I had the honor of hosting my older sister (Marie) over the Thanksgiving weekend. We have established a bit of a tradition. She comes up for Thanksgiving, spends the weekend, we go to the Craftsman's Classic in Greensboro, hit a few fabric stores and spend the rest of the weekend sewing. She brought a project with her. A co-worker has commissioned her to do a T-Shirt quilt.
Marie arrived with a sack of the young ladies favorite T-shirts and instructions. To say that the t-shirts were WELL worn would be the understatement of the decade. The instructions were simple - include her "favorite" t-shirts and make it big enough for her to wrap up in. I'm told she's a healthy young lady. We decided to create 12 blocks in a 3 x 4 pattern with double borders between the blocks using several border fabrics. We decided that the 1 shirt that absolutely must be in the quilt was not salvageable for a block in a quilt that would be used regularly. My plan was to add a fabric border and frame it.
The favorite T-shirts were a hot mess. "Hot Mess" is a new phrase I picked up this weekend. The prints on these t-shirts were faded, stretched, cracked, stained. One of these was a simple grey T-Shirt from her college days. The design was simple -- the college name was written in block lettering across the front of the shirt but most letters were only visible by looking closely under the Ott light. It was also full of holes - and I do mean full. This was the one that was destined to be framed. We started with about 22 shirts, picked 16 that could be salvaged and created 13 blocks by patching, combining, etc.
First task - make those must have shirts usable. We solved the faded design issue with some fabric paint pens. After some work here's what we ended up with ...
At the point we were auditioning blocks and borders, our 3 x 4 plan became 4 x 4 which meant we had to come up with 4 more usable blocks. We picked up 2 t-shirts that were in good condition but did not fit the overall school theme, and then we had to build 1 more out of shirt pocket logos. We were still a block short so the framed piece became a block. Now this particular t-shirt had been cut already with the idea of framing. Using the fabric paint pens, the logo was restored, bonded a good t-shirt back to the logo to strengthen and cover up all the holes, then put tulle over the top to help with wear and tear. Used the school colors to build the block but was limited on how to build it because the shirt was trimmed with the intent to frame for hanging on the wall. Not a great block, but the "absolutely must have" shirt is now in the quilt.
At least 2 hours of moving blocks and deciding which border color to put on which shirt resulted in this top ....
The remaining pocket logos were mixed into a border that will measure 4" finished. We built the borders and laid them out on my design floor. I don't have a design wall yet. My husband bought some new tools this weekend so I expect one soon.
Close ups of the the border inserts before sewing....
By this time it was mid Sunday afternoon and my sister had to drive back to SC. She has to sew on the final border and get it quilted. We will be sure to post the finished product. I hope that we will also be able to post a picture of the young lady when she gets here quilt.
This coming week, I have to work on my dirty Santa swap and quilt of honor block for TMQG. I'm hoping Santa will bring me a good camera with a wide angle lens for better pictures.
Happy quilting, sewing, knitting to all and to all a good night!!