Thursday, July 28, 2016

Two Finishes!

It's county fair week here!  My absolute favorite week of the summer.  So far, we've been to the fairgrounds for the judging of the girls' projects, to work an early morning shift in the 4-H Food Stand, and to watch my oldest daugther model her outfit in the Fashion Revue (no judging this time, just a chance for the girls to show off their hard work).  There might have been some ice cream, lemonade and other treats thrown in there too!  We'll be back later today to volunteer in the 4-H Action and Promotion booth and to enjoy the rides on Friday.  Maybe, just maybe, my husband and I will go to listen to some music for a Friday night date.

Even with all this Fair Frenzy, I'm happy to have two finishes to report!

This is my lovely daughter modeling, not the owner of the quilt.

My first T-Shirt Quilt is finished!  This has been a true labor of love for me.  The owner of these shirts is a young lady that I've had the pleasure of watching grow her entire life.  She is near and dear to my heart, and my girls think of her as an older cousin.  My daughter has shared the stage in many of the shows that these t-shirts represent, so I had a lot of memories and smiles as I stitched.

Since this was the first t-shrit quilt I've completed, it wasn't without its struggles.  It was quite a challenge getting all the blocks to fit nicely together,  You can read a post about that, here.

This quilt is larger and heavier than I'm used to.  This presented some challenges in quilting.  I had decided to go with straight diagonal lines in both directions after seeing a t-shirt quilt done this way, somewhere on the internet.  I taped off my lines, adjusted them a time or two, and hoped for the best!

The center sections puckered a bit.   It was just really hard to keep everything flat and pulled tight when half of the quilt had to be fed through the throat on my small machine.

 I did some ripping and re-stitiching and got those sections to a place I could live with, I admit, debated ripping everything and starting over. But, there was a deadline to meet.  And, I asked myself if a quilt that lies perfectly flat was really the goal.

The answer was no.  This quilt is going to spend much of its existence crumpled up at the foot of a dorm bed.  It's going to be spread out on the lawn for campus picnics and study sessions.  It's going to go to football games and fireworks displays.  It's going to a part of college memories, forever.   It already holds so many memories and so much love that it's (not literally!) near to bursting at the perfection isn't necessary.

I had the pleasure of attending the recipient's graduation party, where the quilt was hung up along with pictures of the young lady.  What a joy it was to watch her grandmothers and aunts ooooh and ahhhh over it and to hear the kids from the perfoming troupe reminisce over the shirts. They didn't see mistakes or puckers or imperfections.  They saw love, hard work and happy memories.  That's as close to perfect as I need to get!

Here's a shot of the quilt label.  Doesn't the design on the label look fantastic with the backing fabric?  I even like the way the colors show through.  It's kind of a neat effect.   I used StoryPatches for the first time.  If you aren't familiar with this fun way to add a modern, techy touch to your quilts, I suggest that you check them out.  I also plan to do a post very soon explaining how easy it was to use technology to add a very special message to the quilt.

And now for my second finish.  I made a skirt!

I've mentioned before that my daughter is becoming a better garment sewer that I am.  It's just not my favorite thing to do. She, on the other hand, likes the process and patiently completed a skirt and a blouse for the fair this year.  For her skirt, she followed an on-line tutorial with the promising title "Twenty Minute Skirt".  Now, I think we all know that the darn skirt is going to take most of us longer than 20 minutes!  But, she did manage to have it done in just over an hour. Still pretty good!

 This week, I was inspired to follow the same process to finally sew up a skirt for myself from this cute knit I'd found a while ago.

This had to be done in several short sessions as time allowed this week, but, I think I probably spent just over an hour total.  I was careful to match those chevron stripes at the side seams, and I am just tickled with how they turned out! Hard to spot the seam, isn't it??

Its very basic construction.  Just a hemmed rectangle made into a tube, zig zagged to waist band elastic which is left exposed.  They make really cute elastic for that purpose, now.  Did you know that? There's not much work here, hence the 20 minute claim!

My skirt is comfortable, easy to wear, and just a bit longer than the rest of my knit skirts, which was the goal.  I'm going to be on the lookout for cute knits, now, so I can make a few more of these!  I'd forgotten how fun it is to wear homemade!

I'm linking up this week to Let's Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, Can I Get A Whoop-Whoop? and Finish It Up Friday.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for a County Fair edition of Five Things to be Happy About Friday!


  1. What a perfect quilt to use a Story Patches label for. I'm sure it will be loved and appreciated for many years. :)

  2. Tami, that's a great t-shirt quilt! I understand your pain with the quilting - they are really difficult to maneuver because of the weight. Have you tried basting spray to keep your layers nice and flat? It works really well for me, and I straight line quilt all of my t-shirt quilts (at least so far!)

  3. Cooincidence: A young man sent a big box of tshirts ($35) to a place that will make a queen sized quilt out of them for $120. I thought that was a pretty good deal. Your quilt is wonderful and kudos for getting her done. Your skirt is cute too.

  4. Im enjoying reading through some posts Tami. I have gotten behind on blog reading the past week or so. What a sweet tshirt quilt. I understand the pain of pushing that weight through the machine. Makes my neck hurt to think of it!

    Your skirt turned out so cute. Make a few more and I bet they would be great for work when school starts back up.