Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Finished Tshirt Quilt

Hi all!

We're in the middle of a very typical Florida afternoon thunderstorm right now, which always makes me think of a nap, which then makes me think of snuggly quilts!

Quite a few months ago at this point, an old friend from elementary school reached out to me. We follow each other on IG and she posts just the best pictures of the adventures of her and her little boy. She wanted me to make a tshirt quilt for him. Being the sentimental person that I am, I suggested she meet me at our old elementary school and she gave me a bag full of tshirts and onesies.

I also discovered some newborn blankets in there.

So I cut up these tshirts and onesies and blankets and interfaced them with lightweight interfacing. Some of the onesies were not quite up to the 9x9" square size that I was using, so I pieced some of them together [which I was kicking myself for by the end]. The layout ended up being 6 by 7, which was quite a bit bigger than orinally planned, because when I started laying out the squares I realized I could make it look a bit more cohesive by light value shirts with dark. I ended up using the blanket pieces in more than one place.

I actually had fun making the top, because I used the tag #maddoxstshirtquilt on IG and so the mom could be an active participant in the decision making, and see the progress and get excited. Yay social media!

The reason this thing deserves a post is because of the quilting. No, don't squint your eyes at the screen, there's not some spectacular quilting there. It's just FMQ stippling. But OH. MY. GOSH. I think I almost gave up quilting with this thing. I used stretch needles [even though the back was Kona cotton], because I thought it would make the front look better. And I used my typical white Gutermann thread on top and invisible thread in the bobbin. I've used invisible thread before and been fine. I've used a stretch needle before and been fine. But clearly this quilt was my test.

I BROKE 23 NEEDLES FOLKS. TWENTY THREE. Phew, it feels better to get that out.

At one point I almost cried in sheer frustration. So I stocked up on needles, and I turned to Amazon to buy YLI invisible thread. Through an overwhelming sense of stubborn-ness, I prevailed, and finally finished. And it doesn't look like I broke a zillion needles. It doesn't look like I had a mid-quilting crisis. It stippling. After the first square I did switch to invisible thread in the top and bobbin, which also made it difficult to see where I had already stippled.

But I think the finished result looks awesome, I've gotten to see her precious little boy snuggling the quilt on IG, and I've actually gotten quite a few requests from her other IG mom friends who are also interested.

I think before I tackle another one, I will definitely figure out how to only use 1 needle for the quilt ;)


  1. Oh wow! That's a lot of broken needles! The quilt came out great though. Maybe you needed a ballpoint needle (if that's any different? I just got some of those for a t-shirt quilt but I haven't tried them yet).

  2. Yep you should try ballpoint needles instead on tshirt and knit fabrics. The tip is rounded and goes into the fabric a lot smoother. But you prevailed and finished your project.


  3. This quilt looks great especially the lettering!


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