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!
Recently I received a picture of a senior with his quilt that I’d made. This one was particularly special because it was the third one I’d made, and it was the final one as this was the youngest of three brothers to graduate.
I made the middle brother’s quilt first. This is a nice change of pace for all you middle siblings out there, I’m sure! After that I went back and made the oldest one’s quilt, followed most recently by the youngest.
I enjoyed making these and loved that they all used the same fabrics along with the same “G” on the back. This is the only client I’ve done a G on the back for, and all three quilts have it.
I also had no idea it was possible to be in as many leadership and community service clubs as these brothers were in! I’m not sure how the school will fair next year since their presence will have moved on to greater sites.
*Somehow I managed to not get any pictures, or save them, of the oldest brother’s quilt. Oh well, I can assure you it looks quiet identical to the youngest brother’s.
*A quick note to say that the picture at the top is one of the in-progress pictures. I forgot to get a final picture. That happens a lot.
This quilt was a first for me in regards to theme. It’s a hockey quilt. If you know anything about the state of Georgia, you’ll understand why I don’t have more of these. Georgia’s climate specializes in heat and humidity, and what’s “cold” to us is a fair day up in Vermont. So yeah, it’s amazing I’ve even gotten one hockey quilt.
That being said, hockey jersey material really is like no other, and I loved working with it. You know when you get your hands on some high quality copy paper? The good stuff? You know how you can tell by its texture and thickness that it was made to last? These hockey jerseys felt the same way – only in fabric form.
I’ve worked with football, baseball, and softball jerseys aplenty, but the hockey jersey presented one big problem those others didn’t. A big problem. Big. The jersey fonts and numbers were huge because they needed to go over all that padding. I ended up using my standard block size for all of the rows except the last one. If you look carefully, you’ll notice the bottom row is slightly longer. That was the only way I was going to be able to get everything fitted in. And even then I had to shorten and rearrange some of the trim and names. But in the end I think it worked out just fine.
There was one element on this quilt that was completely new for me. The client gave me a couple of pairs of hockey socks and said something along the lines of, “I don’t know if you can do anything with these, but here they are.” I told her I’d see what I could manage because I had an idea. I was able to sew them together with no issues, but I sure did bite my lip when my quilting machine went over them, afraid for all parties involved. But the machine took the knitted socks in stride, and I simply avoided the bulky seam part when possible. I love pointing to those two blocks and telling people that those were socks. I think it’s so funny.
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!
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!
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.