Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marine T-Shirt Quilt No2

As you know from my previous post, I have been working tirelessly on some t-shirt quilts for a Retired Marine.  There was originally suppose to be one king size quilt.  HOWEVER, there were so many t-shirts, that I had to make a second one for him.  

All the prep work of the t-shirts on this one -- cutting, ironing and interfacing (Pellon #931TD Fusible Midweight--  was done in preparation for the first quilt; BONUS!   So all I had to do was lay them out, trim and sew; then add the border.  I have to admit, this one was actually a bit harder to layout than the first and I really struggled with the border.  

After much deliberation...this past weekend, the second quilt top was completed!

Shhh... Jim has not seen this one either and I want it to be a complete surprise!  Hehe! ;)

The borders are from his actual Marine fatigues.  

There is actually a really tiny "USMC" printed in the fabric design throughout.  Pretty cool, ay?

The top measures 75x92.  

The back is Uncle Sam Stars Patchwork in Red from  I thought this was appropriate since the marine colors are red & gold, and I thought the stars felt very patriotic.

Now, it's in the talented hands of longarmer, Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting.  I so cannot wait to see this quilt finished in a few weeks.  

I am now on the hunt for some great places to photograph both quilts when they are completed in a few weeks.  Any suggestions?  

Stay tuned for more updates!



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Marine T-Shirt Quilt

It's been awhile, but I have been very busy working on a very important set of quilts.  Full disclosure this is a long post.  

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.

I then began the task of cutting out the logos -- fronts, backs and sleeves (over a period of several weeks).  As I touched several of the shirts, I could just "feel" the sense of honor that each of these shirts represented; some of happy events and others in memory of those who lost their lives serving our country.  

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! 

Shhh...cause Jim hasn't seen it yet and he wants to be surprised when it's finished.  But I had to share, I am sew excited and pleased with how it came out.

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.