Back in October, I shared that I was going to work on a t-shirt quilt during a staycation/quilt retreat with my friend (click here to read the original post). She finished her quilt in time to give to her grandson for Christmas. She hand quilted the border and machine quilted the squares.
I had to have a bit of help with the quilting as it was way too big for me to hand quilt in this lifetime and because it was too large for me to attempt to quilt it with my sewing machine (yes, I know it can be done, but I have not been successful in the past).
Last week I retrieved the finished quilt from a longarm quilter in Commerce at Fox Country Quilts. She did a wonderful job. I had some special requests, so I know it wasn’t easy. There was a pocket with a secret message that could not be sewn down, and I wanted the quilting to include his name, university, fraternity, and years of attendance in the borders. The quilter did it all perfectly.
The bonus is that this is one fewer tub of things to have stored in my house. Yay!
A BIG thank you to Donna for the lovely quilting and to my friend Diane for encouraging me to get it done!!!
For those wanting to make a t-shirt quilt, it is not that complicated. I referred to the book, T-Shirt Quilts, by Linda Causee for Leisure Arts. However, I chose to do my own design because I wanted to use the pockets. I had thought about using the pockets in a sham designed to match the quilt but decided they would look amazing as a row by themselves.
I had so many t-shirts that I did not need large sashings (the navy blue strips between the blocks) and cornerstones (the small squares at the corner of the blocks), so I chose to use narrow ones instead.
My friend had small youth t-shirts and had chosen to make a throw. She did not use sashings and cornerstones, but just chose bright and cheery fabric for her backing and border (typically the larger strips around the edge of the front of the quilt, but my friend used a border on the front and back).
The most important part is to use a good stabilizer so that that t-shirts don’t move or stretch. Other than that, you can be as creative as you like.
Bonus Information: A longarm quilt machine is a quilting machine made to quilt the entire top of a quilt at once. It usually is the size of a long, narrow table with various quilting patterns programmed in the memory or can be used by the quilter to freestyle patterns.