Archive | January 2018

Rock & Roll Marathon T-Shirt Quilt

I know now for a fact that I married into a family as crazy as I am.  My brother-in-law, Marc, started running many years ago.  Running.  As in, putting on tennis shoes and moving quicker than walking between extreme distances for no other reason than because he could.  If that’s not crazy, I don’t know what is.  Why on EARTH would you not drive?  I’ve always said, “I’m built for comfort, not for speed.”  Much like a Cadillac ya know?  LOL  One of his brood (and he has 9…NINE) has serious issues with Crohns & Colitis so he took up that charity as a reason to run every single Rock & Roll Marathon he could in 2017.  Here he is with #8, Wyneth (age 18) following the last race of the year in San Antonio last December.  She finished both races WAY before him…because he’s old.  lol  Hi Marc!

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Before they hot-footed it out of town (ha ha), he left me an entire box of shirts from all of his races so I could make him a t-shirt quilt.  I’d agreed to this early on in 2017 so it was no surprise.  Here’s the pile of shirts on the longarm.  They are fairly easy to make since the block is done already but there is a lot of shirt prep that has to occur.  This is my second t-shirt quilt.  My first was for my husband made from his Harley Davidson shirts.

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Here’s some how-to’s to make a t-shirt quilt.  There are several schools of thought on stabilizing t-shirts but I always do and have never had a bad outcome.  T-shirts, whether cotton or synthetic are made to stretch. The odds of stretch and a crappy outcome are VERY high if the shirts are not stabilized no matter whether they are synthetic or just plain cotton t-shirts.  If anyone ever brought me a t-shirt quilt to put on the longarm that wasn’t stabilized, I’d refuse it.  Before he left, I order an entire bolt of Pellon 906 Sheerweight and used the entire thing on this soon-to-be king sized quilt.

First, I cut off the sleeves on the body side of the shirt right next to the seam.  Reason:  if you need any design on the sleeve, you’ll leave the design and any needed seam allowance intact if you cut away on the body side of the sleeve seam.  These designs will be used as cornerstones in the sashing.

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Then cut off the shoulder seams.

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Then cut off the side seams.  Take the side of the shirt you want and head to the ironing board.

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I cut up 25 pieces of stabilizer (5 shirts across and 5 down) that were large enough to cover the design I wanted + one inch on each side lengthwise.  I don’t worry about the height of the design until later but I do put the stabilizer up to the neckline.  I do not stabilize the cotton sashing or the borders – only the shirt pieces in the quilt.

Can you tell how wrinkled this design is from the inside?  It’s been wadded in a box or suitcase ever since the race.  If you don’t press it first, you’ll stabilize the wrinkles which is bad…very bad.

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Because the shirts are synthetic, I used a piece of silk organza to press the area without steam.  Silk organza is a wonderful pressing cloth because it can take pretty much any heat that any iron wants to give it and leave the fabric underneath without any press marks or shiny spots.

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The wrinkles weren’t completely gone, but they were minimal enough to go ahead and stabilize.

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I pressed the sheerweight stabilizer onto the fabric vs. ironing it.  Again, no steam.

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Look how smooth this shirt front turned out.  Now it won’t give me any bias-like issues on the longarm or when adding the sashing.  Do you notice the Roman numerals above the design?  That shirt is #16 in the quilt.  I chalk-in a design order for the blocks in Roman numerals on my quilts because neither chalk nor Frixion pens like to make curves in regular numbers.  It helps that these shirts are going into the quilt in date order and I have a photo of the approved design, but if I have quilt blocks made of regular fabric, once I like a design, I’ll ID them with numbers like II-IV, which is the 2nd row, 4th block.  Works for me.  🙂

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Here’s the final agreed-upon layout – in race date order vs. color wise.  There will be 2″ sashing in between the columns and rows with the 20 Years Running from the sleeves in the cornerstones and 4 corners of the quilt in the border.  The top 3 rows are his half-marathons and the bottom two rows are his 5ks.  There’s a sample cornerstone between rows/columns 3 & 4.  That’s 227.5 miles of shirts.  Like I said, he’s insane.  And he’s 60!

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I really have to take issue with the shirts for San Antonio.  No Alamo?  No city skyline with the Tower of the Americas?  No Military City USA anything?  For a city with an enormous amount of character and the 7th largest in the US, whoever designed these shirts should be fired.  Just sayin’.  Once the shirt is stabilized, having a quilt ruler for just such a purpose, and a rotating quilt mat is enormously helpful.

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I’ll post again when I’m finished!  If you are so inclined, he’d appreciate a donation to the Crohns Colitis Foundation.  http://online.ccfa.org/goto/marcthompson

2018 Ready-to-Wear FAST #2018rtwfast

For some inexplicable reason, I signed up to refrain from purchasing any ready-to-wear (RTW) clothes in 2018.  The blog GoodbyeValentino.com, by Sarah Gunn, co-author of The Tunic Bible (have it/love it), is sponsoring this event and the rules are pretty strict:  I vow not to purchase any RTW clothing in 2018.  That’s it.  I am allowed to wear what’s already in my closet, and I can purchase undies, shoes, and bags, but otherwise…No new jeans, tops, skirts, dresses, shorts, jammies, swimsuits, etc.  That’s a pretty tall order but I’m doing this for a couple of reasons:  1.  Clean out my fabric stash and;  2.  It will force me to improve my garment sewing skills.  There are over 1,000 participants in this year’s #2018rtwfast and there will be drawings and contests with some pretty snazzy prizes throughout the year.  I’m looking forward to it.  I already whipped up a jammie top on New Year’s Day in a darling little Riley Blake knit I got from Mood Fabrics – sorry, no photo because I left it at the coast.

I joined the Vogue pattern club (annual fee of $9.99) and purchased four new patterns that are on sale for $5.99 but I got them for the club price of $4.79 each.  Now that Hancock Fabrics has closed and the nearest JoAnn’s is in another county, I’ll be doing most of my pattern shopping online.  It seems lately I do all my shopping online from fabric (fashion and quilting) to notions.  Heck, I’m even ordering groceries with my phone and doing curbside pickup.  Probably not a bad idea with flu season in full swing.  Here’s what I ordered.

Vogue 9282 – Wide-leg pants

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Vogue 9057 – Shaped Hemline Top by Marci Tilton
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Vogue 9267 – Fit and Flare Dress with Waistband and Pockets
I think this dress will be perfect for work!  I love the neckline, the princess bodice, and the skirt pleats.  I love every bit of this dress.  I’ll probably hack the pattern many times throughout the year to customize it by modifying the neckline, sleeve length, waist position, etc.  My work peeps who might be reading – get ready to get sick of seeing this dress.
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Vogue 9265 – Princess Seam Flare Dress with Poof Sleeves
I have the 2018 Texas State Daughter’s of the American Revolution conference coming up in the beginning of March and I’ve got two evenings where I need to wear a formal.  I have one already hanging in my closet and this pattern will be perfect for the other.    Poofy sleeves are in apparently which is just fine with me now that I’m getting “grandma arms”.  I’m not sure what to do for fabric.

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Now, I’m no clothes horse and I don’t believe I’ve done any serious designer shopping in a couple of decades but I do drop $300-500 a year in places like Roz & Ali (formerly Dress Barn) for work clothes or Tractor Supply for my jeans – hey don’t judge – I’ve got cows!    In fact, jeans will be my biggest challenge this year.  I have Angela Wolff’s pattern but I’m terrified to try it.  I also have Kenneth King’s class on Craftsy.  Come to think of it, I shop pretty heavily in Sisters, a darling ladies shop in Port O’Connor that carries the cutest stuff and I buy a lot of my clothes for work there.  It will be SO hard to step away from the racks and stick to knickknacks and Yellow Box.  I’m just now beginning to realize the money I’m going to save.  $$$$

This challenge will also make me get my dress form into working order.  So I’m all set!  Here we go!