-U-S. I now have a full-size quilt top sandwiched and ready for quilting. I start on that tomorrow night once we discuss the quilting design (all over meander or individual block quilting). Will post a picture of the quilt and write-up of the my experience making this type of quilt after Christmas.
In case you were wondering, yes, the daughter is a Georgia Tech cheerleader.
Here’s the finished quilt. Customer was absolutely thrilled and exclaimed that this one “looked much better than the one they’d seen in a magazine”.
The finished size is 30″x45″. The backing is done in a smaller zebra print. The binding is hand-stitched to the back. The batting I used is Warm & Natural which has 8″ quilting lines. I simply picked a motif in the center of each graphic and machine quilted around that, along with ditch quilting around the inside of each t-shirt block. It’s strictly my personal preference. I like my t-shirt quilts to still look like t-shirts when I’m finished. Some of the “longarm quilting” out there in t-shirt quilt land looks like an afterthought with random loops and squiggles with no regard for placement or accentuating the t-shirt graphics. My extra bit of machine stitching in the middle means block will be secure will be sturdy enough and it still looks like a t-shirt quilt, plus you can barely see the stitching unless you know where to look.
I normally launder my quilts before delivering them to the recipient. Not this one. See the t-shirt in the upper right hand corner? The t-shirt came to me runs and all. This is the result of using paint pens/markers that were not permanent or were not set properly. Fortunately, I thought to run a damp white cloth across one of the letters before throwing it in the wash. Nuh-uh. I spot cleaned the marks on the pink t-shirt instead.
Future note to self – test paint pen t-shirts for color fastness before cutting up. Offer to launder with dye set solution for an extra fee.