Sunday, May 31, 2015

You can buy quilt tops on eBay!

I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize that you can buy quilt tops on eBay (after all, you can buy pretty much anything on eBay). But it wasn't until I was reading in an online forum that a quilter had bought quilt tops on eBay to practice her longarm quilting on that I started browsing their listings of finished quilt tops. Wow! They have lots! And now I have two more UFOs (UnFinished Objects). One of them arrived in my mailbox yesterday, the other should show up sometime next week

SO here is my new project:

Oliver has already decided that is is a good nap quilt. It is queen-sized, so it's going to be an adventure cramming it through the sewing machine when I quilt it.

The top has some construction issues. I could see the border wave in the auction pictures, so I knew about that when I bid on it. The outer border is 100 percent bias edges, so that was unsurprising (bias edges stretch, causing the border wave). I sewed about two dozen tucks into the border after I ironed it to reduce the wave. Not all the block corners come to a perfect point, and there is some fullness in the center of the quilt, but nothing that I can't quilt out. I'm not going to try re-sewing anything in the center of the quilt unless I find some seams that are so skimpy that they might fray open. I didn't find any holes when I pressed it, but I'll do an examination of the seams from the back before I baste it.

I dug around in my fabric stash and found an extra-wide blue-on-blue print backing fabric that is a close enough match to the quilt top. I have decided to experiment with using a wool batting that I got for Christmas last year in this quilt. I typically use cotton or a cotton-poly blend batting, although I have tried 100 percent poly and bamboo; this is the first time I've used wool (and possibly the last, it was kinda pricey). Supposedly the Quilters Dream wool batting can be machine washed and dried on cool. I'll report back if it comes out crib-sized after the first wash. I have been sketching quilting designs on plastic overlays to work out the machine quilting plan. It's a rainy Sunday afternoon. I hope to get it basted today. If the cats will move off of it, that is.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

T-Shirt Quilt - Work in Progress

I have been quilting for 18 years. I have always said I would never do a t-shirt quilt.

So, here is the t-shirt quilt I said I'd never make.

This is the design wall layout, pretty much worked out. There are 14 10-K race shirts with pretty big logos. In order to round out the 4 x 4 block layout, I printed several photos on fabric to incorporate into the quilt; they will get frames cut from the backs of the t-shirts. Printing the photos on fabric was actually pretty easy. I used EQ Printables pre-treated fabric sheets and ran them through an inkjet printer. They came pre-cut to letter-size with a plastic backing; I put a little masking tape on the leading edge to help the printer grab the fabric and fed the sheets in one at a time. I ran a test sheet through the printer (a blank piece of paper with an X drawn on it in pen) to figure out whether my printer prints on the face up or face down side of the paper so I could tell whether to load it fabric side up or plastic side up. I didn't change any printer settings and I didn't have any problems.

I made a diagram to keep track of how it all goes together as I'm working on it. I still need to add interfacing to the photos and put frames on them, as well as trim some of the t-shirts a bit more. Adding interfacing to EVERYTHING is taking longer than I thought it would (and I'm really glad I bought an entire 10-yard bolt of interfacing for this project, I'm most of the way through it already). I'm not used to being this far into a project without having sewn a stitch. This quilt needs a border or two and I have some good border fabric candidates, but I'll wait to post pictures of them until I get more done.