This is my first T-shirt quilt that I made for Carla and Blake. I'm very pleased with the results and anxious to deliver it to them. I'll give the whole saga below, but let's start with the pictures!
The front consists of five t-shirts and 4 blocks of lobster fabric. I used a fusible woven interfacing on the t-shirts. The primary reason is to stabilize them and make it easier to sew (less stretchy). What amazed Carlin and me was how much it brightened up the t-shirts.
Four of the shirts had designs that filled the 15" square, but one did not. We decided to add embroidery to that shirt, not only to fill the space, but to document who it was for.
To quilt it I used invisible thread. I first stitched along the sashing strips. In the t-shirts I did some free-motion around the designs. For the lobster fabric blocks I stitched an X and diamond for the quilting. Not sure if you can tell, but here are close-ups:
The back ended up having to be pieced because initially we didn't order enough fabric, and then we bought two different lobster prints to supplement our fabric. I just did a big nine-patch on the back.
Now the "how this came to be" saga:
Over a year ago Carla asked me about making a T-shirt quilt. Blake is a store manager at Red Lobster, and during his tenure has received some T-shirts which he no longer wears. Carla has a T-shirt quilt that her grandmother made her a while back, which she loves, and wanted to do the same for Blake. I agreed to give it a shot. This was before I even knew I was getting an embroidery machine! Now when it got right down to it, it really didn't take an overwhelming amount of time to make. But it sure was a long-time in the making!!
Last year in March we began looking for lobster fabric online. Mid-April I emailed Carla a couple quilt layout options. She picked one and we ordered the lobster fabric for the back. At some point before beginning Carla realized the dimensions of what she choose wasn't really as big as what she was hoping for, so we went with the other option. But making the front bigger meant the back would be bigger, so we no longer had enough lobster fabric. In June I found two different lobster prints as part of an estate sale, so we bought those, too.
Now, in the midst of all of that I was working on a crib-sized quilt for her daughter Ella, as well as a ton of other embroidery projects. So I don't want it to sound like I totally put the quilt on hold... But in essence we did. We both started working at the preschool, which limited my sewing time and her ability to watch Annaliese while I sew (part of the payment process). Carla was very gracious in saying, "there is no rush" which was a blessing during the holidays.
Fast forward to spring of this year. Carla asked if I could get the quilt done by Blake's birthday in June. At this point he would have completely forgotten the discussion and it would be a surprise. I said, "YES! I need a deadline or it will never get done!" And I had every intention of doing so. But notice today's date is JULY 11, not JUNE 11?? Well, as I've already blogged about, morning sickness hit me hard, and there was no way I was going to get it done. Carla is a dear friend, and if she was irritated by the delay, she did a great job hiding it from me! :) They have since moved away, but will be in town this weekend, and so Sunday night became my new target date. FINALLY. IT. IS. DONE.
I'm very pleased to have completed this, and I now know that someday I can make one for myself with the millions of t-shirts I have collected in my 30+ years. But it's going to be a while. Maybe not until I have access to a long-arm quilting machine or can afford to pay someone to do that for me... mine will end up being a double-sided king sized quilt I imagine, and there's NO way I'm quilting that on a standard sized machine... even if my mom can.
Ok, this post is long enough. Signing off!