Monday, March 2, 2015

T-shirt Memory Quilt HJ

*long post
I was asked by a friend to make a quilt out the t-shirts, jerseys, sweatshirt, and bandana that were her sons. She lost her son several years ago and had saved these shirts hoping to have them turned into a quilt one day. 
I, of course, was more than happy to make the quilt for her.
Like most t-shirt quilt there were a few challenges. She told me what she wanted from the shirts and I tried to make as much of that happen as I could. I thought I might share some of the challenges I worked through in this quilt so that it might help some of you.
This shirt was a little baseball shirt from when he was a child. It had his number on the shoulder and she asked to preserve the number and to use the shirt front.
Normally when I work on a t-shirt quilt I cut off the neckline. This time with the number being so close to the neckline, shoulder, and sleeve I did not think I would have enough seam allowance if I cut around it.
What I decided to do was cut the shoulder seams off straight, cut the bottom of the shirt off, and glue the shoulders and neckline to the bottom of the shirt. 

Another challenge was using net jersey. I had never used a net jersey before. I did not want to directly put fusible interfacing on the jersey because it would fuse to the ironing board and might breakdown eventually and the batting come through.
I searched for answers on how to use this and found nothing! Wow!
I decided to glue the jersey around the edges, where it would probably be cut off, to a piece of plain fabric that matched in color. Then I ironed on the fusible to the plain fabric and put in some basting stiches. It worked great! The only thing I would have done differently is to put in more basting stiches. Net jerseys are very slippery and with the basting it made it easier to quilt.

There was this sweatshirt which had a front pocket. I thought it would be nice to save this pocket so that she could also put her hands in the pocket. On the bottom, the pocket was sewn into the waistband. I simply cut this off and left it alone on the bottom until it was sewed into the quilt which closed the bottom.

My favorite part is the little shirt he wore as a small child. She asked me to put this shirt in and I am sure that she did not think that I would put the entire shirt on the top uncut, but I thought it best to have this little shirt to show how little he was.
I talked with a friend who did something similar with her daughter's shirt about how she put the shirt on her quilt. She said that she cut the back off, glued it to another piece of fabric, and put a finish on the edge of the cut shirt.
I did something similar. I did not want to cut the back off, because I wanted to save the tag, and I did not want to somehow finish the raw edge where I hat cut the back off. Instead, I glued the back to a plain back of a different shirt and baste stitched it down. When I quilt this block, I quilted through all of the layers and broke a couple of needles. Perhaps if I do this again I will opt to cut the back off, but it worked very well this way.

The bandana was very easy. I treated it like a t-shirt and it worked great. It got an extra amount of quilting, which I loved.
Also, in the baseball jersey (in the bottom corner), I glued  a sleeve from a different shirt in the v neckline to keep the buttons, and to avoid sewing a bulky seam.  I quilted his initials there in the neck.
When I gave this quilt to my friend, she was overjoyed to have it. I was overjoyed that it brought her so much happiness.
We has fun trying to take pictures of this awesome quilt in the snow and wind. It did not work all that well, but we had fun.

Once again I used this black and white circle print fabric for the backing and binding. It is perfect for a quilt that is multicolored like a t-shirt quilt!
I enjoyed making this quilt for my friend and I know that she is greatly enjoying it.

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