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Monday, December 4, 2017

Quilted Christmas Stockings

My Christmas Stockings

Made For Family Traditions


My earliest childhood memories of Christmas include every one in our family having their own Christmas stocking that was made by either my mother or my aunt. When my kids were small I continued the tradition by making each one of us our own stocking. Fast forward to having grandchildren and time to make them their own stockings.



I decided to make my stockings quilted and used a classic rail fence out of strips.

Christmas Fabric Cut In Strips
Fabric Strips Ready To Sew


I sewed the strips together, cut them to blocks and then sewed blocks together to make tiny quilt tops. Here are a couple of them close up.

Candy Canes, Peppermints And Reindeer Fabrics
Pieced Fabric For Stocking



Holly, Candy Canes, Snowmen, Reindeer fabric
Close Up Of Pieced Fabric For Stocking



I used a poly batting and chose different Christmas fabric for the backing which will make the inside lining of the stocking. I stitched in the ditch for each of the seams.

Quilt Top With Batting And Back
Small Quilt Sandwiches


I traced one of the stockings I previously made many years ago, but made the top of the stocking a little wider as I felt it was too narrow on the other stockings.

Stocking Ready To Cut
Ready To Cut

This is my simple pattern traced from my other stockings and it is ready to have a stocking cut out of the quilt sandwich. I turned the pattern over to cut the matching opposite side of the stocking.


Lining And Two Stocking Halves
Two Halves Of The Stocking
Here is the stocking with both halves cut out, they are just laying on top of each other and I turned part of it back to show what the lining will be for this stocking.

Fitting A Cuff For A Christmas Stocking
Measuring To Sew On The Cuff

Once my stocking halves were sewn together, I found some white short plush to make cuffs, measured pinned and sewed in place.

I actually put each person's name on the cuffs but blurred them out on the rest of this post.

Applique On Stocking
Hand Applique

I cut out some Santa prints and pine cones and appliqued them on the stocking along with some green fabric to make a Christmas tree. 

Applique Snowmen
Applique On Stocking

Then I cut out this snowman family and appliqued them on top of this stocking, I also appliqued the pine cone and peppermint.  I did applique on both the sides of each stocking trying to space them out a bit. I later sewed on some cute buttons, beads and other shiny things to make them have a little twinkle.

Christmas Stockings Completed
Completed Family Of Christmas Stockings

Here are all 5 stockings for the family. I love how they turned out. Each of the grandkids get a Santa and mom and dad have the two stockings on the left. (the names on the cuffs are blurred out)


I have other projects going that I can't share yet, but I will after Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all and I hope you get all you Christmas projects done in time.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Car Show Tshirt Quilt

Creating The T-Shirt Quilt

A Labor Of Love

I had a huge collection of T-Shirts that my husband got during the years he restored classic cars and showed them in car shows. He no longer wore them but did not want to get rid of them. First they took up closet space, then they were moved to a big plastic tub. I wanted to make a T-Shirt quilt for him but the thought of me cutting up his favorite shirts really didn't sound like a good idea for him. I started finding photos of other T-Shirt quilts online and got him on board.

I want to thank the owner of Valerie Custom Quilting 
for her wonderful tutorial on her website to create a quilt with what she calls a drop shadow effect. That technique really helped bring this quilt to life. 

The first step in creating a T-Shirt quilt is to pick out what shirts you want to use. One of the things we did was lay them on the floor trying to see how they might look together in a quilt.

pick out t-shirt layout
Laying Shirts Out To Figure Out A Layout

It really helps to take a photo of your layout at this point. The next step is to remove the arms and sewn necks from the shirts and also the back. You may have a logo on the back to use in the quilt also.  Before you cut the shirt to the size it will be in the quilt, you need to iron on a stabilizer to keep the fabric from stretching a lot while you are making your quilt.  I use Pellon-SF101
and you iron it on the back of each of the T-Shirts in a size larger than you expect to trim your shirt to.

The tutorial calls out cutting the shirts to 12 inch squares but these shirts are large and has huge images. I used a special ruler, June Taylor T-Shirt Transformation Ruler
and used the largest size which was the outside dimension of 15 1/2 inches. 
You can use any ruler set you you like but I love the clear acrylic to see my image and be able to center it the best I can when I cut. 
Once I had all my t-shirts cut to size with the stabilizer on the back, I realized my quilt is going to be huge and pretty heavy. I decided to sew a stay stitch around the edge of each of my t-shirt squares (about 1/8")  to keep the ironed on stabilizer from starting to pull away during the piecing process of this quilt. I am really glad I did this, because as I guessed as I got my rows together and all the tug and pull of the quilt top on my sewing machine, this step saved me a big headache.

I chose a fabric with Route 66 signs on it. Several car shows my husband went to were Route 66 events. I used a plain black for the shadows on the quilt. You could use a gray instead of black.  I have an  Accuquilt Go Fabric Cutter
and I used the 2 1/2" strip die for cutting the shadows and cornerstones on this quilt top. I used the 4 1/2" strip die for the border and again the 2 1/2" die to cut my binding strips.

stabilized t-shirt square with sashing and cornerstones
Here is one of my T-shirt squares with the shadow and corners sewn on

Once all my t-shirt squares had the shadows and corners sewn, I pressed the seams and then laid them all out on the floor again. At this point my husband decided he wanted them rearranged again. Now the next step will be to add the strips of my Route 66 fabrics and create rows and then join the rows together.

reviewing the t-shirt square layout
Reviewing and rearranging the T-Shirt squares
T-Shirt Squares joined into rows and rows joined
Now that the squares and strips are joined it is looking like a quilt top.
At this point the quilt top is coming to life and you can see the shadow effect making it appear to have the T-Shirt squares floating above the Route 66 fabric. I just love the results.
Flame Borders Added
Quilt Top Complete
I added the flame borders around the quilt top. My husband picked out these loud flames and it really does a fantastic job making this a hot looking design. There are flames on several of the shirts so it really ties together great.

Get Ready To Quilt

Time For A Quilt Sandwich

I used Warm And Natural Batting which is cotton and added to the weight of the quilt. A poly batting or bamboo makes the finished quilt not quite as heavy.

quilting around the flames and signs
Close up of quilting
I decided to follow the outlines of the flames and the signs throughout the quilt top. I used a variegated orange King Tut thread on the flames and a gray Omni thread on the signs and t-shirts.

close up quilting view
A view of typical quilting I did on the shirts

I didn't do dense quilting on the quilt. Since the shirts were large squares, I did need to do some in the shirts to meet the minimum requirement of quilting per the batting company's recommendation. I used a ball point needle which helped reducing thread breaks and shedding. I think I only broke my thread a couple times during quilting, which was fine for me. I had read many stories online on how hard it was to quilt a t-shirt quilt. I think dealing with the bulk and weight was a little hard, but not the actual quilt stitching.

free motion flame stitching
My free motion flame stitching
As a beginning longarm quilter I don't have a lot of experience on free motion quilting yet but here is my attempt at quilting flames on the shadow strips and a few on the t-shirts.

typical T-Shirt quilted
Off the frame and typical T-Shirt Quilting
I draped my quilt over the side of the frame after I was done quilting so the shadows would show the quilting stitches better. It makes it look a little bent in the image but that is the result.

a few T-Shirts in the quilt
A view of a few more of the T-Shirts
Here you can see a few more of the shirts along with the quilting.

T-Shirt quilt ready to bind
Quilting is done, off the frame, now ready to bind
Done with all the quilting and ready for the last step, the binding. I do machine stitched binding. I really don't like hand stitching.

view of the back of the quilt fabric
I found another Route 66 fabric to make my quilt backing.

A small view of the quilt backing fabric. You can see the flame quilting with the orange King Tut thread but the gray Omni thread blends in and is just showing a bit of texture on this print.

The Finished Quilt

All Done!

completed quilt
Finished T-Shirt, bound, washed and draped on a queen size bed.


I bound the quilt with the same fabric as the shadow strips and machined stitched my binding. I then washed the quilt and it softened up just beautifully.
I forgot to mention, I prewashed my fabric before cutting anything and used  two Shout Color Catchers on each load. They worked great and I had no color bleed onto the white shirts. My final wash I put two more in just to be sure. I love those things!

quilt corner and backing
The bound corner with a glimpse of the quilt backing.
 I hope you enjoyed seeing my creative process, I enjoyed sharing it here with you. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Welcome

Welcome to my blog about my sewing, quilting and digital designs. I also dabble in machine embroidery.  I am just getting this set up and have added an Instagram button so you can see what I have been up to.

I started sewing when I was 9 years old making hand sewn clothes for my dolls. Once I got to Jr High School I took Home Ec Sewing and was hooked on the sewing machine. I have made things off an on ever since. I made clothes for myself, then for my babies and later Halloween costumes for them. I made my first quilt when I was in high school but then didn't make another until my kids were in high school. Now I am retired and I love quilting. 



Here is a quilt I completed in February.  The panel is Outback, by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass Fabric. I used double batting, with Hobbs 80/20.  I have an Handi Quilter Avante Longarm. I am a beginner longarmer, I got the machine July 2016.






This was also my first time using rulers when I worked on this quilt. I did the cross hatching with rulers and also some ruler work along the borders but the print on the borders hides that quilting.  I had a lot of fun on this quilt and learned a lot.


Welcome

Welcome to my blog about my sewing, quilting and digital designs. I also dabble in machine embroidery.  I am just getting this set up and ha...

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