This quilt was for a friend as a surprise at her baby shower. I knew we wanted to tie in to her overall theme of woodland creatures, and I did several searches for different images. In the end, I went with the images on her actual shower invitation. (She loves sloths, so we snuck in one of those as well!)
I traced the images onto basic copy paper and then retraced them backwards onto fusible interfacing.
From there, the layering process began. I had to trace each layer backwards onto the fusible interfacing as well and then iron them on top of one another. I’ll admit there were several times here where I thought of different ways to simplify, but in the end it just wouldn’t do. The fox was simplified accidentally, but that was about it.
From there, I ironed them into place and used a large mushroom top to hide their bottoms behind because the original images were cropped as well. It look some rearranging before I finally hit this layout.
Going back and adding in the white “light spots” on the eyes was one of the best moves I did. Before that, they looked cute but kind of flat. They had a deadpan look that kept them lifeless. The sloth, especially, looked somewhat stoned.
And one again, I added a close-set zigzag stitch to finish off the applique elements.
The reason everything was right at the bottom was because we intended for people to be able to sign the quilt with well-wishes for the new family.
Here’s a video of the sweet soon-to-be parents receiving their surprise!
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!
Well today was quiet and more productive than I’ve been in a while. I finished two tops and added a border to one that I wasn’t quite happy with. I also prepped backing for all three of these quilts as well. My goal is to pin all three tonight and begin quilting them tomorrow.
This is a short update on the sloth t-shirt quilt.
For the fabric around the shirts, my friend likes apple green, among many colors, so I thought it would be a good match. Normally I go for darker colors when making the frames and borders, but since there’s so much room here I think it’ll look nice.
For me, there’s not much else that compliments apple green better than beige. So for the complimentary fabric, I chose an unbleached muslin. I love how it has texture and little flecks in it.
I’ve framed the shirts so far and made most of the blocks for the other parts of the top. I have about four blocks left to make before I can assemble the top.
The sloth quilt is going to be on hold for a bit while I get a more time-sensitive commission taken care of. I’ll post updates on that as well. Stay tuned!
I’m at the beginning stages of a sloth t-shirt quilt and thought I’d share. This one isn’t a surprise, so I can post along the way.
I’ve seen some online tutorials and such on t-shirt quilts, but unless the person is an actual quilter they all forget one thing: stabilizer. T-shirts are made of jersey knit fabric, and that stuff likes to curl, shift, and stretch. So you NEED stabilizer to make your shirts look properly flat and keep the picture straight.
I’m cutting these blocks in a smaller one than usual. They’ll be 12″x12″.
I am happy when shirts are such as I don’t have to re-center them or add on fabric at the neck and shoulders so that everything is squared properly. It makes for a quick evening’s work!