April 28, 2016

Three Generations of Shirts: Tutorial

When my paternal grandfather passed away a few years back, I had asked for a few of his shirts to make a quilt. So many times I sat down to think of ideas and nothing was coming to mind. 

Emotionally I wasn't ready. 

Recently, in the midst of cleaning out my own closet the idea popped into my head. What about taking some of my old favorite shirts, my grandfather's shirts, and stealing some from my dad to make a three generations quilt. 

The idea was a winner. 

To start ... 

Take all the shirts (I had ten in total) and cut them up using a pair of scissors.  First, remove the sleeves from the body of the shirt. Then cut following the seam to make a panel of fabric. Second, remove the collar. Then cut from the neck to the sleeves seam following the shoulder. Third, cut down the side to create three separate panels of fabric. One from the back and two from each side of the front.

Iron and starch all the pieces. When I did this process I didn't starch and only have regrets. 

Next, start cutting! This part was a bit scary due to the irreplaceable nature of the shirts. 

When cutting I intentionally left some of the parts; cuffs, buttons, pockets, seams, and other details from the shirts themselves. I also took and cut some on the bias so the pattern would shift visually.  Be careful when sewing the bias pieces went a little crazy. 

Here are some of my favorite details ...

Hint: Make sure buttons and bulk are away from where seams would fall. This will make piecing easier.  Hand (or machine) stitch any open seams so they will not open in the finished quilt. 

Some filler fabric was also added to break up the heavy plaid and stripes in the shirts. Last year I picked up some fabric with architectural prints. My grandfather was a builder and my dad is a builder. I was supposed to be an architect, oops. The fabric fits the family.  Then some brighter solids to break up all the blue and plaid.

The finished size of each block is 4 inches square, so cut to 4.5 inches square. Cut some 4.5 inch squares and some 5 inch squares blocks from each shirt.

To add more interest, HST are also scattered throughout the layout. Cut the HST blocks to 5 inches square. Draw a line diagonally and sew a scant quarter inch on each side. Trim to 4.5 inches square. 

Layout all the blocks so the pattern is appealing to the eye. Be sure to take note that different values are used throughout the quilt. Sew the blocks together into rows, then sew the rows together. 

TWIN QUILT: 17 blocks x 22 blocks = 374 blocks needed 
THROW QUILT: 14 blocks x 16 blocks = 224 blocks needed
BABY QUILT: 10 blocks x 14 blocks = 140 blocks needed
SHAM: 5 blocks x 7 blocks = 35 blocks needed

All 10 shirts and filler fabric yielded approximately 580 blocks. This was enough for one twin sized quilt, one pillow sham, and a bonus baby quilt.

Here is a little peak on the progress ...

April 24, 2016

Starlight: Pulse Check

Over retreat I was able to get this quilt top put together. 

A while back I went shopping in my stash for new quilt project and fell in LOVE with this fabric all over again. The fabric is an older line by Basic Grey called PB & J. I pulled the pattern Starlight from my library and was good to go! Old stuff with a new life.

At first I was worried about sewing on the bias for a whole quilt. 

My take away, the bias was more forgiving than it was a nuisance. This top came together easily. The pattern has no y-seams, everything is laid out in row. 

This might be my new favorite go to pattern! Always a sucker for stars.

Not to mention this fabric is so yummy to photograph.

Net: - 8 yards, YTD: -17.25 yards

LINKED TO: Needle n Thread Thursday, Finish it Up Friday 

April 17, 2016

Sunday Stash: Good to Be Bad

For the good:

My gram slipped me some left over blues from a quilt she just finished. Aren't these awesome.  

The second from the right is a spectacular color that is hard to find, so that is super exciting! 

More good: 

At our guild's February meeting, I scored three one yard cuts of Gardenvale. Raffle win, so it doesn't count towards my fabric purchased. Bazinga!

Typically purple isn't my thing, but I'm LOVING that middle print.

Now it's just good to be bad: 

Usually I despise most notions. They are just extra clutter and crap to keep around my already full sewing nook. Most things are not necessary, nice, but not necessary.

During our last paper piecing bee over at my house we did decide that the add a quarter inch ruler was necessary in both the 6 and 12 inch lengths.

Here is the point of that little story.

We all went in on a ruler purchase and I needed $40 more to get free shipping. So in turn, I needed some backing, a 3 yard cut of Canyon by Kate Spain to go with the layer cake I purchased on New Years. A charm roll of Kona solids also went in at a super cheap price point.

Net: +6.5 yards (not counting my freebies!)

Linking up with Molli Sparkles: Sunday Stash

April 14, 2016

Half Square Hell

Anyone ever look at a stack of HST and think, "what the hell!" 

That's me each and every time I look at even one HST. So, times that by 200ish. 

I belong to the no waste community of quilters. It's just wrong criminal tossing so much good fabric away. So while making my latest pattern, I ended up with a 200+ HST byproduct.

Jokes on me. As part of my design I used flying geese so I could avoid trimming HST. 

Who's not laughing now. 

Back to the drawing board on the design. The pattern ended up using HST. Less fabric use, less waste.

A quilting miracle did occur recently. I hosted a quilting bee at my house with some NHMQG members to help teach the members about paper piecing and while people waited to use a machine they started trimming.

And trimming. And trimming ... Finally I got some quilting minions! 

Eventually the whole stack was completed. It was a great day.

Now that these suckers are all trimmed it was fun to get out my HST Quilt Along pages and start over with this bold array of colors. The best part was knowing that no trimming would have to happen :)

Check out the blocks so far. At this point my original Sunrise Stars pattern is a 2 for 1 special. Oops.

Eventually there will be 16 blocks ... so more to come. 

Luckily, I am headed to retreat this weekend. 

Tomorrow is only a day away!!!!!! 

There is so much potential packed away right now, maybe too much. Either way I will be excited to share what I am able to accomplish in three sewing days! Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty is my wonderful co-pilot as we head north to Marden's then retreat, oceanside. 

I am already doing a victory dance as I finish packing thinking how great it's going to be! 

April 10, 2016

Turncoat: Sunday Stash

turncoat |ˈtərnˌkōt

nouna person who deserts one party or cause in order to join an opposing one.
I have been a loyal Kona girl since the dawn of my quilting days. Proof is in the fact, I have only bought Kona, for years. 

Rhonda Ruth Kona Bundle 
The NHMQG has been working with a large donation of Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabric. It might have won me over ... 

The fabric is so soft and luxurious. I might be a convert, or worse a turncoat ... 

This bundle of Desert Bloom Michael Miller Cotton Couture just happened to show up on my doorstep. Thank you Fat Quarter Shop for putting together this perfectly curated bundle. 

Just to make sure I hadn't let go of all my quilting roots I did get the 2016 Kona color of the year: Highlight. Then some coordinating fabrics also fell into my cart.  Not truly a turncoat yet!

Net: + 5.75 yards
Year Total: - 15.25

April 07, 2016

2016: Sugar Block of the Month Update

Computer problems. Well, internet problems, Bloglovin' problems.

Something changed recently. Now I cannot comment unless, I close out of Bloglovin'.  Huge pain.  Also pictures won't load. I have been reading posts with huge photo chunks missing. Let's all agree it's one of a best parts about reading blogs, all that visual candy! Yum.

Not sure if my internet cannot keep up, my bandwidth went missing, or my 5 year old computer is finally showing signs of old age. Either way I have strayed a bit lately for my own sanity.

My apologies. Once I heal my relationship with Bloglovin' things will be back to normal. Whatever that is ...

Now for some Sugar Block. Don't bother looking for March, it didn't happen (I was on vacation!!!!).



For the last round back in 2014, I ended up making 30 blocks in total for a nice big quilt and planning the same this time around. Truth be told, I wasn't a fan of March. So, I didn't make it. Instead I opted for a couple of my Picnic Pinwheel blocks to fill the void.

So far I love all these blocks. Oh, delight. 

April 04, 2016

More HST's for Charity

Last one for a while ... 

The end has arrived.  Throughout the last year, I have systematically worked through my WIPs and quilted all my finished tops. This last check in the charity column was super rewarding! 

The quilt started with 40 - 10 inch square scraps and became HST's. Shamefully, I remember there being no dent in the scrap bin, even with the scrappy binding. 

Quilt Stats: 
  • Finished Size: 48 inches x 60 inches 
  • Pattern: Half Square Tringles
  • Fabric: Scraps
  • Batting: High-Loft Polyester 
  • Thread: Connecting Threads - Lavender 
  • Quilting: Straight Line

Usually with charity quilts, I like to experiment with something new. 

For this quilt, I tried high-loft batting. Truth be told, it wasn't my favorite. The back puckered as the spray basting stopped holding. It looks very fluffy and inviting, but a pain to quilt. 

Verdict: not again. I am going to stick with my beloved 80/20 blend. 

Net: - 4.5 yards
Year to Date: -21 yards