As I have mentioned in previous posts, I recently took a t-shirt quilt class from Quilt University. I have many, many t-shirts that I no longer wear and wanted a good way to display them. My hometown of Wytheville, VA hosts an annual Chautauqua festival in June of each year. My mom has been buying me t-shirts from the festival since the early 90’s. I have seen many books on making t-shirt quilts, but I wanted to take a class. I have really enjoyed Quilt U classes in the past. The class did not disappoint. I will give the quilt to my mom when I am finished. I have enough t-shirts from the same festival to make a 2nd quilt so we will each have one. There are a lot of bright colors, hot air balloons and festive motifs on the shirts. The bottom left and bottom right blocks are from a hot air balloon panel and are not t-shirts. I thought they fit in well with the “theme”. Here’s a photo of the finished top.
I tried to pick a center block that best represented the festival and would be the focal point of the quilt. It is hard to see in the photo, but I found a checkered fabric that coordinated with colors from the shirt and made a good frame for the block.
One of the shirt designs wasn’t quilt the same size as the others and was on a tie-dye background. I used this block as the top “header” of my quilt. I did a lot of customization of the layouts suggested in the class to get this final design.
This was a very fun project. It is a huge quilt and will need to be quilted on my frame. Since the blocks are 15″ square, I will need to quilt over the t-shirt material. I am a bit nervous about this. The teacher of the class recommended a variegated thread. I think I have the perfect one. Just need to settle on the quilting design and get a move on. I need to get it finished by the middle of May so I can take it to my mom. She wants to enter it in the festival quilt show this June.
For those of you with the Bernina 830/820 and the quilt frame, have you heard about the free update to Quilt Motion? I got a letter from my dealer earlier in the week and have picked up my update kit. From what the letter stated, I assume some Series 8 machines have had problems and possibly have sustained damage during quilting. Hopefully we will get the update installed this weekend. If you have not heard about it, please contact your dealer. I hope it will fix a few of the minor bugs in the system also.
The fun part of the quilt was that all the frames for the t-shirt blocks came from fabric in my stash. I only had to buy fabric for the borders and sashing. I need to plan the label too. The quilt I think will be called Chautauqua 2001-2010 since I used the t-shirts from those years for the quilt.
Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting,