A high school friend reached out to me via facebook (gotta love social media!) about doing a T-Shirt quilt for him. Jim is a retired Marine Veteran who joined the Marine's shortly after graduating high school and served our country in conflicts from the first Desert Storm all the way up through The War on Terror.
How could I say no! I feel so honored and sew blessed that he has entrusted ME with these special memories.
When we spoke, he said he had a lot of T-shirts (and some sweatshirts).
He wasn't kidding!
Good thing he wants a king size quilt. He also gave me his fatigues, which I was very determined to deconstruct and incorporate.
After 17 hours (really!) of ironing out the wrinkles and applying 30+ yards of Pellon #931TD Fusible Midweight (interfacing) to each of the cut outs, I was ready to begin playing with the layout. This is the fun, but long, part. After the first few layout attempts I realized that this was going to be more than one quilt. EEK!
I also deconstructed his fatigues, carrying them with me traveling as my "waiting work".
There was a ton of fabric to be used.
Those who know me personally know that I hate to waste fabric. Hehe!
In addition, there was one shirt that I just couldn't see being placed in a quilt. Someone made it for him with glittered fabric bubble paint (?). Nicely done, but it was too rough for a quilt. So I decided to make a pillow. The back is pieced together with the sleeves from the lining of his jacket. It's very soft and smooth.
I love it! Don't you?
I met with Jim to give him the pillow, which he loved, and go through the logos again to select those that were the most important and that he would want highlighted or centered in the quilts. I was surprised to find out that there was one that his dad's class designed and made for him while he was deployed. How cool is that!
I spent the next few weeks of "free" time playing with the layout until I found one that was "just right". I took a few photos, so I'd know how to put it together, and then it was off to piecing his memories together. I even used his fatigues for filler and included several name plates from them.
Several weeks later... TAADAH!
The finished quilt top is 97" x 104" -- the biggest I have ever done. I got the backing, Jubilee in Red by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics Inc, from from my LQS, Pennington Quilt Works, that I found in the sale room. I finished the bolt and purchased all 12+ yards for 50% off. Score! Whoohoo!
It's now in the talented hands of longarmer, Karen Thompson of Poppy Court Quilting. I cannot wait to see it finished.
Stay tuned for an update on the finished quilt, and more on the second quilt too.