Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Triad of T-shirt Quilts

Sometimes I love t-shirt quilts. After all, that's how I kindled a passion for sewing - I decided to learn how to make one a year and a half ago. But sometimes, my friends, they are the bane of my existence.


I love commissions and shop work, but they limit the time I can spend on my own projects. This is what I've been hearing in my sewing room as of late:

Hey Jess, remember me? I'm just WAITING for you to buy batting and make a backing... quilt me, please!

Hey you! The one covered in thread and nursing a case of FMQ arms (you'll know what I mean if you've FMQed a medium/large quilt)! You were going to make quilts out of us - we're still sitting here! Pretty, in  Moda ribbons, we know, but still uncut!

Me too! Your wedding is in nine months and you don't even have me planned out!

However, one of the things I LOVE about quilting for people I know is making something just for them. Personalizing it. Being there to see it when they open it. Some people don't understand how much time and thought (and money) are put into quilts, but I know that they still appreciate them. 

So, within the span of a month (way back in October), I got three commission t-shirt quilts. My first commissions. I need the money (I feel like I should wear a sign around my neck that says: "will quilt for money or fabric") so I agreed. 
And, I know all of the kids they were being made for (two I babysat for for years, the other is my professor's daughter).
And I love practicing my FMQ on t-shirt quilts.

The two women understood that I was still in school, and wouldn't even be near my sewing machine hardcore until winter break. But, since student teaching is starting a long time from now
Tuesday, which is when I will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (in a good way), I needed to get them done.

So done I got them.

I quilted the names of the kids into their quilts. It makes me so happy that I've been able to improve so much with FMQ over the last year. T-shirt quilts, although tough to quilt because of bulk, are not a huge deal anymore.


One (the yellow above, and the one at the beginning of the post, that I had to hang down from our deck) is a comparably LARGE quilt (I didn't measure it but it's nearly a queen size), so I was limited in my FMQ abilities. I didn't have the patience to wrestle more than I needed too.

On this one, I got really creative. Hearts, swirls, flowers, waves, you name it. Also, a scrappy purple/blue binding (which you can see on some of the other photos).


I lucked out hugely with the backing on the brother and sister quilts. The mom wanted a dark brown color so I ordered 8 yards. I literally JUST had enough. I thought I measured to have extra... but this is why I'm not a math major.

It was a little windy today...

I thought straight line quilting on the boy's quilt would be perfect. I love how it looks from the back, too!

Putting on that label always seals the deal. This is why I quilt!
(P.S. - that little drawing is a pig. She loves pigs. In case you were going to ask! :P)


  1. I have a friend who lives in Kansas who would like t-shirt quilts made from her boys' baby clothes. She is in no hurry. How much do you charge??

  2. Glad you were able to get all three finished before student teaching begins. They look good. You're right - the straight line quilting looks fabulous and the swirls are such fun (to look at; maybe not for your arms).


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