Many people these days are building memory quilts out of old t-shirts. It is a great way to commemorate a particular time period---college, high school sports, favorite band t-shirts---this way you don't wear them until they have holes in them...but end up with something to happily remember that time.
This particular assignment came from my brother-in-law, who had worked in Apple retail stores for years and collected quite a few t-shirts, but was transitioning to the corporate side of the business (no more t-shirts). The nice thing about working with these t-shirts was that for the most part they had a formula and a general size----a pre-curated selection, if you will.
Here is how the process goes:
Step One: Cut out the artwork and fuse to a fusible interfacing for backing jersey material---thereby transforming your jersey into a stiffer fabric that you can work with more easily. Make sure to iron with another piece of fabric between your t-shirt and the iron or you will get melted ink on your iron.
Step Two: Select your border fabrics and begin to sew blocks. In my case, I was in the beginning stages of planning this quilt when Carolyn Friedlander's collection "Architextures" came out (read more about this collection by clicking on the photo below).
Since my brother-in-law was in charge of managing retail displays and working with contractors in new Apple Stores, this was a no-brainer of a choice---manly enough for him, but stunningly elegant and beautiful to me. Plus the colors were just right.
|Photo by Rita Hodges, Red Pepper Quilts|
Step 3: Start planning your layout. This can be the hardest part. I like to work improv, so I enjoy the process, but it can still be difficult. I had many iterations of the layout for this quilt before I settled on one I liked:
Finally, I decided that the blocks shouldn't be right up against each other, but needed some breathing room and rest space.
Step Five: Do you need borders? I chose some of Lotta Jansdotter's Glimma fabric for the borders.
Step 6: Quilting. I had this quilt machine-quilted by my friend Kristin with a a square pattern that I felt mimicked the blocks and also had a more manly feel.
The back using Lotta Jansdotter's Sylvia collection and a blue textured solid from Michael Miller.
Some details of the blocks:
This quilt also has a lot of New York references which I loved, since the transition from retail to corporate also meant a move from NY to CA.