Saturday, January 21, 2012

T - shirt progress

I have to admit, I have never liked the look of the standard, grid-style, t-shirt quilt. They just don't appeal to me, for some reason. So, when my cousin sent me three boxes of my uncle's old Harley stuff and camo and asked me to make a t-shirt quilt with them she gave me an interesting challenge. There were t-shirts with large designs as well as smaller sleeve and front-chest logos. There were also half a dozen patches, a do-rag, and a pair of boxers!

Boxers, disassembled and stabilized with fusible interfacing. I have to admit, I love these.

I have actually made a t-shirt quilt before, here after referred to as The Quiltastrophe, which has never seen the light of day.  It was a victim of a fabric that bled in the wash, followed by a botched attempt to clean the escaped dye.  When I did that one I decided not to use fusible interfacing on the shirts, thinking I could get by without it.  In fact, the shirts worked fine without the interfacing, but since there were going to be so many more shirts in this quilt I thought I'd better stabilize them a bit this time.  What a difference it made!  The materials are so much easier to work with when they're not stretching and warping constantly.  Even the denim shirt, which wasn't particularly stretchy to start, benefited from the interfacing.  Of course I managed to melt the interfacing glue onto my iron in the process, but that's another story.

I flipped through my file of quilting images on my computer until I had an idea for a design that would use all the different sized pieces and not look like your regular t-shirt quilt. I cut each of the large designs into a rectangular piece and paired it with a strip of smaller pieces joined by sashing.  These big blocks will be fit together in a semi random pattern.
I wanted to include fun things, too.  Things to show that these were clothes-- that they came from a person, not a fabric store.  This strip of buttons is from the front of a button down. I put a panel of the boxers with the little motor cycles behind it so the buttons can be opened.
Some day my cousin will have kids who won't ever be able to know their grandfather, but I want them to see things like this and know that he was fun.

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