Wednesday, February 28, 2018

So About Those T-Shirt Necklines

The last time I updated you on the T-Shirt quilt progress  I was wanting to incorporate some of the shirt necklines into the quilt.  I decided to try several different methods.  I didn't need to.  I just wanted to.  Actually, it was because I didn't really know what I was doing.

On the first shirt I pinned the neckline to another piece of T-shirt fabric and hand stitched it down along the curves then trimmed it.  I used a lighter color for the inset so it would show up.  I mean, if you couldn't really see it why bother, right?  I thought this looked pretty good. 

I liked it so much I did the same thing on a second shirt.  

On the next T-shirt I thought that if I used the same method I would lose too much of the neckline in the seam so I decided to appliqué it down.  Hmmm, I like the way this one turned out, too.

Now, I was having fun.  Time to get really creative.  I decided to keep even more of the neckline on this one, and use a different color for the background.  I knew I had saved some of the sleeves for a reason! 

This time I machine stitched it down.  I wanted to use grey thread on the shoulders and navy thread around the neck, but I could not find the navy.  I had every shade of blue except for navy.  So I thought, why not a really dark forest green? It would be plenty dark and might even look a little more interesting. Well, it didn't look as interesting as I thought it would, but oh, well, it was an idea.  (Of course, as soon as I was finished I remembered that the navy thread was by "my chair" in the living room where I had appliqued the other shirt.)  

I'm pretty happy that I was able to use some of the necklines, and I'm happy with how they look.  Really, they're pretty cool.  

Hmmm, I haven't thrown away any of the sleeves yet.  I wonder.....

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict - Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Monday, February 19, 2018

T-Shirt Time

My February goal is to have all of Josh's T-shirts sewn into a quilt top. I've been working on prepping the shirts for a while, and I've been doing lots and lots of pondering.  I'm always a little nervous approaching something I haven't done before so I usually end up overthinking it.   The first thing I did was watch this You Tube video by Rob Appell from Man Sewing. After that the huge stack of shirts in my first post about this project turned into a small stack after they were deconstructed and trimmed.

Being me, I can't just make a plain old quilt top with shirts side by side by side.  It has to be different, not totally conventional.  Well, Josh does get some credit for that since he wants some interesting shirts included - two Hawaiian shirts his grandmother made and a sweatshirt that was his grandfather's.  

Not being able to leave well enough alone, I also want to use some necklines from the shirts .....

..... as well as this stained and torn shirt.

And for something completely different I want to use some of this mildew stained fabric, too.  I know.  Really cool, right?

So, now I have a rough layout on my design wall that I'm thinking is looking pretty good.  I left space to put the Hawaiian shirts in.  I just need to figure out how do that.  

I actually have an idea that might just work.  If it does I'll show you next time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Throwback Thursday (on Tuesday)

Only six weeks into the year, and I've blown two of my goals -- sewing every day and blogging more often.   I have, however, done a lot of coughing, moaning and groaning, and sleeping.  Can you say, "I think this might be the flu"?

Rather than keeping my tens of followers hanging, I decided to dig into the depths of Excel and do a little show and tell from days gone by.  Included in my Excel spreadsheet is information on each quilt I've made including whether I've posted pics of it on Flickr or blogged about it. So, I chose a few quilts I haven't yet written about and here goes.

In 2007 and 2008 my designated charity was CASA, a national association that supports and promotes court appointed advocates for abused or neglected children. People love making baby quilts for charity, but teenagers are often overlooked, so my heart goes out to them.   I love teenagers.  They can be real stinkers sometimes, but most of them are good kids.  

I made this quilt using a lot of brights. (Surprised?) A basic square-in-a-square block with black sashing and colorful cornerstones make it a fun quilt.  At 68" x 82" it's a nice size even for a pretty tall teen.  My friend, Angela (Quilted Joy) quilted this for me.  


This one is a smaller twin (60" x 72").  I did very simple straight-line machine quilting .....

..... and pieced the backing with leftovers from the front.

The third quilt for CASA is fun, too.  I used batiks this time and a pattern called "Spice Market" from the April 2007 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  It's 68" x 83", another large twin.  Angela quilted this one as well.  

That's my Show and Tell for today.  Hopefully I'll have something more current to share real soon.  

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Flags for Quilts of Valor

Don't you just love it when quilters help each other?  My quilty friends are giving, caring, generous people, ready to jump in and help whenever there's a need.  Gwen, a dear friend of mine, works with a St. Louis area Quilts of Valor group, and guess what?  They're having a block drive!

When I got an email from her a few weeks ago with directions for a simple Flag Block I pulled out my red, white, and blue scraps.  I set out to make 10 blocks, but I somehow cut more pieces than I needed and ended up with 11.  I can't blame the dreaded math this time.  Apparently, I don't even know how to count.

Being just a teensy bit OCD, I couldn't possibly send a weird number of blocks like eleven!  I had to make more, and as you know, I have plenty of scraps.  Plus I love helping anyone who's helping Quilts of Valor, and when I pinned the borders onto my blocks .....

..... I found out that even my pins are patriotic!  How cool is that?  A little checking to make sure every block was just the right size .....

..... and all 15 blocks were ready to mail.  Fifteen is a nice number.

If you would like to help with this block drive check out Gwen's QOV Facebook page --  As you know, when it comes to block drives every little bit helps.

Linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

Saturday, February 3, 2018

6 & 6 Report for January

It's the end of the first month of the 6 & 6 in 2018 Challenge.  This year I'll set a goal in odd numbered months to work on a new project, and in even numbered months to I'll set a goal to work on an old project or UFO. In this post I shared my January goal - to make a baby quilt from a Zen Chic jelly roll.  It took less than two weeks to sew, baste, and have it ready to quilt. 

I'm hand-quilting this one so I've been working on it in the evenings while Hubby and I watch "Victoria" or "The Crown". The problem is I've had a relaxed attitude about it because I forgot it was my January goal.  Too many goals for too many challenges will do that to a gal.  

At this point it's about 75% quilted and needs binding, so I'm considering it a successful 6 & 6 month.  I came "this close" to finishing so I get to do that.  Besides, I'm the boss of my goals.

I'll continue to work on Zen Chic (I should be able to finish it in about a week now that I'm more motivated!) while I get busy on my February goal.  That goal is to work on the T-shirt quilt I started last September.  You can see more details here.  I'll show you a sneak peek .....

At this point all the shirts are cut and have stabilizer on them.  Now the fun begins!  I'll start laying it out on the design wall and then get busy sewing.  I'm determined to have the top put together by the end of the month.  

As a side note, usually a completed top is called a "flimsy", but that doesn't seem like the right word for something as heavy as a T-shirt quilt does it?

Linking up with pomegranate and chintz.  

Friday, February 2, 2018

Scrap Attack 2018 - January Report

I can't believe it's already time to report on what I accomplished for January's Scrap Attack and to set a goal for February.  I was glad my grandson pulled "Cut Up Blues" from my bag of goals last month.  I knew it would be easy because I am definitely not a blue person, and I don't have much of a blue stash.  This is what it looked like then .....

It looks like I had way more than I did, mainly because when I unfolded them most of the pieces looked like this .....

.... and this.

It didn't take long to press all of it and get to cutting.  See what I mean?  Lots of odds and ends and bits.

Anything about the size of a fat quarter or larger I kept in the stash, and the rest got cut into squares and bricks, a few strips, too.

This is what my blue stash looks like now.  I don't mind one bit that there isn't a lot.

February is here so it's time to pull a new goal from the bag. None of my grandsons were around, so it fell to Hubby.  As long as it wasn't "Cut Up Greens" I would be happy. Anything else, anything else, anything.......

Well, Phooey!  I guess I'd better get busy.  I have a lot of greens!

At least it looks like some of them are the size of a fat quarter or larger.  Fingers crossed, maybe most of them are!

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict Scrap Attack.SaveSaveSaveSave

Thursday, February 1, 2018

70273 Project Update and a Stash Report

In this post I told you about The 70273 Project and that I was putting together quilt tops from bundles of blocks I had volunteered to sew together.   There was a bit of a learning curve figuring out how to get the blocks to all fit into one top, but I enjoyed it.   I learned on the second top that I had made it harder than it needed to be, and it went a lot faster.

Each block is numbered and records are kept of who made which block.  The challenging part for me was drawing a map of how I had laid it out.  I'm so glad Hubby helped me double check my work, because I did transpose a few of the numbers.  (Yes.  In both tops!)  I guess it's not just "the dreaded math" that gets me, it's anything involving numbers.  Oh, wait.  I think that IS math.  Never mind.

The most difficult piece to work with was this really thick block using neckties.   The fact that the base fabric was vintage damask didn't help.  I made it work, though! Instead of sewing a regular seam I folded the adjacent block edge over and stitched it down from the top.  I don't know why, but that seemed to work better. Whew!

Piecing the second top went much faster, but there were some fun blocks in this one, too.

It's really intriguing to see such a variety in the materials used to create the Red X's.  There were velveteen ribbons ......

..... hand stitched X's, grosgrain ribbons .....

..... printed ribbons, satin ribbons, rick rack .....

..... even felt.  (The blue painters' tape on the back is part of the numbering system and will be removed before quilting.)

As with the neckties some blocks are very creative, using netting, lace, and braided ribbon, among other assorted textiles.

These tops are ready to go to the post office, then off to the volunteer quilters.  

It didn't actually take a lot of time so if you are inclined to help check out these websites.  There are many ways to volunteer.  or

Another stash-busting year is off to a good start. My goal is to use 100 yards this year.  After all, I did that in 2015 when I was laid up with a broken arm for 6 weeks or so, which means I have no excuse.  Right?

Fabric Added in January  -   3 yards
Fabric Used in January  -  13.78 yards 
Fabric Added Year to Date  -  3 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date  -  13.78 yards

Net Fabric Used in 2018  -  10.78 yards