Third Time’s a Charm!

How is it already July? For some reason, my crazy brain had me thinking that June follows June.

I am excited that July is finally here. My little brother’s birthday is today, I turn 30 at the end of the month and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs has released the first set of instructions for the 2015 Midnight Mystery Quilt!
Meadow Mist Designs Mystery Quilt

Of all the things going on this month, I am most excited about participating in my first QAL. I’ve got some (careful) fabric cutting in my weekend plans.

To keep the number of WIP’s at a minimum, the past two weeks or so have been focused on finishing my High School T Shirt Memory Quilt “quilt-over” and the “What the Hex” quilt for my friend Rommy. The actual quilt has been finished for a few weeks, but I am stuck on how to quilt the coordinating pillow shams I made from the scraps.

The memory quilt has undergone three transformations. I started it back in 2003 but did not finish it until many years later. After a few years of use, I  realized I was not happy with the layout and wanted to include a few more memories I was ready to stop wearing. I also wanted to fix the corners on the binding.

Quilt Version 1

Original Finished T Shirt Memory Quilt

The second life of the quilt had my first attempt at Free Motion Quilting on a “medium-arm” machine. Unfortunately, the stitch length regulation did not work so well and after a few years of use and washing, the quilting was starting to come undone. Additionally, the “cheater binding” method I had used did not have a proper join of the ends that was very bulky and not at all pretty.

Quilt Version 2

Quilt Version 2

So I decided to do a “quilt-over” and rebind the quilt again.. Using my trusty walking-foot and 1/4″ spacing, I quilted a simple square spiral in each t shirt block.

Quilt Over

Latest “Quilt-Over”

I also redid the binding, joining the ends seamlessly. It is much prettier and finished by handsewing the back. I think it might be my favorite part of the quilt.

Detail of Final Binding and Quilt Texture

Final Binding and Quilt Texture

I am extremely happy with this third (and final) iteration and love the texture of the quilting. When will they invent “Wonka Texture” so others can feel quilting through the computer screen???

Final Quilt Back

Final Quilt Back

Final Quilt Front

Final Quilt Front

The puppies are also excited to have the couch quilt back.

Dora snuggling with her favorite quilt

Dora snuggling with her favorite quilt

I declare this “WIP” (that has been years in the making) done!

Confession: This has been one of the most dangerous quilts I’ve worked on. I sustained a rotary cutting injury and needed 4 stitches back in 2004 and when hand sewing the binding, I sliced my chin with the needle and then proceeded to poke myself in the lip a few hours later. Who knew quilting was so dangerous!?!?!?

Linking up to:
Quilt for Keeps

Gallery

Shirt off my back

A few weeks ago I talked about one of the “UFO” projects I was trying to finish before leaving my parent’s house in Arizona.

Sadly I was not able to finish my brother’s t-shirt quilt.  Fortunately it was much easier to pack into my suitcase than a wood subway art sign or headboard.

I have since finished the quilt for my brother that was started almost 10 years ago.

Full-size bed quilt, slightly small for a Queen size bed

Full-size bed quilt, slightly small for a Queen size bed

Finished T-Shirt Quilt

Finished T-Shirt Quilt

Back side of quilt

Back side of quilt

When it came to the actual quilting, I wanted something that was a bit more masculine and modern to balance the sentimental feel of a t-shirt quilt.

IMG_1609

IMG_1608I decided to do a tight zig-zag stitch along the sections where the different directions of quilting met up.  This was to reinforce the start point of the lines and to cover the not-so-straight beginnings.

Front center detail

Front center detail

Zig-zag stitching on "joints"

Zig-zag stitching on “joints”

Zig-zag stitching on "joints"

Zig-zag stitching on “joints”

Zig-zag stitching on "joints"

Zig-zag stitching on “joints”

Detail close-up of back quilting

Detail close-up of back quilting

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Khaki colored thread to blend and give great texture effect

When it came to binding the quilt, I opted for the quick and dirty method.  I made a bias tape with the remaining khaki fabric used for the front sashing and backing. I then proceeded to machine sew it to the front and back side.

Since this is a quilt for my younger brother and will most likely be used as a couch quilt or “guest bed” (aka futon) blanket, I figured I could get away with an easier binding method.  I am not the best at this technique, but I wanted to get the quilt done and off my “UFO” list.

Machine sewn binding

Machine sewn binding

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it came out.

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There is a college t-shirt quilt that is a work-in-progress (WIP) for myself.  I will make sure to post more on the construction part of it in the upcoming weeks.