Friday, July 10, 2015

Fabric-ish goodness

About time for some pictures.

This is the tshirt quilt - my first commissioned quilt. I swear the shirts laid nice and flat at the beginning. They are backed with fusible interfacing to keep them from stretching, but stretch they did. I didn't want to cover up the shirts themselves with quilting, so it is what it is.

The nice thing about this is that there were only six shirts, rather than the dozen or more that are typical for a tshirt quilt.

The "Haugh Holiday" commemorates the day my friend and her husband first met. It's turned into a family thing the last half dozen years, with the entire family - parents, kids and grandkids - taking a day trip somewhere fun. I got the dates and locations, and embroidered all the locations, and dates where they were missing. Being a bit type A, I also arranged the shirts in date order in the quilt.

We had agreed on a "blue jeans" kind of theme, since when you think tshirts, you think blue jeans. But the blue just laid there when I did a sample layout. Orange is blue's complement, but a little goes a long way. It's not my favorite color (nor my friends either, as I found out later), but it was just what was needed to make everything sparkle. The orange around the shirts is a tiny flange, not an inset border.

To balance out the arrangement (and help make the quilt a little bigger and usable), we decided to put the family theme verse as the center block. The embroider pattern is from a wonderful website called designsbyjuju. If you have an embroidery machine, check them out. These charity quilts used one of their designs as well.

This next picture is here mostly to show the quilting (enlarge and look at the lower left corner). I tried to mimic a bit of the pattern in the fabric - some circles with ruffled edges, swoops with pointed ends. The pattern was fun to do, even though I could tell my machine quilting skills are a bit rusty. To avoid frustration, I quilted this on my older machine rather than the fancy new one. The old one fits in the sewing table, so the table and the bed of the machine are one height. It's much easier to move the quilt around when that is the case. The new machine doesn't fit in my table. I would have had to constantly lift the quilt to make sure it didn't get snagged on the machine's extension table.

Eventually, I'll get another sewing desk that is designed for the bigger machine, but I've other things that need to come first.

One of the side benefits to working on this is having the studio a bit more arranged and organized. I finally know where everything is, and everything is where it makes sense. Things need a bit of tweaking, but I still have about half a dozen odd boxes to move or completely empty before I do that. I'd like to work in the room a bit more before I make any final decisions, anyway.

Last, here is a teaser of the project I worked on during craft day last week. Fabric cut in strips, then tied on a wire frame. There are nine sections to the wreath.

Unfortunately, this picture shows mostly the back side of the fabric. Next time I make one of these (I'd like to do one for each season for the front door) I'll use all batik or thread dyed fabric, which are fully pigmented on both sides (why yes, my type A is showing again).

That's about it for creative stuff lately, except for something else I'll reveal shortly.


melissa said...

You are awesome. The t-shirt quilt is wonderful, and the orange does make it pop. Besides, orange is the traditional color of blue jeans stitching anyway. Love seeing your work. You're fortunate to have a hobby, though it's more than that, that you're so talented at. :)

Diane said...

You are too kind. And very perceptive - the stitching on an old pair of Levi's is exactly what I was thinking of with the orange.