Quilting

Mosaic T-Shirt Quilt Revealed!

mosaic tshirt quilt

FINALLY!

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.

Quilting, Uncategorized

All Mixed Up (mosaic style) pillows made from t-shirts

All Mixed Up (mosaic style) pillows made from t-shirts

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.

Quilting

Twisty Tees Wall Quilt

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.