I finished the sloth t-shirt quilt, and it was so fun! Originally it was supposed to be a lap sized quilt, but my friend said something that’s music to my ears. She said, “I trust you. You have complete artistic freedom.” Most of the time when folks tell me this, they get way more than what they paid for. There’s something irresistible about having a clean slate for creativity!
For this one, since I had 10 shirts, I decided to play around with a similar layout like the Berenstain Bears quilt and make the squares staggered.
My friend said her favorite color, among many of them, was apple green. Well for me there’s one color above all that compliments apple green – a very texture unbleached beige. I suppose it’s like the hay element in my mind. Anyhow, I found a nice quality unbleached muslin, complete with texture variations, to use alongside the apple green.
My friend did mention she was a very tactile person, so the backing needed to be more than a simple cotton quilting. I looked around and settled on a green flannel-backed satin. I love the sheen it has, and the feel to it is cool and sleek – perfect for tactile folks!
I loved making this quilt and expanding on my normal format for t-shirt quilts. It’s a great example of why I tell folks don’t worry about not having enough shirts to make a bigger quilt. I can always play around with the layout. This one, using 10 shirts, was originally meant to be a lap quilt and ended up being a full-sized spread!
This quilt came as a result of a find in the JoAnn’s remnant bin. I’d picked it up and put it back several times, and I finally decided to just grab it. I coordinated it using fabrics I already had on hand for the most part. Several of the fabrics were left over from previous projects, and a couple were also remnant bin finds. This is the game I play. And I believe I won it this time.
It’s really a simple pattern – quarter blocks alternating with framed blocks and 2″ sashing in between. The only real issue I had was that the purple fabric I used for the sashing is no longer made. It had been in my fabric stash since almost the beginning of my quilting obsession. I knew nothing else was even close, so I had to think. I finally made a pieced top and bottom sashing using the same fabric that framed the dinosaur print. I think it worked out alright.
I quilted it using a variegated pink thread and used a purple flannel-backed satin for the backing.
Side note: I was in one of the Sunday school classrooms and saw where the same fun dinosaur fabric was used to make the curtains. I commented on it, and a friend said her mother had recently made those curtains and others for all the classrooms. I got tickled and told her I’d probably bought my remnant as a result from her mother’s purchase. As it is, that dino fabric is very popular and is sold out in many of the stores. I can see why; it’s such a fun print!
Confession time: I am afraid of triangles. Specifically, I’m afraid of using triangles in quilt tops. My past experiences with them have been less than pleasant and have included prying stuck corners out of my sewing machine feed, cutting-trimming-recutting, and getting aggravated because my corners didn’t line up. It’s been a long time since I’ve even bothered to try them. I’ve done paper piecing plenty, and I had resigned myself to that being the only way a dreaded triangle will ever enter my work. However, I love a challenge and hate being defeated, especially by my own self. So I decided recently to give the half-square triangle (referred to in quilting lingo as “HST”) another go. Luckily, I stumbled upon this little tutorial. It was perfect! No cloth corners getting stuck, and the angles were assured!
After testing it out and making one lap quilt and some test squares, I decided to use one of my pre-made kits and go for it.
That green and gold pinwheel is so much more than just a square. It’s a refusal to be defeated!
I found a cute unicorn fabric in the remnants bin at JoAnn’s a while back, and I thought it would be cute with some pinwheels. It was at this point I decided to make the absolute, most over-the-top girly girl lap quilt impossible could! I made pink and green pinwheels, and I used light pink sparkly fabric for the borders.
When I went to look at the fabric for backing, I thought I might find a cute flannel, but I saw something I thought was much better. I ended up picking a bright pink flannel-backed satin, and it’ll be added warmth as well as a nice, sleek feel.
For quilting, I decided to forego my default “loops and swirls” and add another layer of “girly”. I drew a meandering pattern of hearts, stars, and flowers all over. The end result was rather cute.
After sewing all the strips together for two twin-sized quilts, I had to get to work on the silhouettes. The Luke and Darth Vader ones were easy because I still had the silhouettes from the original quilt.
The key to making these quilts is to use the 805 Pellon fusible web interfacing. I traced the images onto the interfacing, pinned them to the quilt, and then I ironed away.
It’s strange. When the 805 works like it’s supposed to and peels off properly, you get fabric with an entire side of glue that’s ready to be ironed onto another piece of fabric. For these, some of the spots worked correctly, but I had a lot of areas that simply didn’t want to cooperate. This is where I had to go back and pin again. The fusible interfacing to there to ensure everything stays put and doesn’t shift while being sewn down.
The next step was the cut out the figures.
I like to use gray for the lightsaber handle and satin for the lightsaber blades. I had considered several other options before settling on satin, including glow-in-the-dark fabric. But I couldn’t resist the sheen of the satin and liked how it “popped”. I ironed the lightsabers on right after the figures were situated.
I used the close-set zigzag stitch and my duel-feed foot to trace around my figures and make sure they were secure. After Luke and Darth Vader were ready, I moved on to my newer silhouettes: Rey and Kylo Ren.
I know I mentioned “stadium quilts” in a previous post, so I figured I’d go ahead and discuss them. As said before, the whole idea of a stadium quilt is that it is usually in school colors and is 4’x4′. This isn’t the usual size of a lap quilt, but the logic was that at 4’x4′ it would be big enough to cover your lap while sitting on those wonderfully comfortable bleachers at football games while also being small enough not to drag around or have folks stepping on them. Of course, they also happen to be the perfect size for draping over the back of a couch or chair.
I happen to work for a particularly large school system that has over 20 different high schools. (This still baffles me as I graduated from an area with one high school for the whole darn county!) That being said, I figured that if I stuck to the basic colors of the local schools I’d happen to catch most professional and college team colors as well. One thing I know for sure – you Buckeye fans sure do love your Etsy stores. I probably get more hits on my Etsy store from Buckeye fans than from any other team.
When I decided to make the stadium quilt, I had two goals in mind. 1. Make some smaller quilts to sell ready-made on Etsy as well as at craft shows. My original lot was around 14 or so. 2. Use up as much of my fabric stash as I could without buying any more except for backing. I’ve mostly stuck to this, but I haven’t been able to resist the occasional gold or gray since they’re so wonderfully useful. I’ve also taken to strolling by the remnant bin at JoAnn’s and seeing if there’s any generic quilting fabric that is handy. The remnant bin and I are now officially old friends.
I also took some time and experimented with a new design – the “split rail,” aka the “rail fence.” I really liked it and had fun using it more. I also experimented using both cotton backing and flannel. After all, if the idea was to stay warm during games, then flannel was the way to go. In addition to my newfound appreciation for flannel, I also found that I simply LOVE crepe back satin. I used it in a couple of quilts and like the texture and sheen of it.
One color combo I was surprised looked as good as it did was the orange and blue. For the back of it, I found an orange and white tie-dye style flannel, and it looked great! I do think the rail fence styles look prettier overall.
Related Posts – mostly about using up your fabric stash:
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