The more improvisational piecing I do the more I enjoy it. The freedom and the ability to change on the fly is so relaxing and liberating. Any chance I get to create a quilt using improv. and new techniques, I will jump into action at the moment. For example, when Sherri Lynn Wood created a challenge recently (#makedoquilt), using only discarded clothing and textiles from your home, closet and scrap bin or picked up at yard sales or thrift stores….I was in!!
I had some of my most favorite t-shirts and trousers that had been screaming for a second lease on life. All my pieces (especially shirts) are very graphic and I knew would work in exploring the possibility of making a t-shirt quilt modern, and resulted in this quilt “HOME”.
- Reduced color palette – neutrals with a pop of red, yellow and blue
- Text cut into smaller pieces (abstract view)
- Mini Quilt – want to keep it small enough to explore ideas.
- Use textures to add interest
Last Wednesday, I had just laid out an initial layout for this quilt and immediately thought I needed to add more neutrals and/or negative space. I added some more neutrals into the middle of the quilt. I also decided that the HST’s needed to move for balance, so these were moved towards the bottom.
Still not completely happy with this, as I thought it was still too busy. I played some more and added some larger white t-shirt pieces but realized I needed texture. I added a large portion of this white shirt with ribbing, added more corduroy, linen and the strip down the middle (which had a pop of color).
One of my favorite areas is this, which I love the addition of the corduroy with pocket remnants and the words “home”. The corduroy has this natural wear pattern that looks like a ombre coloring. The home t-shirt was my one from New Zealand and truly means home to me, even though I have not lived there for 18 years. I love what it brings to this quilt, it ties it together for me.
The final additions and layout play, which involved rotating the quilt 90 degrees, lead to this final quilt top. I am so ecstatic over the final result. I love the balance of texture vs. color and very pleased to be able to infuse the modern aesthetic.
I am going to keep the quilting simple by using straight lines. I have some scrap binding in denim and a light grey stripe which in the spirit of reuse I will include.
As I had never made a t-shirt quilt before I used some new techniques (for me), such as:
- I used Pellon 911F (fusible) stabilizer for the back of the t-shirt material and the white stretchy textured shirt. I ironed this on following the instructions to areas I wanted to use. I then cut the fabric. It made it easier to cut, stopped stretch, and stopped any rolling of the fabric maintaining the shape.
- For the wool trousers, I used fray check liquid on the edges to avoid any fraying. I still used 1/4″ seams but may consider 1/2″ seams in future if I get any instability. As this is going to be a wall hanger and not used regularly I thought 1/4″ seams would be fine.
- The corduroy and a couple of areas of the t-shirts were multi-layered. I trimmed and thinned out the bulk so that sewing the seams over these areas were easier. This should also help when quilting.
Let me know if you have any other questions. This was a lot of fun, definitely worth participating. Check out Sherri Lynn Woods Instagram (@sherrilynnwood) account for more details and prizes for the challenge (it runs for a year).