The majority of the quilts I make are given away to friends and family. I have only kept two for myself. For me, it is the best way I can show my love and support for others; even when I can’t personally be there. When I make a quilt, my hope is that it will be used and enjoyed, not “preserved” by stuffing it into a closet.
Not surprisingly, others feel the same way. One of the quilters from the 2015 New Quilt Blogger group share a post the other day highlighting a new initiative from Amy Smart, Quilt for Keeps. (I can’t remember who it was at the moment and am kicking myself so hard for not book marking their post. I will find it and link back. I promise.)
The only two quilts I have kept for myself are the first quilt I ever made (stored in the closet at the moment), and a t-shirt quilt made from my high school tshirts.
This quilt was the third quilting project I undertook. I started sewing it in college. I would lay out the squares on the floor of the dorm room common area. I even bled over this quilt; slicing my finger with a rotary cutter, going into shock (I don’t deal well with blood), and getting 4 stitches. I lack feeling in the part of my finger to this day.
The actual quilting was a simple grid spaced 4″ apart.
I followed the instructions and a free pattern found at Wal-mart. Like most t-shirt quilt patterns I have seen, it required the use of sashing between the shirts.
When I first finished the quilt, I was please with the final result. However; as my quilting improved over the years, I became less and less thrilled with the project. Out came the seam ripper as I tore the whole thing apart.
In the second iteration of this quilt, I removed the denim sashing between the blocks. I added in a few more shirts I was finally willing to part with, and tried my hand at free-motion quilting for the first time.
Again, I was happy with the end result.
The past few weeks this t shirt quilt has been getting a lot more use. The rainy season has started and weather is cooler here in Costa Rica and it is the perfect weight blanket for curling up on the couch. My puppies have been enjoying the quilt as well.
The FMQ job that I was happy with before began to show its flaws. Uneven stitch length and not burying threads has cause much of it to come loose. Because this quilt has been getting more use (and washes) I once again decided it was time for a redo.
So now I am in the process of quilting it all over with 1/4 in spacing to make it more durable. Taking a short cut, I have decided to simply quilt over the existing quilting. I am sure that sentence will offend many a reader since it is no where near the proper way to fix a quilt.
For the time being, I am happy with the look and progress that is being made. I really love the texture of the 1/4″ quilting. I plan on redoing the binding yet again and joining the end pieces properly instead of layering and causing much bulk.
Personal disatisfactions aside, the quilt has been made to be used and it is for keeps. Here’s to hoping that 3rd time’s a charm.