This quilt is a great example of why I tell folks not to worry about not having enough t-shirts for a certain size quilt. I can always add in more blocks. For example, this person had 8 shirts but wanted a twin-sized quilt for her daughter. So I simply went in and added quartered blocks alternating with the shirts. I like the overall look.
Also, I had a couple of clients want to know about embroidery. That is one service I do not offer as of yet. Sometimes I think about getting a fancy embroidery machine, but then I remember that I am limited on space and funds and time. I don’t know if I would even have the time to fully learn it. I still have a serger that I am too scared to touch.
One thing about this quilt that I especially love is the backing. It is made from a fabric called “shirting flannel”. So it’s extra soft. Basically, it’s pajama pants material. Can you imagine?! A quilt with pajama pants material on the back?! I keep looking for more ways to incorporate this kind of material into my quilts as it’s just so darned comfy!
This is another senior quilt I made. It was from her softball jerseys and shirts; she had been playing softball most of her life. I met with her mother, and one of the first things she told me was that her daughter was a “girly girl.” We used this info to look for the backing. We wandered over to the pink fabric section and saw some lined rainbow fabric. It looked alright, but there was something about it that didn’t quite fit. It was right about then I pulled at another bolt and noticed that it was rainbow as well – a mottled one that moved in a gradient. As soon as I pulled it out, the mother and I knew we had struck gold.
It remains to this day one of my favorite backings! And I don’t think I’ve seen that fabric since. Pity. I would buy the dang bolt if I could.
As I was working on it, I had an idea and asked the mother to send me the earliest picture they had of the daughter playing softball. She sent me a precious picture, and I laughed when I saw it because the daughter still made that face.
The last step was to make her name. I made each letter match one of the jerseys on that same row. I specifically went out and bought zebra print fabric for the “I”. I haven’t used the rest of it and still have it floating around my sewing room.
This quilt is a great example of what a quintessential senior quilt looks like. In this case there are student council shirts, football jerseys, baseball uniforms, and goofy teacher shirts. The sashing has gold crepe back satin because I really wanted the luster that came with actual gold colors.
I sent her the update pictures as I went.
This mom also asked for a large gold G to be on the back as a nod at the high school logo.
I liked this one so much I had a small photo session in our school library.
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.
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.
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.