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Inspiration for Quilting/Sewing

barbsewandsew | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

For some unknown reason my sewing machine has been idle for months. Leon Hale, a columnist for the Houston Chronicle, may have given me some much needed inspiration: http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/features/5170280.html



  1. Josefly | | #1

    Barbara, thanks for this link. His red quilt sounds beautiful, and I sympathise with the connection to a piece like that. I would have loved to see a picture...do you suppose all those diamond-shaped pieces were different shades of red?So have you decided to do a quilt yourself?

    1. barbsewandsew | | #2

      Hi Josefly !

          The picture in my mind is of many shades of red ! Yes, how wonderful it would be to see a photo ! I love quilting and have made maybe 15 or so for gifts. Currently I am making a t-shirt quilt that I have let take over my life ! It is for my daughter's friend..36 t-shirts from college...made into a 2 sided quilt with the t-shirt backs and fronts...If I can ever finish it I will be on my merry way again but I seem to have hit a wall! Thanks for your response ! Barbara

      1. Josefly | | #3

        You must be a great mom and friend, to make quilts as gifts! I've never pieced a quilt, but admire them tremendously. As a child I slept with quilts my grandmother made. One was made from flour sack material, brought to mind when I read the article in the link you provided - the author referred to a quilt his mother made from those little draw-string tobacco bags! The pieces in my grandmother's quilt had no straight edges; all were curved in a shape like an apple core, two convex curves and two concave. I remember being fascinated by the way the pieces fit together, alternating plain and printed pieces.Good luck with your t-shirt quilt - may you finish quickly to free yourself up for something else.

  2. celkalee | | #4

    Quilting inspiration is everywhere and in everything to me. While I tend to follow traditional designs and colors, I saw some this week-end at a Juried show that were spectacular. I have 6 different quilts in progress as we speak, that is my problem, I want to do them all at once! Sooooo, my goal this year is to finish all of them. Several are block of the month classes from years past that I just didn't have time to finish. I said not too long ago that I would not buy more fabric until I used some of my stash. I lied! But, that said, new fabrics inspire me, quilt shows inspire me, quilting magazines and books INSPIRE me. You should see the stack I have all waiting to be made:) Anyone doing any landscape quilts? I have seen a few that are absolutely amazing, raw edge applique, fantastic composition. I havae never even attempted one. 

    1. barbsewandsew | | #5

      Hi celkalee !..and you have inspired me !! I have a  photograph from a vacation that one day will inspire a  landscape quilt...even have some of the fabrics.....just gotta finish this t-shirt quilt...think I didn't realize that with a t-shirt quilt I would spend more time pressing than sewing ! That sort of burst my bubble. Barbara

      1. celkalee | | #6

        Dear Barbra, I have never tried the t-shirt quilt. Do you have problems with stretch? My children are long grown and gone and I don't think there is one t-shirt left that doesn't have some serious condition issues! Of course, in their day no one saved them, they wore them, forever! So glad to offer a  little inspiration. I hope to take a landscape quilt class in January. I have a great photo taken on a vacation in Canada several years ago. It sat on my desk at work for years and now hangs by my sewing machine. It is a sunset, one of many taken, but this one has some decent composition unlike most of my photos:) :) :)

        1. barbsewandsew | | #7

          Hi celkalee, Really the issue with the t-shirt quilt was organization. The t-shirt 'owner' made a diagram and carefully numbered the shirts for shirt fronts on one side and matching shirt backs on the back of the quilt but still I ended up with some backs on the front, etc and spent a lot of time 'fixing' my mistakes ! No stretch problem because each shirt is fused with interfacing.....hence, more pressing than sewing :) ...but I only have 3 more rows to fuse and through trial and error have solved the organization issue. A landscape quilt class sounds wonderful! Barbara   

          1. MaryinColorado | | #8

            Are you using the quilt as you go technique?  I have been wanting to make a tshirt quilt for some time for my brother.  I can imagine how difficult it would be to match the front of the tshirt to the back on a quilt!  It's a great idea!  What interfacing did you use?  I had considered fusable quilt batting, but it seems that the 100% cotton batting would be best.  Are you only doing the quilting through all layers at the seams?  Are you using sashing strips between each shirt?

            Sorry so many questions.  Maybe there is a tshirt quiltbook out there somewhere...Mary

          2. barbsewandsew | | #9

            Hi Mary, I'm using a very lightweight pellon fusible and no batting as I have been concerned about the weight of the quilt- 36 t-shirts each side with sashing. Yes, the mirror image matching was very tricky! I'm open to suggestions for quilting.....I'm thinking of something quick such as stitch in the ditch, just enough to secure the 2 sides together. I appreciate your questions as it helps with my planning ! I'm so close to finishing! Barbara

          3. MaryinColorado | | #10

            Are you using woven or knit for the sashing?  How big are the t shirt sections?  Are they square or?  If this is to be washed, I think I would also do some tie down stitches randomly in the color of the tshirt if the pieces are larger than 6 inches.  My machine has an x stitch, that would be subtle but effective. 

            You have inspired me.  I will be calling my brother to have him choose some t shirts.  He was in the Navy so has many tshirts from his travels and also many Harley Davidson t shirts.  Last time I visited him, he let me pick out several Hawaiian t shirts for myself and my family.  I bet he has several hundred in great condition.  I would love to do this for him.  Thanks so much for your input!  Mary

          4. barbsewandsew | | #12

            .....woven sashing and shirts are cut 12 1/2 inches square. Yes, tie-down stitches sounds like a good plan ! Barbara

          5. MaryinColorado | | #16

            I plan to stitch in the ditch of the sashing and then do the tiestiches either by hand or machine on the Tshirt part.  Be sure to use a ballpoint needle either way.  I think the 3strands of hand embroidery thread might make big holes in the knit fabric though.  But if others have done this with the T quilts, they probably know better than I.  Mary


          6. rodezzy | | #11

            Hi Ladies, just wanted to share a thought about quilting T-shirt quilts I learned on "Simply Quilts" and other quilt shows.  The most suggested method was to tie the quilt because of the thickness and all of the fusible involved.

            Just a thought.

          7. barbsewandsew | | #13

            Hi rodezzy, How many inches apart do you think if I tie instead of stitch in the ditch?? That  sounds like a good idea. Barbara

          8. rodezzy | | #14

            A t-shirt site suggested that you tie at 3-4 inches, using 3 strands of embroidery floss in your prefered colors for each knot.  Use a curved needle and you can tie 9 knots in each shirt in a 3 X 3 pattern.  Each sashing strip gets 3 knots and each cornerstone gets one. 

            Another site just suggested tieing 4-5 inches.  Some say tie according to the batting instructions for how far apart to stitch as a guide.  But I believe you aren't using batting.  So now it's up to you dear.  I hope this helps.


            Edited 10/18/2007 12:37 pm ET by rodezzy

            Edited 10/18/2007 12:37 pm ET by rodezzy

          9. barbsewandsew | | #15

            Thanks so much !! B

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