The t-shirt quilt for Six-Foot Chick's too-soon (as in next week!) departure to college is completed. If you had any breeze blow past you, it's from a big, heavy sigh on my end. This was quite the project. SFC decided she would like a going-away quilted throw for college (I made throws for her two older siblings over the years and she wanted one. Sounds reasonable, right?) Anyway, she had lots of t-shirts from HS and wanted to use those. I had seen t-shirt quilts ages ago and thought the idea was intriguing. Intriguing, yes; effortless, no.
It is very satisfying now that it is completed, but don't examine it too closely. I caused some of my own problems with my pre-planning. I didn't think I was being lame. Honest.
I think my main problem was I had to put this project down and pick it up a few times during the process, so would forget what I had been thinking from one session to the next (you know, for parties, showers, etc.). If you know you're going to be interrupted, I would suggest making notes to yourself. Okay, let's get down to specifics:
- t-shirts, washed without fabric softner
- fusible backing, light to mid-weight
- Backing fabric(s)
- Pull out all of the shirts you think you want to use. Possibly leaving some out if the color's don't go with the rest, are too beat up, are too different in weight.
- Locate the skinniest shirt and use that as a (maximum) template width for all of your squares. Decide on the dimensions of your quilt.
- Cut off sleeves and collars of t-shirts, then cut up sides and across shoulder seams so you have a flat front and back.
- Using your determined square size, start cutting t-shirts and place them on a flat surface to decide how you want your squares arranged.
- To prepare the squares: Iron on fusible backing, being careful not to iron over any lettering, as it will melt. (NOTE: Backing comes in narrow widths~20" or so, you may want to base your square size on that width so you don't have to buy and waste a lot of it or piece it.)
- Serge or stitch around the fused edges
- Sew your squares into strips
- Sew strips together to make quilt top
- Piece backing together (if necessary). Mark centers of each side
- Tape backing to floor
- Place batting on top of it
- Place quilt top on top of everything, matching center edges of quilt to center edges of backing
- Pin baste
- Quilt as desired
- Stitch 1/4" around outside edge.
- Apply binding. * I cut my backing 1 1/2" larger all the way around, then pressed it in 1/2" and folded it over the stitched edge *
I wish I would have been consistent with square size and not pieced in extra fabric on two of the blocks. Part of my initial thinking was if one block was narrower, I would make up for it by a block that was wider--I wish I wouldn't have done that. I also would have paid attention to my fusible backing width, some of my squares have two or three separate pieces fused on them--it's probably not a big deal, but I'd prefer one piece.
I hand sewed my binding because I had a some spots that needed extra TLC. I'm sure this will wear just fine, since it's not going to be dragged around like the children's baby quilts were. Remember, when you complete it, the top will still be old, faded t-shirts with cracking letters...
We should really consult SFC...What do you think, honey?