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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Guest Blog: Ooroo and the T-Shirt Quilt



I've already posted Laura's awesomeness in previous posts, but today I'd like to properly introduce her.

She is one of my closest girlfriends from college and one of the most incredibly fun people you'll ever meet. We met Freshman year and though she's a self-proclaimed science geek she also has a passion for creativity and crafting that knows no bounds. 

She is the pioneer of the coolest gift I've ever received from a friend: my t-shirt quilt! It's a quilt made completely from all the t-shirts I got over the course of four years in college. It's a lovely (and cozy) reminder of all the memories we made together and one of the most thoughtful gifts ever.

Want to make one? Without much further adieu, let Laura (aka "Ooroo") show you the way in this DIY tutorial.



T-Shirt Quilt How-to From Ooroo
(modeled by gorgeous ladies - Tracy, Annie, and disembodied head - Chrissy)

Everybody loves a free t-shirt…including myself.  But if you are like me, after awhile it is no longer fun to have half of your dresser dedicated to t-shirts, especially when you can no longer wear jeans and t-shirt everyday.  One crafty way to get those shirts out of your dresser drawers but keep them as memorabilia is to turn them into a comfy quilt.  I got this idea from a book called “Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt” by Megan Nicolay.  http://www.amazon.com/Generation-108-Ways-Transform-T-Shirt/dp/0761137858  Here’s the details on how I make my t-shirt quilts.

To make a one-sided quilt of t-shirts in a 5x7 pattern (35 squares) requires the following materials:

·         Front: 35 t-shirt panels (this means anything from 18 to 35 t-shirt depending on how often you want to make two panels from one shirt)

·         Filling: Full or queen size batting (choose your own thickness) – full is 2” short for the long edge, but that’s what I typically use.  Alternative: a (old) full size blanket.

·         Backer: 1 queen size flat sheet (or a piece of material at least 70”x98”)

·         Thread that is generally matches the color of your shirts

·         14”x14” square piece of cardboard

·         Scissors

·         Double-sided tape

·         Thick embroidery thread

·         Embroidery needle

Before starting make sure to wash and dry the sheet and all of your t-shirts (if they haven’t been washed).  You want to make sure the material won’t shrink after you’ve put your lovely quilt together.

Make sure the 14”x14” cardboard square is perfectly square, this is your stencil.  Use the double-sided tape to adhere the stencil to the shirt.  Remember not to put the design you want too close to the edge, otherwise it might be partially masked by a seam (1/2” seams).  Cut out the t-shirt panel.  After cutting a few panels, match the panels up with each to make sure that they are square and the same size; trim any excess edges if necessary.  After you’ve cut out the 35 panels, lay them out to decide how you want your quilt to look.  You may do this before you cut out the panels if you are going for a balance of colors or deciding which shirts to include.

I usually go about making the quilt row by row.  Place two squares such that the two “right sides” face each other and pin the edge with straight pins perpendicular to the edge you want sewn.  Then sew a seam on the wrong side, a ½” from the edge.  I usually pin a whole row at once then sew each individual square to the next until I have a nice row of 5 squares.  I do this until I’ve made 7 rows.  Then pin two rows together (“right sides” facing each other) and sew just as you did before.  In this way, you will assemble the front of your quilt with 7 rows and 5 columns. 

After you’ve assembled the front of your quilt, iron the back of it to make the seams flat.

Now, the whole quilt needs to be assembled.  Lay the batting on the ground, then the sheet, and then the t-shirt panels “right side” down (i.e. facing the sheet).  Make sure to smooth out each layer as you add it and then pin around the edge of the t-shirt panel.  Trim off any excess batting or sheet material, leaving about ½” around the edge.  Sew around the edge of the quilt ½” from the edge, but leave one square edge open.  Through this opening you need to turn the quilt out so that your quilt will actually have the correct sides facing out: batting sandwiched between the t-shirt panel and the sheet.  Close up the open edge by hand.

At this point you can quilt however you like.  I typically use thick black thread and tack the front panel to the back panel with a simple knot at the corner of each square. 

If you really have a lot of shirts, you can make a second panel of 35 t-shirt and use this instead of the sheet.

Voila!  Now you have a comfy quilt made of your old t-shirts. 

1 comments:

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

I have thought about doing this with all the old concert and music tshirts I own that either don't fit anymore or I just don't wear them. (But I can't imagine getting rid of them!) Love this!

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