Monday, 7 September 2015

Shirt Quilt Ta Dah - ish!!!

Long suffering standing readers may remember my shirt quilt.  I finished the quilt top last summer and since then it has been languishing around the house waiting to be quilted and finished and actually available for use.

Well, finally, I am pleased to end your suffering tell you that it is now completed!!!!  Ta Dah!  One Shirt Quilt!!!  Oh, before you look though.  A word of warning to the real quilters amongst you.  Either stop reading now or sit somewhere that you cannot fall off of anything due to laughing too hard.  May I suggest the floor as a good place to start.  Laying down.


It is however more of a Ta Dah ish.....  This has been a tricky project for me.  The quilt is very lumpy and bumpy and has wibbly edges, the corners are a compromise and don't match and well, the real quilters amongst you will take one look and be having the hysterics I predicted just a moment ago.


This project started reasonably well and with the very best of intentions.  There was though a real lack of direction and a total lack of skill and knowledge which is entirely my fault and cannot be blamed on the poor quilt.


The quilt top is made of several of Hubby's shirts and a pack of fat quarters pressed into service to make extra squares and take away a little of the "shirtynes".  Cutting the squares went relatively well, however, the mismatched size of quilt ruler - very long - and cutting mat - too small - made it a trickier job than it should have been.  The sewing together went rather better and soon I had reams of squares stitched into rows which I then joined together.  I tried to get the seams to go the right way, but failed in some instances, but overall it wasn't too bad for my very first ever attempt I thought.

This collage shows the quilt top in the making process and once it was sewn together into a top.


The idea was, when I started making this last summer!, that this would be the inspiration for the new colour scheme for our bedroom.  Well, a year later and the quilt is finally done and the bedroom is finally being decorated on a blue theme!  Finally!!!


The trouble came with the quilting part.  What to do.  There was no way that I could get it through my sewing machine, it would never fit.  So it had to be hand sewing.  In hindsight, I should have done something like a running stitch in the ditch, but hey ho, you know what hindsight is.


I decided to go for a tied quilt.  I liked the look and thought it would be forgiving and easy and quick to do.  Not so.  I only have a very small space to work in which meant laying the backing on the floor and crawling over it to try and straighten it out then the same with the wadding and then the top.  Trying to pin the layers together, on the floor, whilst crawling on the thing you are trying to pin is not easy.  I do not recommend it.


After much crawling, pinning, unpinning, stabbing myself, more unpinning and repining and probably some swearing - although it was so long ago I cannot remember! - I finally had it together in some semblance of order.


Next was the actual quilting - or tying in this case.  Well it has taken me ages.  I decided to tie each corner of each piece which meant a lot of little bits to sew through and tie up and I kept getting bored and distracted so it took far longer than it should have.


Eventually, I set my mind to it and got it all tied up.  Next task.  Sewing up the edge.  Did I bind it, just tuck the layers inside and sew round, throw it in the bin, make my own binding, fold the backing over the front, use good old bias binding.  So many choices.  By this point though I have to say I was fed up with the whole endeavour.  So I trimmed the batting to the size of the top, trimmed the backing to a couple of inches larger than the top and then just folded it over and caught it all round with a hem stitch.  The corners were sort of folded up and sew up too.  As you can see here.




So finally we reach the end product that is my total and utter disaster shirt quilt.


What have I learned from this.  I am not a quilter and am not going to be one any time soon.  To start to quilt buy a book or something to help you.  Make something smaller than a quilt as your first project - a coaster perhaps......  I did think about sending the top off to be long arm quilted and I should have done that.  The actual top isn't so bad, it was the quilting that was the problem.


My next steps in quilting.  Well, I am not a quitter.  So I have some fabric and some hexi templates which I am going to EPP - get me! - oh, that is English Paper Piecing by the way - and add to a bag as an embellishment.  A much smaller endeavour and one that is less likely to be all wrinkly.  I still haven't bought a book though......


I don't want you to think that I don't like this quilt, I do, it has just been hard work.  However, I will use it and snuggle under it and lie on top of it.  It can be draped on the floor taken outside and thrown in the washing machine and I will not mind because it cannot get any worse than it all ready is.  So it is a very useable and useful item!


My advice.  Get a real quilter to make something, or buy a book and take a class!!!


I am joining today with Judith at Mosaic Monday and Julie at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

Amy

63 comments:

  1. I love it a proper old fashioned quilt, you should be very proud, the tying is good an the colours are lovely well done Amy :-)

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  2. Well done, what an undertaking. It looks great. I am now wondering whether I'll manage the quilting on mine, still I've got to do the squares first. Your backing material is lovely. x

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  3. What are you talking about, the quilt is amazing!! Well done. And especially well done for persevering to the end. You have done very well and should be proud. I think it looks lovely! And such a great idea to use shirts for the fabric, a great recycling project :)

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  4. I think it's wonderful Amy, the wrinkles are part of the charm of quilts, lots of quilters intentionally wash their quilts to get this look, it looks cosy and comforting, you made it with love, and it's origins from your husbands shirts means it will feel like a hug from him every time you use it. Well done!

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  5. It's how a quilt should in my opinion look..it is lovely, made out of preloved material, that is unique to you , it has taken , time and patience and I i imagine lots of sore fingers!!' And it,s all down to you..fantastic...hope you will enjoy it for a very long time. Maria xx

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  6. It's a wonderful quilt. It's perfect in its imperfections. Handmade has a lovely wholesome feel that you just can't help loving.

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  7. It looks good to me, I like that it isn't perfect, home made items aren't meant to be in my book. They are made with love & to be looked back on with a sense of accomplishment xx

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  8. I think it looks really good on your bed. And you made so you should be proud!

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  9. If it looks like a quilt and it feels like a quilt, then it's a quilt. And yours looks wonderful. Truly.

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  10. Ha-ha! I wouldn't have missed this post for anything. I'm not a quilter and never learned to sew so from my point of view, you did a mighty fine job. The real accomplishment is that you didn't give up. I think handmade should be homey and comfy and you accomplished just that. Bravo!

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  11. Making a quilt is a labour of love and yours is no exception. I made my first quilt over the winter (at about the same time as I discovered Blogland). I used fabric from my mother's stash but I did sign up for four mornings at my local quilting shop which kept me on the straight and narrow (mine is composed of 30 x 10 inch log cabin squares plus sashing so a lot of cutting) and helped me with keeping everything flat and square. I also learnt how to make bias binding and attach it properly. My hardest part was hand quilting. I had to abandon the tiniest needle you've ever seen and the quilter's waxed cotton and use a standard embroidery needle and embroidery silk and a free-hand running stitch. That part took me three months, as I said at the beginning a real labour of love! Like you my next project is EPP hexagons, just enough to decorate a pillowcase or two!

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  12. Amy, it's lovely, you're very hard on yourself! As Tess at Driftwood says, lots of quilters immediately wash their quilts to get this effect, it makes it look warmer and snugglier. Keep going with the quilting, it's an enjoyable hobby with a lovely thing at the end of it. CJ xx

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  13. It looks great and you should be proud of it. I have a huge quilt on the go and, like you, I am not a quilter, started it with no knowledge of what I was doing, and am struggling through, still with no knowledge of what I am doing or how I will finish it - this post of yours has provided me with inspiration to keep going - thank you.

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  14. Too late - you are a quilter already, Amy, he he, and it is even possible quilting addiction will follow. I really like your quilt, the design, the tie offs, and the backing as binding which I think is one of the smartest and quickest ways to do it. I really like the corners too. It looks wonderful, soft and cuddly, and puffy and warm - perfect. Well done, girl :) xx

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  15. Who cares about a few wrinkles in a quilt? I think yours is lovely. You should be proud, well done. I have a quilt that I made years ago. I had no idea then that the quilting should be done through the layers to hold it together. Still, I love it. You'll love yours. Cx

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  16. Not everything has to be perfect and its actually the little imperfections that I love. The corners which you were quite hard on yourself about look amazing. You are too hard on yourself, its beautiful.

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  17. Well I think it looks good, cosy,comfy and just right. and if ever I tried to make a quilt it would probably be in the bin long before the end, so you are brilliant to finish - BE PROUD!

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  18. I think it's fabulous and looks great to me. I wouldn't know where to start so I'm always envious of people who can make such beautiful things with fabric.

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  19. I think this is a brilliant effort and one I'm not so sure I would try and tackle. As a non quilter I think it looks fantastic.

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  20. What a job but what a nice result!!!
    so pretty on the bed!!
    Miss. xx

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  21. Amy, it's wonderful, be proud! I like the effect very much, it looks warm and comforting and I like that you can just put it in the washing machine. Have a lovely week snuggling under your quilt! Jane xx

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  22. I like it, Amy. Well done for persevering- it looks warm and snuggly, just perfect for winter. I also did tie quilting for the first patchwork blanket I made but I didn't do it in every square,
    just between two or three. It was less work and they were enough to hold all three layers together. I have a quilting book I got from a charity shop and it's been a great resource for me, although I'd still love to go to a quilting class one day. Hope you're having a nice start to the week. Well done again for a great blanket! X

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  23. It looks good to me, Amy. I'm new to quilting too - I took a beginner's class as part of my 50 list and have only made 2 so far. I do find the actual quilting the trickiest bit though. Your colours are lovely and I think you should be very proud - I'd much rather have something homemade with love than a souless, shop bought one any day. xx

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  24. I'm no quilter, but I think it's perfectly wonderful! It just screams cozy to me.

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  25. You did a great job making this! I have never tried to quilt but would love to do something like this too. I love the soft colors and it looks very comfy! Enjoy your day! Happy Monday! Hugs, Diane

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  26. Amy, I can imagine that being from this material it is very warm and snuggly. Someone will really appreciate it in the winter, when one just can't get warm enough!

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  27. Well I think it is brilliant. I love it and I think you did a fantastic job of it. Great use for your husbands shirts and great use for fabric quarters. I love it.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  28. Well done for getting to the end of this project!!! And it's very pretty!!!
    Margaret P

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  29. Amy, stop talking it down, it looks absolutely terrific! Well done for seeing the project to the end - I'd have probably given up if I'd been stabbed in the knees with the pins :-) xx

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  30. You did such a nice job on the border! It looks puffy and cozy!

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  31. If that is your first attempt at quilting, I can only say WOW... If I would try quilting, I think the result could only be used as a doggy blanket (and since I don't have a dog anymore, I just don't even bother to start with a quilt ;-)))
    Love the whole text you wrote - you really made me laugh with your self criticism (which really wasn't necessary ! Your quilt looks great !!)

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  32. Dear Amy
    Congratulations! I think it looks great and you should be really proud of your achievement.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  33. I think your quilt is lovely, made with love. It will be well used and not hung for display so the little irregularities that you pointed out will be just fine. I'm sure lots of folks wouldn't of even noticed all the irregularities you pointed out.

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  34. Amy, your quilt is wonderful and I love the idea to use shirts, and it loooks just brilliant on
    your bed. Well done.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  35. Congratulations on the completed project. Well done!

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  36. Oh wow! The finished product is gorgeous! I love the process and I love the way it looks all finished and perfect on your bed.

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  37. I just love it Amy! You did a fabulous job in the eyes of this non-quilter person anyway. I'm very impressed. ;0)
    And I love the colors and especially the edging you picked with it! So I applaud you my Dear.
    xoxo

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  38. as an aspiring quilt-maker and seat-of-the-pants-er myself, i find this whole thing to be quite fantastic! i think it's gorgeous!

    as for any possible 'flaws' -- i like to invoke the 'man on a galloping horse' in such situations [as in, a man on a galloping horse would never notice ;) ].... i know i certainly didn't notice and beside, like others have said, irregularities and oddments are the appeal of handmade items.

    absolutely brilliant! xo

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  39. Well done on persevering and finishing your quilt!! Have a look on youtube - you will find all sorts of tutorials if you want to continue quilting. Enjoy your EPP - I love doing hexagons!

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  40. I like the colours and I bet the quilt will keep you cozy as the weather gets cooler.

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  41. Hey Amy,
    Well I think it's a triumph! You could have given up, but you didn't. And I think that it's rather beautiful. I like the idea of old clothes being repurposed in this way. Many congratulations.
    Leanne xx

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  42. It's your first quilt!! No apologies are needed and I think it's great Lots of character and it's your work of art. Yes, it's best to start with small projects but now think of all the experience you have with this large project. I hope that you won't give up on quilting! Watch YouTube as they have a zillion videos. Thanks for sharing

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  43. Do you know what? I am a quilter and I think, for a first attempt, this is (pardon my French) bloody marvellous. Well done you! My first attempt was nowhere near as good as this! Good luck with your EPP. I've not done that for years - too blimmin lazy, I'm afraid. :o)

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  44. It's lovely, because it's hand made. You can never go really far wrong with something handmade. Well done you xx

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  45. I like your corners. Basting a quilt is horrible at the best of times - many vile words are uttered as I pin, undo pins, repin and eventually deem it good enough.Well done for finishing it it.

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  46. I don't quilt but I see a lot of work from the heart here with an admirable result for the bed in the new blue room!
    Thanks for joining Mosaic Monday.

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  47. These are the best quilts for snuggling and the learning curve is the same as anything else. Some times one craft can fire the imagination and others are either not for you or they pop up some time later. I made my first quilt in much the same way with fabric leftovers from sewing my own clothes and my young daughters. Between the birth of my two boys (very close together) I made it on advice from a great aunt. Well, although it had many different fabrics and thick "wadding", it was much loved by the boys and finally by our old cat, and certainly my first step into quilting. I actually didn't know what a quilt was when told how to make it, before books or magazines, rotary cutters and rulers, so we all start somewhere sometime with our love of crafts. I love it. Take care Amy.

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  48. beautiful!! love the blues and whites and the way it all goes together :) Well done!!

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  49. Even if it frustrated you at times, I'll bet you enjoyed making it. I love the colors. What a brave soul you were to hand quilt it.

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  50. A beautiful quilt...a labor of love.

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  51. Awesome job it looks wonderful . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  52. Love the colors and the cozy look of your quilt AND those corners are uniquely wonderful! I'd say that it is a great success on many levels. I have never made a quilt and so I find this inspiring.

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  53. Hi Amy,
    Wow I love this beautiful quilt you made. You must be so happy you finished making it. Enjoy your pretty quilt.
    Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Have a nice week.
    Julie

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  54. I think it's wonderful and charming! I did laugh, but only at the picture you painted of yourself crawling over the quilt, pinning ad then crawling back.
    I took a quilting class once and we were to make a lap quilt. I never finished it, so you are way ahead of me!

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  55. How nice to snuggle under your husbands shirts. Could it be that the wadding was too puffy and created difficulties? Also shirt fabric is not the easiest to sew.
    Give yourself a pat on the back for finishing.

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  56. Oh Amy, it is such a shame because the patchwork part looked really good. I used this quilt along to fill my knowledge gaps. I say gaps I didn't have any knowledge other than sticking badly measured bits together!
    http://alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/a-little-happy-patchy-heart-quilt-along_12.html
    I think it is great and you will always treasure it, Jo x

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  57. I really like it! I think it looks comfortable,and like it will trap lots of air which will make it very cosy. I like the colours too. I should say, I know next to nothing about quilting either, but I would be very proud if I had made such a quilt ! X

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  58. The quilt looks great Amy!! Any lumpiness that you speak of is just the nature of a tied quilt I think. Don't be so hard on yourself. To have made this quilt without any guidance is quite ambitious, but you persevered and got it done. Now you have a lovely cozy quilt which adds some colour to your bedroom and as you say, will be well used! Congratulations!!
    Wendy

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  59. I think it looks lovely and cosy. Who cares if it's not "perfect", it's homemade and will be loved :)

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  60. Love your quilt!!! good for you for doing it your own way :-) I love the lumpy bumpy look of it!

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  61. Love love love your quilt!!! I just love the handmade with love look...so much hard work!!! TFS

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  62. This is SO adorable! I love it!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J! Please don't forget to enter the $25 Starbucks Giftcard Giveaway that ends tomorrow night!

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  63. Well I think that is pretty amazing! I have a quilting book a gift from a friend but if I am honest I am too scared to start, so you have my total respect - well done :)

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

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