I am huge on family memories stories and tangible items. It’s even better if the item can be sewn! You can wrap yourself up in those memories or hang them on the wall to gaze upon those memories every day!
You may have heard about T-shirt Quilts. If not, these are quilts that are made from t-shirts that were saved typically from a young adult’s childhood (ie: sport participation, musicals, school functions, vacations, etc.)
There are quilts that are termed as memory quilts (t-shirt quilts are just a part of that category) are designed from any memory that can be sewn. For example: Ties, Hankies, Dance Costumes, Button Down Shirts, even photos (I make a copy of them for the quilt) to name a few.
Currently, I am designing and making a hanky quilt from my customer’s mother’s hankies. I had a few challenges (which I love to figure out).
The hankies are a thin fabric and a bit fragile. So I decided to back them with Heat and Bond Lite to support the fabric and adhere it to a piece of white fabric (another piece of the puzzle that I will explain).
When I ironed the hankies, they were almost impossible to make perfectly square, so I decided adhering to the white fabric would give me that perfect square to attach to other pieces for a good result.
A couple of hankies had hand crocheted borders that needed to be starched. I never did that before, but I knew how to do it. Not hard, but time consuming!!!
The photos below are showing the hanky in the original state. I started pinning the point of each set of stitches.
After it was all pinned and straight, I sprayed it with Terial Magic and let it dry over night
I was impressed that it came out stiff as a piece of paper! I was able to adhere it to the white fabric, stitch down and secure the crochet stitches and then eventually into the quilt.
This is the point I am at so far. It will be a very big quilt when completed. I’ll keep you updated as to the progression!!
Please leave a comment to tell me (or ask me) about this article!
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I was surprised to discover how the color and hue of the border fabric that was auditioned on this art quilt really brought out different hues in the quilt!
If you take a look above, the photo to the left is the total painted quilt without no border. Under the same light and same position, to the right, I placed a muddled dark purple fabric next to the piece. The photo under that one, I placed a batik fabric that had green, teal colors through it.
I was quite convinced that the batik was too bright and the art was calling for a quieter fabric. That’s why I chose the darker purple.
Wow, when looking at both photos next to each other, the piece looks totally different!! One pulls out the darker hues and the art does not look happy and bright. When the batik was placed next to the piece, the art piece came to life and it was bright and cheery!!
This totally amazed me. I hope you found it interesting as well!!
This slide show is a presentation of my process of a wedding photo that I created into a fabric art quilt piece which can be beautifully hung on their wall for years of enjoyment!
The last two photos of this slide show are the original photo and the completed art work from the photo.
I use a combination of fabric, acrylic paint and thread to create my art. When it is complete, it is put on a frame with a wire so you can easily hang it on a wall when it arrives at your home. Also on the back is a label that has the couples name (which is not present on the one above), the wedding date, and my contact information. Each art work is signed in the front as well.
These make a special unique portrait gift for an anniversary, birth, birthday, wedding, house warming, etc.
I would be honored to create an art piece from a photo that is special to you or a loved one. I tried to answer all questions, however, if I missed something, please contact me and I would love to answer any and all of your questions.
I had to share these two pictures. I took the first one on the left seconds before I took the right one. In the right one, you see my dog Lola peeking around the left of the quilt. It is a little hard to see because she is a black lab/retriever mix, however, she is not camera shy!
T-shirts are a wonderful way to remember special occasions, events, and a myriad of other reasons. If you are one of the many people who can’t seem to give up those special t-shirts, putting them into a quilt is an excellent idea. You may use this tutorial for creating your own t-shirt quilt or see my Etsy shop for details of how I can do a custom quilt for you.
I want to add that you can use sweatshirts, sports shirts that are made of that waffle fabric, golf shirts (polo), etc. Use the same directions for the prep. Message me if you have any questions.
View #1 is the front and back of the t-shirt I am demonstrating today. Some t-shirts have printing on the back as well as the front. You may want to have both sides in your quilt or just one side. The preparation is the same.
It is very important to wash all of the t-shirts with your normal laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of White Vinegar. The vinegar will remove most or all of the odors.
After you have washed and dried your shirts, you can start cutting them apart. Be sure to lay the t-shirt flat on a table to have more accurate cutting. Make sure you leave at least 2″ around the design you want to use.
View #2 is showing to cut sleeves away from the shirt first. I like to cut close to the seams to allow as much extra fabric room as possible around the design.
4a. Cut along sides of t-shirt
4. Cut along sides of t-shirt
Next is to cut along the side seams of the t-shirt (view 3). This is where it is important to have the t-shirt laying flat. Most t-shirts do not have a side “seam” (where the manufacturer stitched it together). There should be some sort of a crease on the sides that you can follow and cut along that crease. If there is no crease, that is where laying it flat will show you that where that “crease” would be. Be sure to cut along both sides.
Lastly, we move on to the shoulders. The shoulders need to be cut right next to the seams on both shoulders.
If there is a little emblem on a sleeve that you wish to be part of the quilt, just send the sleeve as is to me.
Now you are done with the scissors!
If I am making this quilt for you, all you have to do is send the part of the shirts that have the emblems you wish to have in your quilt.