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Jul 20

Q3 Finish-Along: First Finish of the Quarter

Here’s my first finish for the quarter, my husband’s birthday gift. This is the only t-shirt quilt I will ever make so look well! I’ll let you feast on the pictures of the front and back before I start complaining.

And here’s the back. If you knew my husband, you’d know that after God and his family, his next two great loves are the University of Michigan and Coca Cola. 

How did I get myself into making a t-shirt quilt when it was never on my bucket list? Let’s just say, my husband asked. Sigh. And my suggestion to anyone making a t-shirt quilt is to stay away from 20 and 30 year-old t-shirts that have been worn and washed to death. The fabric has no integrity after all that!

In preparing for making this quilt, I rewatched The Ultimate T-Shirt Quilt (w/Winnie Fleming) from Craftsy (and yes, that is an affiliate link which will help to support this blog). I never seem to do anything the short easy way, so I didn’t want to make your basic squares and sashing t-shirt quilt. I really liked the look of Winnie’s quilts with the logos from the shirts cut to different sizes. My original plan had been to make some flying geese units and HST units to fill in the spaces, but once I realized how little time I really had to do this, I changed my mind and just used my fancy University of Michigan fabric. I did a lot of math to make sure these fit together and were big enough for a couch quilt for my husband. It was also a little tricky (involved more math) to make the 1997 Football National Championship shirt fit right into the center of the quilt. 

But the real fun started when I started to quilt it. In spite of being fused, those t-shirts stretched. I think it was the lack of fabric integrity left, or maybe I didn’t fuse them well enough or should have used a stiffer fusible. And I definitely should have stuck to straight line quilting. I’m sure the curves pulled at the shirts more than necessary. I also have a theory (which I’m never going to test because I’m never going to do this again) that since I was doing an overall pattern, I should have quilted with the t-shirt size down.The one t-shirt on the back didn’t stretch at all. I also noticed that bunching was worse the thicker the print on the shirt was.

Now that it’s washed it looks much better, of course. And my husband loves it. And that is all that matters. And it is finished just in time for his birthday.

What are you working on?

Quilt on!

4 comments

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  1. Valerie

    It looks fine from here! I really like the different sizes and sashings. The one I made for my DH is no work of art, but he loves it.

    1. Gretchen

      Thanks! My husband seems fond of this one as well. And now that it’s done and washed, it looks better to me, too.

  2. Ronni

    I love this! Front and back:) it was worth the extra math.
    You’ve inspired me to try one too.

    1. Gretchen

      I wish you well on it, Ronni! Thank you so much for the kind words. I like it much better now that it is done.

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