T Shirt Quilt Sew Along Part 5: Little Details

This quilt was a bit more challenging and time consuming than I originally intended it to be…but it was worth every minute…so here are a few tidbits on how I made some things work – I suppose I could have included this with the blocks and rows and such, but it just seems so overwhelming and like so much information. Had this not been my first, though, I don’t think I would have had to work so hard at it.  It all came together quite beautifully.

At this point, of course, I am writing up the information after finishing the quilt – because, as life does happen – my internet connection in the workshop did not cooperate, nor did time…I have to admit here that I put the finishing stitches on this quilt about an hour before everyone showed up at our home for dinner on Christmas day.  But, it was finished and wrapped up and under the tree…

IMG_3161  First, Laying it all out to make it work was a challenge.  I think I mentioned that I wanted everything to be same size in each row – and that I wish I had thought this through a little more in the beginning…I love the finished product and, when all is sewn and done, I am glad it worked out the way it did – but would have much rather have started with something much less complex…like, you know, cutting the same size squares out of t-shirts, and simply sewing those together.  I would highly recommend that if this is your first go around.  I can’t count how many times I rearranged, layed out, rolled up, stacked up…and so on and on and on and on….

A few outer column details…



This piece was fun – I wanted to somehow hang on to the buttons – because these were two of Papa’s favorite shirts – and I just it would be fun….So, I put the shirt, right side down, on top of a square the same width as the others in the column and stitched it on in the center – opened it up, pressed it open, and did a quick top stitch. I also basted it on around the open edges so it would stay put. A little visual sequence:


IMG_3140Here is one little piece – I had two of these, so I put one on each side.  I simply stitched these to a square that matched up with rows with a contrasting piece of scrap t-shrit behind them to give them some pop. I used a zig-zag stitch – a straight stitch or pretty decorative stitch work here as well.  I used a quick shot of basting spray to hold it still while I sewed.  There are some pictures of that process for another piece below…

IMG_3146Same thing here…had two, so balanced those out on either side – did a straight stitch outlining the V, and then trimmed away excess leaving about 1/8 or 1/4 inch or so on the outside of the stitch. I had these overlapping the buttoned shirts above.

And, here are those three pieces all put together — the third photo gives a little sneak peak of the finished corner.


 The next block in one column required a little piecing – so here are a couple of shots of that.  – the two whites were sewn together, with the grey piece sewn onto one with a black piece of scrap sandwiched between the two – and the gray strips added to get the width right.  This is what I did ablve for the little oval pieces….


One of my faves…

Next to Elmo, this is probably one of my favorite details, and I’m probably the only one htat will ever know it’s there…except for my husband…whom is painfully aware of more details than he ever cared to hear about. Bless him. And any of you that have managed to read this far…bless you, too.

There’s a quilting rule that says you MUST put your name or at least your initials and the year somewhere on your quilt.  This is usally tucked in corner, or on the back or on a tag…sometimes even hand written somewhere on the quilt…Being the lucky owner of several family quilts that are not marked, I get this.  It’s not about being narcissistic.  Whoever owns this quilt 50 or 100 years from now will want to know who made it… so I found this sweatshirt at Goodwill – It had ‘Vanderbilt’ hand embroidered on the chest.  I don’t know if this was someone’s homemade creation, or if it had at one time been available on campus?  Who knows! If anyone has ever seen one before, I’d love to know!  No, I don’t claim to be an embroiderer…didn’t even try to pretend that I could make such lovely stitches…

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure where I would use it – maybe it would be a big star on the back? Maybe a little circle or square or triangle?  Possiblities are endless…I did manange to NOT cut this one because I knew when I decided where I wanted it, I didn’t want to have worry about having cut it incorrectly.

When I got to the binding (More to come on this in Part 7, and if you jump over there and see what I did with that, you’ll see why it was a perfect fit), I finally figured it out…yep. It took that long.  I cut into a strip the same width as the binding, and ’embroidered’ (I use that term loosely…) my initals, the year, and ‘For Papa’ onto the strip.  I almost dug through looking for some embroidery floss – pretty sure I have some somewhere, but then remembered that I had at some point pulled away a super thin thread of t-shirt while cutting something – and well…hello!  Let’s do it with a piece of t-shirt 😉 –

I grabbed a black scrap and sliced off a slither, and stretched it out as much as I could – if you try this, don’t make too thin or it will snap on you.  Dug through my needle stash, found the one with the biggest eye I could, forced it through, and got to work…a little cheesey, yes, but maybe that’s why I love it so much…



 Ok, I think that’s it for now – I’m sure I could prattle on some more…Next time, we’ll add the backing and get it quilted.  Are you seeing a light at the end of the tunnel yet?

Hope you’ve gotten started on yours!

Much love, Cindi


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s