Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to...

I've been asked to explain how I made the t-shirt quilt shown here.  Sorry, I have no photos, because I wasn't planning to do a tutorial.  

A few resources can be found here and here

The t-shirt blocks came to me already cut into 9 1/2 inch and 4 1/2 inch squares and already had the interfacing ironed on.  My first step, then, was to decide on the arrangement.  I laid the blocks out on my bed and played with them until I had the look I wanted.  To add inches to the quilt, I decided to add a narrow sashing between each block, so I cut 1 1/2 inch X 9 1/2 inch strips and sewed a strip to the right side of each of the t-shirt blocks...all but the ones that ran along the right side of the quilt.  I used Kona solid in Navy for the sashing and border.

After sewing the sashing to the blocks, I needed strips to go between the rows, so I cut several 1 1/2 inch strips times the width of the fabric .  I sewed all the strips together, took the average measurement of the rows and then cut them that length.  When sewing rows together, instead of sewing row 1 to 2, then add row 3, then add row 4, etc., I sew rows 1 & 2 together, then sew rows 3 & 4 together, then sew rows 5 & 6 together...etc.  Then, I join each section of 2 rows together, then each section of 4 rows get the idea, right?  Course, I didn't mark the rows, so the quilt ended up with the bottom half on top, but it worked out okay.  Once the rows were attached, I added a 3 1/2 inch border all the way around.

ohyeah, now I had several 4 1/2 inch blocks to use.  I had originally intended to put 4 of them together with sashing to form blocks, but decided that a row of them across the top would be more fun.  After I did that, I still had blocks to use, so I made a strip to put into the backing.  You know how I love pieced backings!

I used denim for the backing and, as stated above, I added in a strip of the smaller blocks. I used the 'reverse bag' method of putting this quilt together...I put the right sides together with the batting on top and machine stitched all the way around, leaving about 2/3's of the bottom open so that I could turn the quilt right side out.  After turning it, I hand-stitched the opening and then top-stitched 1/2" from the outside edge all the way around.  I also did a row of top-stitching next to the seam of where the border attached to the t-shirt blocks.  I basted the quilt with safety pins.       

Susan wanted it kept simple, so I tied the quilt, instead of machine quilting it.  I used Navy perle cotton.  Double strand twice for each tie.  The ties were placed on every junction of the inner sashing and then in between each of those.  I did not tie the center of the blocks.

The quilt measures 75 x 90 inches.  If I ever make another one, I won't use denim for the backing.  I liked the look and it was perfect for a young man, but it was very heavy.  Also, I will cut at least 12 1/2 inch squares.  There were several squares that, once the seams were made, didn't show the entire design.

*I used my walking foot throughout the construction of this quilt.  

*I used a ballpoint needle because my Naomi Janome skipped stitches if I used a regular needle on the knit fabric of the t-shirts. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  The links I added at the top of the post have additional information that you might want to check out if you are considering making a t-shirt quilt.  

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might. - Ecclesiastes 9:10


Kathy (woolfind) said...

Wowser, Great explanation that even I could follow it. Thank you Jacque! I'm so glad you shared this with us :). Will save these directions!!!

moosecraft said...

Whew! That really was a lot of work! The explanation of all the details is appreciated... and all of those details really made this quilt stand out!

Gail said...

Great quilt! A wonderful ideal for all the outgrown tshirts that hold wonderful memories.

Courtney said...

You are definitely a talented seamstress! Thanks for the tutorial. The quilt if just wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Goodness! That surely is a lot of work!! How many hours did you put into this quilt? Wonderful job as usual sister dear!!! Joyce

Dog Trot Farm said...

Jacque, first I need to inquire as to how Tag is adjusting to his new roommates? Your tee shirt quilt is amazing, I wish I had the dedication and patience to make something as wonderful as that quilt. Does your sister quilt too? I am glad you added the cross to the church steeple, great suggestion. Hope spring has finally found you!!