Saturday, January 3, 2009

Grandpa's Shirts

I got on the blog bandwagon thinking I was going to keep current on my projects, particularly my new love quilting. Well shortly after my last post I started a secret project and that's literally all I've done since just about! During that time I also lost use of my camera - it just died. So while I can't show the progress of the secret project, I can show you the results.

This is one of 3 quilts I did for my children. The star and border fabric all comes from 12 different knit shirts my beloved Father in law used to wear. For the past several years since his passing- they have been sitting in a closet waiting for someone to make use of them. Last summer I decided I could use them, but in a different way.

The process was much longer than I'd origionally thought. I figured I'd cut up the shirts, sew them back together and be done! I had a goal of the end of October. Starting in June - that should have been do-able right? wrong!

I did start with cutting up the shirts, and using a fusible interfacing on the back of each piece that I cut apart. I went through yards and yards of interfacing. I set up a 6 foot long table with a wool blanket so I could fuse the pieces of a whole shirt at one time. Still it seemed like this first step was going to take a while.

The next step was to cut the largest square possible out of both the fronts and the backs of the shirts. I found the smallest piece, and the distance between the hem and placket on the front was 15 inches. I then cut this 15" square out of each front and back - 24 total. The rest of the fabric was cut into either 5" or 2 1/2" strips and set aside.

I drew an oversize star on a piece of butcherwrap and taped this to my cutting board. I then stacked about 3 of the squares at a time on top of that star, marking where the corners were and started cutting the lines. Then I had to put everything back together. Since I didn't want bulky seams, I cut another piece of fusible interfacing, reassembled each star on the new interfacing and put them back together - each one being different. After fusing the 2nd backing I secured each seam with a wobbly serpentine type stitch that connected both sides of the seam. I then took a piece of batting and my backing fabric and made a sandwhich. I figured out a pattern of straight stitching and 'quilted' each square with a walking foot on my machine. With some sashing to connect the stars and more puzzle piecing - trying to get the remaining shirt fabric to go as far as possible, I came up with the finished project.
There are actually 2 versions....the one above uses more of the shirting fabric and less of the red accent fabric. I was afraid I'd run out of the shirting, so I used more of the red. I like them both, and ended up having plenty of the shirting, so I guess the furbabies might get their own pillow yet! This last picture probably shows the coloring the best. Daughter has a better camera! All in all it was a wonderful experience, learning new things, problem solving, and just remembering a wonderful Father in law as I created these projects. An added bonus to all this is that I was using the sewing machine that had once belonged to my equally wonderful Mother in law (who has also passed) in making these creations. I couldn't have done it without them and I do miss them.

No comments:

Post a Comment