Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Last Project of 2013

t-shirt quilt
I started a t-shirt quilt in April, as a sample for a class I was teaching.  It was suppose to be fast, fun, and finished a very long time ago. Those plans hit a snag right away...ironing the Pellon interfacing on the the backs of the t-shirt is neither fun, nor fast...but eventually I did finish.

Once the dread Pellon was on, I did have a lot of fun with the piecing. I added denim saved from holey jeans...denim being the natural complement to the t-shirt. I used the WHOLE t-shirt, not just the fronts...I even used the sleeves. My son has a certain affinity for the Italian flag, so I worked that into the piecing. Though the quilt looks fairly random, it is, for the most part, 18 inch squares.

The plan was to tie the quilt...BUT, as it turns out, I really don't like to tie.  I decided to do a mixture of different "ties." From the beginning the quilt included french knots, traditional ties, and "star" ties. However, even with the variety of ties, I quickly lost my steam and  the project sat for about 5 months.

In October I drug the quilt back out again, this time determined to finish.  I added a star, attached with a blanket stitch, and I decided to add my son's hand print, around which I this point I was about an eighth of the way done with the quilting, mostly in the bottom left hand corner, and still not very excited.

THEN, while cleaning out the garage, I found a large embroidery hoop I inherited from my grandmother! This was the game changer. I decided to add some hand quilting....and, as insane as it is, I really enjoyed the hand quilting.

I added more stars, more chain stitching, and more of all the ties. The more I did, the more I wanted to do and I fell in love with the project!

t-shirt quilt

Most of the work I did on the quilt was in the evening after the children were in bed.  One day my son made a suggestion that I add something of Star Wars to the quilt.  I decided to add the Death Star, but kept it a secret.  So the next morning when he woke up, I told him I added a moon to the quilt, just so I could hear him say, "that's no moon!"  He appreciated my humor.

death star

Even though tying is not my favorite, I could not resist adding ties around the mane of the lion.

tee shirt quilt

He is really excited about the pockets on the will definitely be used for "Rudolf".

jeans quilt

I finished the binding on the quilt at about 11:55 last night...I really didn't want to have to change the date!

blue jeans quilt
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Not to worry, that's washable marker I used to write "Mama".  I haven't washed the quilt yet.  I can't wait to see it when it gets that kind of bumpy, lovely, "quilt" look to it after it has been washed.  One last picture of the back...just so you can see all that handy work....

hand quilting


  1. Wow this is so amazing. I want to learn from you!

  2. You need to add a tutorial so others can give such a wonderful gift to their children. Just wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Good idea! There are plenty of straight up tee shirt quilt tutorials, but with all the craziness of this quilt,I think I have some information to add. I think I will do a matching pillow sham and make a tutorial at that time. Thanks for the inspiration!