Friday, January 18, 2013

quilt engineering

how to make a t-shirt quilt
Kyle's tee squares

Engineering a T-shirt quilt

Save t-shirts forever
Give t-shirts to Granma by 11th grade
Last call for t-shirts mid 12th grade
Wash t-shirts
Cut out designs to be used
First draft laid out on floor
Decide on layout and sizes
Iron on fusible backing
Cut out squares
Decide on color for strips
Sew together top
Get fabric for backing
Take to quilter

how to make a t-shirt quilt
Kyle's t-shirt quilt first draft

Kyle's t-shirt quilt, started!

I have the squares cut, and am looking for fabric for the strips and backing. I have been looking for a while now at different colors and designs. Kyle wants to use SPSU colors so green and/or gray will be the strips. As far as the backing, the only stipulation is NO flannel, so I figured there would be a plethora of choices in quilting cotton colors and designs. I have been looking for a while now, just casually perusing fabrics as I shop for other stuff. So far nothing has jumped out at me. Actually did you know that most fabrics out there look girly, with flowers etc.? It is a challenge to find something for an 18-year-old guy who will be going to college majoring in engineering. But I have a 50% off coupon from Joann's in hand, maybe today will be the day!

Just like fabric, a lot of machine quilting designs look girly too, but I am sure my quilter lady will have something that will work, something geometric or maybe just straight lines.

T-shirt quilts... the premise is to save tees over the life of the child, tees that have a special meaning or memory, even stained and worn out ones. The grandkids have been saving tees for a long time, and sometimes they will get a tee just for the quilt, bypassing a big step - actually wearing the shirt, but it still represents a momentous day or time in their life whether they wear it or not.

There is no pattern for a t-shirt quilt, each one is unique and individual, just like the person it is for. There is a lot of engineering, design, and construction that goes into this project. Like a woodworking project, the tools include a drawing board and calculator, rotary cutter like a saw, pins instead of nails, and in the end there are fabric scraps covering the floor like sawdust.

Each of the grandkids will get a t-shirt quilt at high school graduation, Sarah's last spring, Kyle this year, Racheal and Madison in 2015. The hard part used to be the ironing on all that fusible backing, but this time it was getting up and down off the floor for the layout J, maybe by next time I can get a BIG table?  Something to look forward to, keeps granma busy.  

t-shirt quilts
past t-shirt quilts


Linda J said...

It IS a good bit like engineering and math calculations. How narrow can you cut the square and still have some fabric framing it, etc.

I have a friend that used to have a large ping pong table downstairs and she laid all her quilts out on it. Pool table might work too?

The Calico Cat said...

this is the fabric that I used in my "masculine" quilt & the green/gray is covered...

There is a second line called seven wonders that goes really well with the first (curious nature).