Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quick Tip

I know, I know, I should be posting the next step in my T-Shirt Quilt How-To, but I been working so hard today on my personal quilt that I just don't really feel up to it. So tomorrow I promise I will do the next 2 steps!

So instead of doing the long and drawn out how-to today, I decided to do a quick helpful tip.

When I made my small lap quilt back in the 9th grade, It was so small that we just hand basted the quilt sandwich together. (For those that don't know, the quilt sandwich is where you lay your quilt front, batting and quilt back together exactly how you are wanting it to look, and then baste, or make large temporary stitches to keep it together while you do the final stitching.) Hand basting was great and easy when you're making a small type quilt. But my quilt that I'm currently working on, hand basting would be tedious, annoying and well it would take FOREVER!

So I went out to try and find a quicker and easier way to baste my layers together. I found this wonderful product.
I was able to lay out my top, face down, and spray this wonderful little lovely, and then join my batting to it. and then repeat on the batting to join my backing. It's absolutely fabulous and completely easy to use! So all that time that I would have spent basting that big 80" by 90" quilt was vanished. I spent a total of 20 minutes making my sandwich and joining it all together. HURRAY!

P.S.- This product can be found at most hobby/craft stores and I even found it cheaper at Wal-Mart in the arts and crafts section.

Monday, February 21, 2011

So you wanna make a t-shirt quilt?

Today is all about prepping for construction.

First thing first is to pick out the shirts you want. I chose all music related shirts for my quilt. Once you have the shirts you want to use, you're going to make your shirt blocks according to your layout, that you should have already drawn up. I found it easiest to make a pattern shape to lay on the shirt and just trace around it and cut. Since my blocks were 12''x12'', I used a record sleeve that I had laying around as my pattern. ( I apologize for no pictures of this step, as I've already finished this part for all my blocks.)

After you have all your blocks cut out and ready to go, it's time for interfacing! yay!

There's one major reason to put interfacing on your t-shirts before you start sewing, and that is because if you don't you're gonna have some funky looking quilt blocks. See a t-shirt is different than just normal cotton fabrics that you buy at your craft supply store. T-shirts are usually a knit fabric, meaning that they have stretch to them. This is what makes a t-shirt so comfortable, the fabric's ability to stretch.

Now when your making a quilt with these stretchy t-shirts, you don't want them stretching around when you're trying to sew them together or to sashing blocks. This is why you should always put interfacing on the backs of them. The interfacing acts like a stabilizer to keep the t-shirts in the shape and size you want them.

The kind I use is a PELLON fusible interfacing. I used the 99cent a yard one, but the more expensive, the better the stabalization. All you do is cut the interfacing to the same size as the back of a shirt block. (this is after you cut the shirts to the size you want, to showcase the part of the shirt you want.) You make sure that the bumpy side of the interfacing is laying down, touching the back of the shirt, and iron it on. I used a steam setting, usually cotton on my iron. It should look like this afterward. (I cut my interfacing a tad larger than each shirt. And in this picture shows one side folded over to show both front and back.)

Next post.... Cutting your sashing blocks!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

So you wanna make a t-shirt quilt?

I've been asked by a friend as to how exactly I'm going about my t-shirt quilt. I have to admit that I've been considering the idea for quite some time. I've been amassing t-shirts for this specific reason, and they just keep taking up more and more room in my closet. Two weeks ago, I decided to start out on my journey of the t-shirt quilt. I went looking for information.

First thing I needed to figure out is how many shirts I'm going to use, and what size I wanted the blanket to be. Most places that offer tshirt quilting info, or services call for between 40-100 shirts for a queen size blanket (The average size I wanted my blanket to be. ) I unfortunately only have 25.

So my quilt is going to be made with only 25 shirts, 10 smaller 12'' by 12'' squares and 10 larger 17'' by 12'' squares. The smaller squares have sashing or non-tshirt material to make them as long as the other ones, and to give the quilt more width. I also planned out for a border fabric to go between my rows and around the whole thing. Here is my mock-up of what I want my quilt to be.

Now for beginning investment supplies. 

At Jo-Ann's I purchased a Dritz Start to Quilt kit on clearance for 14.99, it came with all kinds of things, like a cutting mat, rotary cutter, straight edge ruler thingy, pins and some other stuff.

I also purchased the fabrics of my choice for my borders.

At Wal-Mart, I picked up a start to sew kit, that had more pins, a tape measure, pin tomato, nice fabric shears, and needles.. etc.

Best investments ever.... seriously. Rotary cutters cost at minimum of 16.99, and although the one that came in my kit is kinda okay, it still beats the hell out of cutting all my strips by hand.

I also picked up some interfacing to use as a stabalizer for the tshirts. I did an average of 1 yard for every 3 shirts. I used the pellon 99 cents a yard fusible interfacing. But more on that subject next post.

As for the final things that you will need is some of the more "duh" stuff like needles (if you're gonna hand sew) or sewing machine if you're not. Also you will want thread that will easily blend in with your fabrics. Since I have a multitude of different fabric colors, I chose a black all-purpose thread.

Once you have your supplies, you can begin cutting. But that's being saved for the next post coming in the next day or two.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good Charlotte FTW!

Lookie at that! I'm proud to show everyone my first block of my smaller shirts. (I have 15 smaller blocks and 10 larger blocks.) I gotta admit that I'm not fond of the measure twice cut once, its more like measure once and wing it. But hopefully by the end of the weekend, I'll have all the blocks finished ready for construction.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

T-Shirt Quilting

No pictures this post.. Sorry y'all. But I did want to give a quick update about my t-shirt quilt. I have finally gotten a lot of work done for it. I have gotten ALL the shirts cut to size finally. I also spent 10$ on interfacing to stabilize the material during the construction process. And finally tonight I got started on cutting out and assembling the borders around the 12'' blocks. Here's to more work on it tomorrow and hopefully getting all the green blocks done.. maybe some pictures tomorrow of what I get finished.

Cake Boss

So for my boyfriend's nephew's Cub Scout cake auction, we spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with cake ideas. A few rounds of searching on Google Images gave us an idea. We found this shirt cake, that we thought was a fabulous idea. So we started getting supplies to try and replicate it.

This is how our's came out. It took 5 of us, about 4 hours to complete all the fondant coloring and shaping. I personally worked on the neckerchief, and the left side pocket patch and the buttons. I do believe ours came out quite well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Project on My New Sewing Machine

For Valentine's Day, my amazingly perfect boyfriend got me a wonderful Brother sewing machine from Wal-Mart. It had these cute inter-changeable face plate stickers. I chose zebra print of course! But to show him that I was a competent sewing machine master, I decided to make a quick craft.

I showed off my skills with a simple square bottom tote bag.I got the design info from here. I think it turned out quite well, and it used up the 1/2 yard of Beatles fabric that I had bought earlier that day on a whim. (I had no use for the fabric when I bought it, but it was so cute. But at $8.99 a yard I only got 1/2 yard.)

All in all, it's a great start on my crafting, and it even gave me motivation to make me a new t-shirt quilt out of all my old music related t-shirts.