Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Sister's T-shirt Quilt

*I'm linking this finish up to the Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle. You can see my original FAL Quarter 3 list here!*

Designed by Marisa (my almost-senior-in-high-school sister) and sewn and quilted together by me on my home machine, this is her t-shirt quilt!

I gave her a "coupon" for a t-shirt quilt in 2010 (that expires in 2070 apparently - snort!) and she gathered her t-shirts together early last summer. That means they'd been sitting in my closet in a bag for over a year. Ris told me earlier this summer that she really enjoyed arranging her photos randomly on her wall... and the light bulb went off! I convinced Marisa to come and arrange the whole quilt (that's always the most time-consuming part for me). We got together for a couple of days and finished the top.

 I also convinced her to piece some cotton in the middle to join the various sections together (she wanted it randomized), so she chose scraps in yellow and blue, her middle school colors.

I really enjoyed quilting this one! Marisa's shirts are really fun and loud so I came up with a bunch of free motion designs and just went with it. I used a light gray Aurifil 50 weight thread and a universal needle (even though it's jersey knit t-shirt material, this is what worked for me. In the past, I've always had success quilting this material with this kind of needle. I tried a ballpoint needle just for kicks and that was an awful experience). The quilting took 8 hours over two days at one of my guild's recent retreats - it was so satisfying to finish!

I forgot to photograph the back (it's a pretty blue cotton print she picked out a while ago) and you can see the scrappy binding in her favorite colors. She loves it, as you can see!

I enjoy making t-shirt quilts for people but not as much as I used to. This is for a few reasons: first of all, it's hard to justify a "buyable" cost with how many hours even a lap quilt takes! This one was a gift, so no worries about pricing. Second, I usually have a lot of my own projects going on (especially now), and t-shirt quilts take away a significant amount of my sewing time. Third, they are bulky and  beastly to quilt (no, I don't use interfacing because that is expensive and takes even longer), and they seem to suck all my creativity out the window (Marisa's is an exception). These are all reasons why, right now, t-shirt quilts are made for family only - I owe my brother one for Christmas. I might return to more commissions in the future... however, baby quilt commissions with regular cotton fabric are always accepted. :)

 During the photoshoot, my mom appeared! A rare Quilty Habit photo appearance!

Marisa now has two quilts. Lucky her. ;)


  1. Oh yeah you can totally tell she loves it! And how fun to have her involved in the process. Commissioned quilts are so hard to price! I get so nervous telling someone how much I'd charge (an arm and a leg, haha). I've still never made a tshirt quilt, though I have one standing offer to make one for a friend.

  2. What a fun quilt! You can really see her beaming. Nice job sister!

  3. Good job getting through more than one of these! I've been working on one for myself off and on for a year now, and I'm so ready to be done with it. It's just not as fun as working with pretty fabrics and interesting layouts. I can't imagine doing one for someone else. :) I wish I hadn't bothered with the interfacing. That's really what's taken so long. Anyway, your sister's looks great, and it's clear she loves it. Nice job!

  4. Congrats on your finish! I don't find these quilt pretty but I like the fact they mean a lot to those that own it. There are memories and fun stuff in there. I'm sure it'll be loved and used and that is what counts the most.

  5. this is a fun quilt Jess. I love the extra bits of fabric in there that make it more unusual.


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