Saturday, 19 March 2011

The newest t-shirt quilt

Last year, a few weeks after I finished my first t-shirt quilt, my buddy Allison asked if I would make one for her. Not one to turn down a friend, I agreed (plus, she offered to pay me, so how could I say no?!?!). A few months later, she showed up at my office with a box of t-shirts she'd been collecting since high school. Fast forward several procrastination-filled months later and we have this...the life of Allison in quilt form. Read more after the jump!

From making this quilt, I learned that Allison used to work at Overwaitea Foods, likes to visit Hard Rock Cafes when travelling, volunteers a lot, is very proud of her Russian heritage, may or may not have gone skydiving, and has good taste in British comedies. Interesting lady to say the least!

As with the previous t-shirt quilt I used iron-on interfacing to stabilize the stretchy t-shirt material. This time I got a bit smarter about it though. Instead of cutting and ironing individual squares of interfacing to iron on, this time I cut long strips the same width as my blocks and ironed on a whole row of blocks at a time. Then, I just folded right sides together between each block and stitched my seam allowance as usual. Sooooo much faster than last time.

The fabric I chose for the back wasn't my first pick. I wanted to go with a medium grey Kona solid but the store was out when I was doing my shopping. Instead, I opted for a medium blue with darker blue wavy lines. The effect kind of reminds me of jeans so it really works with the t-shirts.

Since regular fabric isn't wide enough to span the entire width of the quilt, a seam was necessary. I'm never really fond of seams on the back of quilts, so I used the opportunity to tie the back in with the colours on the front by adding a band of small t-shirt squares. I intentionally set the band off centre on the back. This way, when the quilt is folded, you still get to see that nice band detailing instead of it getting lost on a fold.

I can honestly say, this will probably be the only time I get to put Rowan Atkinson and William Shakespeare on a quilt together. Every quilter should include a Black Adder block at least once in their life! Looks good, don't you think?

As you can see, this is a tied quilt. Instead of the layers of fabric being held together with rows of stitching, I used yarn and embroidery thread to tie the layers together. This prevents the batting from shifting around over time. I placed one tie at the corner of each block as well as one in the middle of each. The set placement led to some unintentionally hilarious results: check out the belly-button tie on Mr. Russia here...couldn't have planned it better if I tried.

I managed to ship the quilt off to Allison just two weeks after I started the piece. I'm sure she'll be enjoying her personalized quilt for years to come!


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