Thursday, December 30, 2010

T-Shirt Squares for Mr. Bug's Quilt

Our lives are like quilts — bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched together with love. –Unknown

I wanted to share the quilt blocks I've made out of Mr. Bug's old Navy t-shirts and sweatshirts {as in old t-shirts and sweatshirts he had from when he was in the Navy, not to be confused with Old Navy, the clothing store}. When I showed them to Mr. Bug, he got this worried, confused look on his face and said, you cut them up. After I explained that I was going to make them into a quilt, he warmed up to the idea.

Working with jersey knit that has been washed and shrunk behind the screen printing was an interesting experience. For the most part, any distortions in the design ironed right out. [Sidebar: I was worried about melting the images, so I Googled and found that using a wet pressing cloth would do the trick. I put the pressing cloth on the ironing board and then placed the t-shirts printed side down, ironing everything from the back and didn't have any problems.] But there were a couple of designs that had been put onto the shirts off the grain, so the pressing didn't completely fix the problem. The vertical USS STARK {which was from the leg of a pair of sweat pants :lol:} is pretty wavy, and so is the Navy — Just Do It, but that was as good as it gets. I think it won't be too bad once it is all quilted and washed and wrinkly and bumpy. It'll add to the charm, right :wink:?

To make the blocks, I cut away everything but the fronts of the t-shirts and then rough cut those into about 18" squares. I used woven interfacing at the same size and fused that to the backs of all of my squares. Then I trimmed them down to 16½", making sure the designs were centered left and right and, wherever possible, vertically as well. I really like how the t-shirt fabric feels after fusing it onto the interfacing. I think this is going to be one snuggly quilt. I hope it is big enough for two :biggrin:.

This was supposed to be a gift for Mr. Bug's birthday, which was on December 23rd. Nevermind that I only decided to make him a t-shirt quilt on the 16th and then I goofed when I ordered the fabric for the back and sashing so when it got here it was Air Force fabric instead of Navy. I've got that all straightened out with the on-line quilt shop {who were really great to work with} and they should receive the Air Force fabric back today. Hopefully, I'll have my exchange early next week and can get right to work on Mr. Bug's quilt. I'm anxious to make something fun. I think I'll cut the setting squares and make the binding while I wait for my package of the perfect fabric {for the second time} for the sashing and back.

For those of you who are curious, Mary, the quilter who inspired me to attempt a quit in the middle of all of the Christmas insanity, did finish her husband's t-shirt quilt. She started on Monday {December 13th}, had her top finished on Wednesday and it was quilted, bound, labeled and wrapped by Friday :faint:. That is pretty amazing.


Angie said...

Oh, I got sad when I read 'you cut them up?' Because I sould see the expresion my hubby would have on his face. But I am glad he got back on board. ;)

Wanda said...

I really love tshirt quilts made of shirts that hold special memories. I hope Mr. Bug loves that you saved those shirts that would have normally been thrown out in time and that his lifes memories are just a snuggle away with you right by his side! Knowing some things about military stuff I'm sure he will enjoy the Navy a lot more under that quilt then when he was actually serving! Ha! :)

Shay said...

If Mr. P didnt wear his Tshorts to the point where they are nothing more than strings I could do this!

I think this will turn out just beautifully E. It already looks like such a fun quilt top.

You go girl!

QuiltNut Creations said...

looks great Elizabeth! love that you are using the leg of some sweatpants. and no worries, any distortion in the tshirts shouldn't be noticeable once it's quilted. have fun finishing!

Jennifer Lovell said...

I too was sad when you wrote his first reaction, but I was actually surprised that he didn't realize sooner what the plan was. I bet he will love his quilt. It will be a wonderful keepsake.