April 11, 2013

Fun Project for a Dreary Day!

The gloomy weather persists here in the Dairy State only now high winds have been added into the mix. A good day, I think, to tie up an unfinished project that had been started last summer when my daughter was lamenting that her husband's t-shirts were taking over and he didn't have the heart to part with many of them in spite of the fact he no longer wore them.

Back then, I convinced SIL (son-in-law) to give me some of his t-shirt collection and promised to put them to good use. He then further surprised me by donating a pile of his abused work jeans!

Inspired by the Quilts of Gee's Bend as well as some pins found on Pinterest, I set out to repurpose SIL's jeans and t-shirts into a small quilt (finish size is 54"wide x 58"long) that their family might use to sit on at their local summer concerts, picnics or watching fireworks on the 4th of July.

This was the only photo taken along the way of the project. It shows three rows laid together, waiting to be stitched. Since this photo, the top and bottom had been completely pieced together. After months of sitting in a heap in my craft room, all that was left to do for today was to tie and bind the quilt.

The quilt top was made using nine t-shirts. I first cut out the main design from each t-shirt, then measured the largest design and used that dimension as the basis for the block size. The smaller designs were "built up" by adding strips of material cut from the remaining part of the t-shirt. Once all the blocks were roughly the same size, I then had to further build up the top by adding strips between the rows to have the same overall size as the bottom layer of the quilt.

The quilt bottom was made from about nine pairs of men's (SIL's) jeans. Obviously, the bulk of the pieces came from the legs of the pants. Though I couldn't use most of the the jeans from the crotch up, I did take care to include the pockets and seams for extra interest and texture. I really wanted to work the zipper into the design but I felt it was too bumpy for sitting on. This was pretty fun to put together as I didn't worry about straight pieces...the irregular shaped strips add interest as well...a' la Gee's Bend.

As an added bonus, the center pocket and the smaller half pockets can be used to hold whatever items might be called upon for the event!

I found a very cute "bandana" double-fold bias tape years ago at Wal-Mart which was perfect for finishing this very fun quilt. Rather than hand or machine quilting the layers, I tied it all off with red yarn.

The finished quilt feels pretty heavy (not so great for lugging around) but I think it'll be a durable piece to sit on and certainly a conversation piece, hopefully making it worth taking along!

Nothing says fun and relaxation faster than t-shirts and jeans!

 Hope they all enjoy the second life of SIL's favorite castoffs. Hurry up summer!

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