I'm so excited to have some lovely guest bloggers this week while husband and I honeymoon in Hawaii. I'll be back after Labor Day!
Today, let's welcome... Jessica from Quilty Habit!
Hi, I'm Jessica! I'm a 21-year-old senior undergraduate student at a New Jersey college, and I blog over at Quilty Habit. I'd like to thank Suzannah for allowing me to guest post! I started sewing and blogging about one year ago - my blogaversary is coming up, as a matter of fact - and I'm looking forward to doing all sorts of DIY projects for my wedding next year (though I don't think I will be as adventurous as Suzannah, who, as many of you know, made her wedding dress - see next sentence). I've only recently begun making clothing (like this patchwork skirt), but today I'm here to talk about what you can do with t-shirts!
Do you have a closet/drawer (s) full of t-shirts from all of those sports/plays/marathons/parties etc? Or maybe your kids do. I know I did after high school was over. I had taken a basic sewing class junior year but it wasn't something I thought I would ever really do again. Boy, was I wrong. That crafty outlet I'd been looking for (scrapbooking wasn't cutting it) called to me when I found out that there was such a thing as a T-shirt quilt - although I don't remember how/where/when that happened exactly.
Like any person these days, I went to Google and typed in "t-shirt quilts." I was shocked to find that these things (for the amount of shirts I had, which was a lot) could cost anywhere from 300 to 500 dollars - and up. That wasn't happening - not on a college student's budget. So, being the way I am, I decided to do it myself - with a LOT of research on both the subjects of sewing and quilting (it took me a while to understand what quilting actually was - sewing layers of fabric together!) I borrowed my future mother-in-law's sewing machine and got to work.
I didn't have the best tools - I cut with a scissor and did not buy a rotary mat, etc…. But I did it, and even though it's lumpy and full of mishaps, I still love it with all of my heart. Memories! I bring it to my dorm room every year and I'm moving in this weekend for the last time… tear… but life goes on. I have a whole stack of shirts ready for a college t-shirt quilt!
The sewing craze caught on from there. I made one for my brother around the same time:
This month, I made a t-shirt quilt from a friend, which I consider a very significant improvement:
Whenever I finish a t-shirt quilt, I have lots of scraps. Lately, I've just been saving them, but I've been meaning to make some of the things that I've seen, such as t-shirt pillows, t-shirt scarves (here and here), t-shirt flowers (this one is near the top of my to-do list) and even t-shirt rugs! I'm planning to take some of my favorite college t-shirts and make them into a tote bag of some kind, and I'll be sure to post a tutorial on my blog when I do.
If you'd like to make a t-shirt quilt, I can assure you that you can do it, or you can always send it to a company that specializes in them! I like to sew the shirts together with at LEAST a 1/4th inch seam allowance. Working with t-shirt cotton is very different from other cottons. It's more stretchy, so it can be difficult to cut, and it is very easy to tear or get holes in. I mean, think about that favorite t-shirt you used to wear… yep, that one with the hole. Mine was a beloved WNBA shirt… but anyway... you get the idea. Professional t-shirt quilt makers use interfacing to give the t-shirts support so that they are easier to sew - but interfacing is really expensive for big t-shirt quilts, and so far I've avoided using it. I know that I *should* and you probably should too, but what I do works for me, for now. So that's your decision!
There are different ways to sew them together too - the uniform way seems to be much more popular around the internet (rows and columns, with the shirts exactly the same size and framed by fabric), but I like to figure out a layout that works according to the different sizes of the t-shirt designs.
So, as you can see, there are SO many things you can do with t-shirts! Who knew, right? This should give you a really good excuse to clean out your closet - and no, I don't just mean pushing everything into a corner like I have done.
I'd love if you popped by my blog to say hello - and if you have any questions about t-shirt quilts or quilting or anything, I'd also love to hear from you! Thanks again, Suzannah, and I hope you have a fantastic honeymoon!
Thanks so much, Jessica! Lots of great ideas! I've often thought a patchwork t-shirt shower curtain would be fun for a teenager's bathroom or something. And I LOVE the ideas with what to do with the scraps!
See you next week, readers!