July 3, 2023

Two gift quilts

I've recently completed two quilts which I've made for others.

My friend Joy Moore asked me to make her a memory quilt using her husband's shirts. I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful collection of bright plaids. Her husband Michael had great taste in shirts!

Joy wanted a large quilt with a traditional design. We settled on Arkansas Crossroads, which is a design I've used before.

The background fabric is Essex linen in flax. I alternated three different simple quilting designs in the 16-square blocks, and did a more intricate beaded design in the background. The background quilting is the same I used in my Xbox quilt, which I felt added much to that quilt.
For the backing, I used a Tim Holtz music-themed print, as Michael was a musician. The label was printed at Spoonflower.

I'm pretty sure Joy is quite thrilled and touched by her quilt.

My second recent completion was requested by our church as a tribute to Mr. Jerry Miller, a volunteer who retired last year after 60 years of service with the church's student ministries.

The quilt is made from Jerry's t-shirts associated with various youth activities or the group's yearly theme. I had the quilting done on a longarm machine at Sweet Home Quilting; my style of dense free-motion quilting doesn't seem well suited for t-shirt quilts.

Since Jerry had worked for NASA, we chose a fabric designed by astronaut Karen Nyberg for the backing, from her Earth Views line.


This was my first collage style t-shirt quilt. I used the layout steps from this tutorial as a guide; I borrowed their idea for a border as well. I cut my blocks at 5-inch increments (finished size) though. As a layout guide, I printed a grid on card stock and sketched in each t-shirt block to scale -- a 15"x15" block would be 3x3 squares on the grid, for example. 

I cut out the individual pieces and arranged them on another grid to determine my placement.


There was a big event last year to honor Jerry's retirement, but he was told at the time he'd have to wait for his gift -- since it required his involvement (in providing shirts and preferences). We presented the quilt to him at the student meeting last Sunday.

I just happened to finish both these quilts at about the same time. I pieced Joy's quilt first, and dropped it off at Sweet Home Quilting for basting on a longarm. While waiting for the basting, I was able to piece the t-shirt quilt. Then I left the t-shirt quilt to be quilted at Sweet Home while I did the quilting on Joy's quilt. By the time Joy's was complete, all that was left on Jerry's quilt was to add the binding and label.

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