Collar Shirt Memory Quilt

This was another memory quilt that was particularly loaded with emotion.  A cousin asked me to make two memory quilts from her husband’s clothes for her children.  I’d grown up seeing my second cousins off and on throughout the years, but it had been way too long since we’d last met up.  In fact, the last time I’d seen them was when my boy cousin was going through his “girls are icky” phase, and he wouldn’t talk to me.  Since he was one of the few cousins close to my age, you’ll understand when I tell you that it was YEARS before I forgave him this slight.

I’m 35 now.  I suppose I’m over it.

I guess.

Anyhow, when their mother, my beloved cousin (who has never gone through a phase where girls were icky) asked me to make memory quilts, of course I agreed.  When she gave me the clothes, I noticed that there were no t-shirts at all.  The bags were a huge lot of collared dress shirts.

Collar Shirt Memory Quilt close up

Well we looked at a lot of options for how to incorporate dress shirts into a memory quilt, and in the end we decided there was something about the collar on the shirt that needed to stay. That being said, did you know that collared shirts weren’t meant to lie flat?  They were a bit of a doozy to finally get right, but I managed to get it situated in the end, including a quick stitch down the front to ensure the shirt front didn’t open up. I used patches and other parts of the shirts to make the borders and sashing intersections.

I did add in three pictures for each quilt.

I have been assured by the same guy cousin that his quilt gets a lot of use and has held up well to its constant use.  That always makes me happy to hear that 1. a quilt I made is regularly used and 2. it’s holding up well.

In the end, I tried to do honor to the father’s memory and make sure his shirts reflected him. It was a different challenge with all those curves, collars, and buttons, but I loved the end result!

Vintage 9-Patch Lap Quilt

My husband’s family is large.  Some might say huge, even.  How big is it?  Well, it’s so big that at Christmas they finally started drawing names out of a hat instead of everyone going broke trying to buy for one another.  It makes complete sense, and I love it.  Sometimes it can get a little hard when I don’t know someone all that well, but I’m also lucky that they are perfectly content with gift cards.  As am I, by the way, and I love that I can pretty much count on a Target or JoAnn’s gift card from the Nashville crew each year.

A few years ago I drew my mother-in-law’s name.  Now she doesn’t mind giving gift cards, but I couldn’t remember a single time I’d ever seen her spend one.  Then I remembered one thing she and I had in common – a love of quilts.  In addition to animals, my mother-in-law likes to collect orphaned quilts.  She has them hanging over her banisters and on quilt racks all around her home.  Mostly they are older and made by some long-since-deceased relative.  I like looking at the hand-quilting on them.  It’s mostly the Baptist fan pattern.

When she looked through her own deceased mother-in-law’s cedar chest, she found some vintage 9-patch blocks that she gave over to me.  She likes collecting quilts, not making them.  I figured I’d do something with them in the distant future, but when I drew her name in the Christmas drawing I brought them out sooner along with some of the other vintage fabric she’d found and passed my way.

It was a relatively east fix. 1. Square up the original 9-patch blocks. 2. Trim the other vintage fabric she’d given me and make sashing. 3. Assemble. 4. Add borders. Voila!

 

This was also one of the first times I’d tried out a label.  It worked well, and I placed it in a lower corner.

Starry Night Baby Quilt

This is another example of the Seattle Streets design.  I made this one for a couple of friends expecting their first son.  When I learned they were planning on a Starry Night nursery theme, I immediately remembered that JoAnn’s fabrics had a Starry Night fabric that would be perfect.  I had planned to completely surprise them.  However, at one point, exhausted after not finding what she wanted online, my friend texted me about prices for making something, and I had no choice but to confess that I already had something in the works.

I chose the Seattle Streets pattern once again because it’s a great pattern for featuring a lot of different colors.  I used the coordinating colors from the backing and made the top to match instead of the other way around.

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Van Gogh baby – Starry Night

To keep with the swirls from the original painting design, I went back to my usual swirl pattern that I’ve used with this design before, using blue variegated thread. In the end, the backing stole the show despite the pretty front.

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Starry Night quilt backing

This was a fun one to make, and I love the idea of a Starry Night themed nursery!

Related Posts and Blogs:

Sunflowers – If Van Gogh Were a Quilter

Houston Quilt Festival – Van Gogh Quilt

Braves T-shirt Quilt

This quilt was made from an unexpected gift!  A friend called me, said she was going through her house and cleaning it out, and asked if I wanted some shirts.  Some were from the 1996 Olympic games when Georgia hosted.  Growing up in Georgia, I cannot begin to convey how much the Olympics occupied my youth from when it was announced at Atlanta would host until the actual games in ’96.  I still have the Olympic shirts and will make a quilt with them at some point.

The other half of the shirt-treasure hoard was a lot of Braves shirts leading up to when they won the World Series in 1995.  I loved how four of them were reproduced images from the front of the Atlanta Journal Constitution with the big headlines and iconic images of the team.  Just like the Olympics, I remember the Braves being a huge deal and them winning a cause for celebration, especially as they’d come just shy of it several times.  These shirts brought back so many of those memories.  My husband really really wanted them and was remiss when I let him know they were not meant for him.

In addition to the newspaper shirts and the official World Series shirt, I found two more generic Braves shirts, and I included a jersey from my own closet that I knew I would never wear again.  It was 100% polyester, and the last time I’d worn it I was pregnant at a Braves games in 102 degree weather.  No joyful memory association there – let me tell you….

I wanted the newspaper shirts to have the most attention, so I refused to crop them and instead let their size dictate the rest of the blocks.  After that, the jersey dictated the size of the center row.  I decided against using Braves trademarked fabric because of copyright reasons, and I went with a mottled  red flannel instead.

When I put this on display in my craft fair booth, I had some fun at the expense of some of our more local shenanigans. It did eventually sell at one of the craft shows last fall.

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Related posts and blogs:

The History of the Atlanta Braves

A Chipper Jones Inspired Sermon

Wine Quilts

I’ve made a couple of wine-themed quilts in addition to a coffee-themed quilt.  They’re fun.  The first one I made was really and truly a whim.  I was sitting at my sewing area and saw two fabrics that made me think of wine.  One was some label-print fabric meant to mimic the old wine bottle labels.  I’d bought too much of it for a different project, and it had been folded up for a couple of years with nothing in mind.  The second fabric was a textured purple fabric from a completely different project – a t-shirt quilt.  But they looked so pretty next to one another that I dropped whatever I was working on and began making squares.  I loved the contrast!

A couple of days later I went out to JoAnns because I remembered they had wine-themed fabric.  I found one I liked and gave the quilt top a small border around the edges to tie together the front and back.  The fabric has the phrase “Like wine I get better with age.”  I thought it was particularly cute. I used a close stipple with variegated purple thread to quilt it together.

Normally I use the fold-over method for my binding, but this one needed a more traditional one, so I kept up the purple fabric for this purpose.

 

This quilt was bought on my Etsy store for a wife’s birthday!

I have a second wine quilt for sale on my Etsy store right now.  Like the first one, the second was made on a bit of a whim.  I was speaking with a client at JoAnns, and we were standing beside one of the fabric bins that hold all of their jelly rolls.  I looked over and spied a wine-themed jelly roll, and I thought it was pretty cute.  So I decided to grab a couple and see what I could make.

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At first I had planned on making a rail fence design, and that’s why I originally had cut the stripes and sewn them together in blocks.  But I realized it wasn’t going to look like what I had envisioned, so I stepped back and decided to make a more modern design.  I went back and forth on whether to use black stripes in between the rows or wine-colored fabric.  I polled my ever-patient husband, and we both agreed that the black made a better frame and helped the different colors from the fabric stand out.  I did a rotating pattern and liked the staggering design that came out as a result.

For the backing on this one, the colors were different from the backing on the first quilt, so I chose a wine-glass themed flannel instead.

Just like the first one, I used a close stipple and maroon thread to quilt it together.  Then I put on the black binding and was all set.

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Wine themed quilt made from two jelly rolls.

 

Related posts and blogs:

Red wine chocolate ganache

The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club

Baby Clothes Memory Quilt

This was a Christmas present commission I received as a result of the Lilburn Daze craft fair.  The client met me and had a huge bag of baby clothes.  Then she said what I consider music to my ears, “I trust you.”  She was letting me have complete artistic freedom!  I had several ideas for baby clothes, but there were factors that helped narrow it down to this style.

For starters, some of the clothes had already been cut, and they were different sizes, so making a basic quilt with the same square shape was most likely out.  The sheer number of clothes would probably have been a factor as well.  I noticed that several of the clothes needed to feature the front or had a cute pattern, and those would need to be in a spot that featured them.  So in the end, I followed the same route as I did with the Artist’s Memory Quilt.  I divided the clothes up into differing colors or themes; there were so many of the blue and red that they made two squares.

When you have a lot of fabrics and a small space to put them, then crazy quilt style is the way to go.  I was still a big fan of the shadowbox style, and I knew it would help make the blocks look extra cool.  I somehow managed to work in all of the clothes from that huge, full bag of baby clothes.

The last request the client had was the have the phrase “You and me against the world” somewhere on the quilt.  The things is…shadowboxes are tricky, and their illusion of being 3-D relies on nothing else being around the block.  So having the words somewhere highly visible would ruin the 3-D aspect.  So I decided to have the phrase worked in via a more subtle way.  I wrote the phrase in while quilting between two of the rows.  I just wrote it in cursive, so the phrase is there and the shadowboxes are in full effect.

A simple textured blue for the backing and binding brings everything together!

Related Posts and Blogs:

Make a Baby Onesie Quilt

Baby Quilts from Daddy’s Shirts

 

Runner T-shirt Quilt

This commission came as the result of one of my craft fair shows.  It was fun because the colors were not the conventional ones I was used to, but I loved loved loved them!

Instead of my traditional sashing style, I used the alternating frames look and let the harvest orange and eggplant purple frames play off one another.  The backing was the neat brocade print with a darker orange design on top of a lighter orange.  In my head I was referring to it as “pumpkin spice” orange.  As I went on and kept seeing the colors together I began to like them more and more.  I remember debating with my client for a long time in the store over the different color combinations, and I remembering saying something along the lines of “if you want to play it safe, then go for blue.”  But we both kept coming back to the orange and purple combo, and I was eager to start.

One thing that made this quilt more challenging was the runner bibs element.  The client had read somewhere that sewing them was possible, but I wasn’t so sure.  I noticed that one had foam on the back and several had stickers on the front.  I kept imagining how my machine would act when it hit that foam and how the stickers would act once the quilt was washed.  Neither scenario was good.  In the end, she took me up on my suggestion to scan the bibs and then applique them into a block.  She had so many that we used up two blocks to make it all work out. It helped when we realized we didn’t need the sponsors section of the bibs and I could crop them out.  In the end, the bibs were only slightly smaller than the original ones, and she had her original ones back – unharmed.

In the end it was the color combo that had me so excited for this particular quilt, and I still think it’s one of the best and boldest combos I’ve seen.

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I scanned running bibs and incorporated them into the bottom two corners of the quilt.

Related blogs and posts:

Runner’s T-shirt Quilt

Am I a Runner?

So You Want to be a Runner

Quilted History

 

Mariner’s Compass Wall Quilt

 

When we moved into our new house, I noticed at once that the nice, big living area lent itself to a nice, big echo. And I thought to myself that, alas, I would simply HAVE to make a wall quilt for our new home.  Such a burden…right?

I did realize that if I was hanging it up in the main area that it would need to be something that I wouldn’t mind seeing everyday and that I was particularly proud of.  Well, that can only be one pattern of course – the mariner’s compass!

Like many of my quilts I make, I tried to make this one out of fabric I already had on hand.  Luckily for me, I had bought some blue and gold themed fabric at the same quilt store where I’d gone to look at mid-arm quilting machines.  I don’t often buy fabric without a project already in mind, but this was too pretty to pass up.  And it was the last of the bundles as far as I could see.  The only fabric I bought after that was the fabric for the borders.

I like to use the Mariner’s Compass Stars guide by Carol Doak.  Paper piecing can be difficult when you start out, but I’d already made a king-size quilt for my husband using this same pattern.  So I’d had practice aplenty.

I’ll admit that this pattern, a paper-pieced mariner’s compass, is just about the one pattern I refuse to do on commission.  If you aren’t familiar with it, then let me explain.  For paper piecing you actually sew the fabric onto paper, and then you tear the paper off after each wedge is done.  To make one block you need to make eight wedges!  So yes, it’s very time-consuming.  But boy the results are stunning!

By the way, the Quest Quilts image I use on a lot of things is another Doak star.

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I am eye-balling a possible ready-made quilt at some point using one of these star patterns, but I haven’t fully decided yet.  Stay tuned folks!

Related blogs and posts:

Mariner’s Compass Quilt

A Round Mariner’s Compass Baby Quilt

Paper Piecing 

 

Rainbow Bargello Quilt

Would you like to know a secret?  You see the rainbow quilt that’s at the top of every page?  It’s for sale.  It’s been on my Etsy shop for a while, and it gets a lot of attention at my craft fairs.  But no one has stepped up to take it home.  Here it is. It has sold!!

I’ve always considered bargello quilts to be particularly impressive.  Seriously, they’re like a fabric kaleidoscope!  I had also considered them out of my league, so you’ll imagine my surprise when I found a nice tutorial at the Lets Quilt Something blog that made them not look scary at all!  In fact, the tutorial helped me make the decision to finally give it a go.

I wasn’t using a jelly roll (pre-cut fabric strips), though.  I had so much fabric in my stash that I couldn’t justify it – although I did have to go out and grab some orange fabric before everything was said and done.

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After cutting and joining strips for forever, I followed the tutorial exactly as described.  It worked beautifully!  (I won’t say without hitches, but those weren’t the fault of the tutorial.)  I had so many little strips of fabric that I had to use my cork board and pin them up in order.

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I finally saw the top starting to come together, and I really liked what I was seeing.  Once the top was completed, I was at a loss on how to quilt it.  I did NOT want the quilting to take away from the top design, so I knew early on I’d probably have to switch out thread and such.  But unlike some of my other projects, I swapped out the thread in both the top and in the bobbin.  This would make for a colorful design both front and back.

The quilting design came from a sort of challenge from my sister.  She was with me at my second craft fair and commented on how I had no other quilting designs except for stipples and loops.  She asked if I was capable of anything else.  Well, I decided this quilt would be there I showed her what else I could do.  I quilted FLAMES!

 

It took forever.

It’s by far one of my favorite quilts, and I even entered it into my church’s talent show in the craft talents section.  Several times I’ve thought about just keeping it for myself, but I’ve kept it up for sale for some reason.  I’m hoping someone else can see how much work went into it and can appreciate it for what it is.  I do plan on making another one in the future, but I’ll probably cheat and just use a jelly roll next time.

Lesson learned – long live the bargello quilt!

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My rainbow bargello quilt!

Related Blogs and Posts:

Quilted three fabric bargello

Autumn Bargello

Bargello Video Tutorial

Cheerleader T-Shirt Quilt

This won’t be the last t-shirt quilt you all see.  They are sort of my bread and butter.  I do more t-shirt quilt commissions than I do anything else, and they help out with a lot around here. Graduation season is picking up, and I’m starting to see inquiries and am getting orders.  I’ve completed two already and am meeting someone for a 3rd.

In honor of graduation season coming upon us (a time that is often busier than Christmas for me), I’m doing a post on one of the senior quilts I made last year.  This one was interesting because the school colors were black and silver.  You would think this makes for a boring or “ugly” combination.  But I realized as we looked through the fabric that it was also a combination that was hard to get wrong. In fact, it made for a nice contrast to the shirts!

 

So I’ll show you guys a bit of my process.  For starters, I make a draft. This was for a basic layout – no sashing or borders.  The name was about the only frill.  I’ve gotten rather good at drafting layouts far more complicated on Microsoft Word.

Ariel Layout

I use fusible interfacing to make sure that jersey knit stays put.  It’s stretchy and likes to bunch up without a stabilizer. The shirts themselves were quick since I wasn’t doing a border.  There was one spot open, and I made a quick 9-patch to match the backing.  This is a great example of why I tell folks not to stress about how many shirts I’ll need.  I usually tell them to send me what they want included, and I’ll try to figure out a way to make them all fit.

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This one was made of the senior’s cheerleading shirts.  There were plenty to be had and a generous amount of glitter! I liked the traces of pink in the shirts; they “popped” once they were placed beside the black and silver school colors.

 

 

For the backing, my client chose an “oil slick” design that was a nice and playful balance for the black and silver school colors.  I used the same fabric in the front 9-patch as well as the letters of the name.

This particular quilt was pretty fun to make!

Related blogs and posts:

Rosebud’s Quilts: Another t-shirt quilt

Rock & Roll Marathon T-Shirt Quilt

Quilts in Common: T-shirt quilt for graduation