T-shirt Quilt

Our youngest son will be leaving for college very soon. I have offered many times to make a quilt for his dorm room bed and he has declined every time. I was okay with that even though I have been saving his t-shirts since he was 10 years old to make him a quilt. While going through his clothes to see what was needed for school, he was sad that many of his favorite shirts were too small and decided that he did want a t-shirt quilt after all! Of course that meant that I had to put everything on hold (sorry 3 fabric bargello) and get busy!

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I quickly cut them up and ironed on a lightweight stabilizer.

His dorm bed is a twin XL so luckily it’s not a large quilt. I had to make a trip to my LQS because he couldn’t find anything in my stash that he liked for the sashing and borders. Before sewing on sashing, I like to arrange the squares on the floor in a pleasing order.

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I don’t use a pattern for my t-shirt quilts because I like them to look very random. I cut them into different size squares and use sashing on the sides of each block to make them the size of the largest block in each row. Then I piece them vertically instead of horizontally with sashing between each block. I use color coded sticky dots to number my rows and blocks so if they get out of order, I can quickly figure out where they go. Sometimes I get lazy with this step and just take a pic with my cell phone of the layout before piecing.

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After sewing, I press the seams open because they can get a little bulky with the t-shirts and stabilizer.

I got a little emotional cutting up some of his shirts because it hit me that he is leaving and we will be empty nesters in the very near future. I have been a homeschool mom for 12 years and I am excited to see the plans that God has for his future but sad that he is leaving. He will be attending college out of state and will be about 5 1/2 hours away from home.

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Below is a pic of my progress so far. I still have to sew on the final borders, quilt and bind it. We leave in one week to take him to school and I also have to get him packed and organized during the week as well. I will update with a pic when finished…

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My 5 Favorite Quilt Patterns

#5 Scrap quilt-

Being a quilter for almost 14 years I have accumulated a huge pile scraps. If I didn’t donate them by the trash bag full my house would be over run and I wouldn’t have anywhere to put them. I have passed them down to thrift stores and new quilters wanting to make a scrap quilt. This quilt is very easy to make and requires no pattern. I simply cut muslin squares 9 1/2” and sew random width strips corner to corner starting in the middle of the square and working out. Some people sew the strips to newspaper and tear it off when done but I like the sturdiness of using a muslin foundation fabric. When the block is finished, I square it up with a 9” square ruler. I usually work on 4 blocks at a time and sew them together when completed. When I have enough for whatever size quilt I want, I sew the 4 patches together and then quilt it. This method allows me to put a gift together quickly and easily plus there’s the added bonus of using up that forever growing pile of scraps!

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#4 Carpenter Star-

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I ordered this book from Amazon years ago and have made quite a few quilts in this pattern. The book has 2 patterns, the Carpenter’s Star and the Broken Star. I have made both but prefer the Carpenter’s star. It goes together quickly and easily and the instructions are great. It comes with printable paste up charts and there are no y-seams.

 

 

 

#3 Walk about pattern-

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I’ve made this pattern so many times that I rarely, if ever, take pictures of the finished quilt anymore. I also barely need to look at the pattern because I have it memorized! This quilt can be chain pieced and also goes together quickly. The patten offers instructions in every size from crib to king.

 

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#2 Keyboard Kaleidoscope-

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This is the quilt that I currently have on my bed. The colorful keyboard border around the center of the quilt makes it pop!

I made this quilt in a class at my local quilt shop, Accent Sewing, in Murrells Inlet, SC. I love the fabrics and haven’t changed out the quilt on my bed since I completed it. That is saying a lot because I used to change the quilt every time I changed my sheets! Now, the only time I use another quilt is if this one is being washed. I alway hang my quilts to dry (inside my house) so it usually takes a couple of days to dry.

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#1 Dresden (Express)-

I guess I am a traditionalist at heart because the Dresden quilt has always been my favorite. This was the 3rd quilt I ever made and my first queen sized quilt. At the time, we were living full time on our motor home and I wanted something pretty to put on our bed. The plates went together surprisingly fast using the Dresden Express ruler.

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My mom loved it so much I made a king size quilt for her bed also.

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mobile pics 172After I finish my current project (3 color bargello) I plan to make one in a king size for my bed. We no longer live on our RV and now have a king bed so the first one I made is too small. Maybe a Dresden quilt will tempt me away from the Kaleidoscope quilt!

 

Roses for Mary Quilt

I have made several embroidered quilts but the first one I made was the Roses for Mary pattern by Jenny Haskins. At the time, I had just bought a new sewing machine with an embroidery module and couldn’t wait to get started.IMG_1385

I signed up for classes with high expectations of getting this quilt on my bed in the near future… boy was I mistaken! The process was very slow, I had to multi-hoop the designs repeatedly and change the thread thousands of times on my single needle machine. It took me over 6 months working on it several hours each day to complete the embroidery. When the embroidery was complete, I used bright batiks that matched the thread for the sashing and borders. For the quilting I decided to echo quilt around the embroidery designs which took about a week to finish.

I finally got it on my bed and I was in love! I purposely walked into my room several times that first day just to look at it. One of those times my dog followed me in and jumped on my bed (something he’s allowed to do). I didn’t realize he had gone outside and gotten his paws dirty. He left a huge, muddy paw print on the edge of the white fabric where he jumped up. I immediately pulled the quilt off of the bed and tried to spot clean it. I have used everything and there is still a small stain on it. I put the quilt away because I didn’t want to chance something like that happening again. A few months later, I decided to try it again on my bed. I bought a baby gate to keep the dog out of my room (there were several other beds he could lay on) and was excited to see it again! Every time I walked into my room I noticed my cat sleeping on the bed (I’m sure you see where this is going…) I thought he looked sweet so I didn’t shoo him off. Later that night, my husband came into the den to inform me that there was cat vomit on our bed. It left a pale yellow stain that also didn’t come out. So, back in the closet it went where it remained for 7 years. I hadn’t seen or thought about this quilt in quite some time and I came across it while packing recently to move.

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My sewing room in the new house has a bare wall that my long arm machine sits on. I decided hang it on the wall behind the machine. The quilt is so long that I had to hang it sideways but at least I can enjoy it now without the fear of my animals doing any more damage to it.

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Maybe one day when our animals have passed (hopefully not for a long, long time), I will try it on my bed again. For now I will just enjoy it on the wall!