I finished this two weeks ago, but haven’t had time to post it:DSC05277

I started this quilt over eight years ago. It began with some Hawaiian shirts that Steve no longer wanted. He gave them to me and I cut them up and sewed them back together. This first run was not successful because these are either a lightweight cotton or rayon. The fabric didn’t have enough body to make quilt construction easy.

I had decided to make a dress out of the fabric, but this also wasn’t successful. I used muslin as a base, and sewed scraps of fabric to the base. This worked ok, but I didn’t plan it very well in order to work of a dress. I cut it into squares and then it became something.

If I made another quilt like this, I would use fusible web as the base. I did that on the last few blocks I made for this quilt, and it was much easier. The “starter” piece for each block could be pressed down, then the next one sewn to it, then pressed down to the fusible. It made for a very stable base. I will let you know how the structure holds up over time.

This was also one of the most expensive quilts I have ever made. Most of my quilt tops are largely recycled fabrics, either from previous quilts or old clothing. Only the innermost blocks are recycled, the rest is new fabric. I can guess I paid over an one hundred dollars in fabric, batting and thread on this quilt. Usually, my quilts run about fifty dollars: mostly batting and back. Read more

Hawaiian quilt update

Daylight savings and a beautiful spring day really took me off guard so I am posting late today. Between the cold weather and taking over the living room to sew (thank you, patient husband), I have been making a lot of progress. There are two projects that are too new to show and then this one, that is half done, the other half that is left a frame and quilting.


update on the tropical shirt quilt

In honor of football widows everywhere, we spent some time laying out the Hawaiian quilt before the game, the idea that I could sew it together while the big game is on. Here they are in all their glory:


I love the colors! Our original idea was to sash them with white. A lady at the fabric store had the idea of adding very thin lines around them first. This is very successful. However, then we added the white sashing:


This is actually a better photo than it looks in person. In person, the pattern is very muted, nearly invisible. I always thought I didn’t use white because I was afraid it would get dirty. (On a completely unrelated note, I somehow got two little pink stains on this white fabric). Actually, any expanse of white looks like a bed sheet to me in my quilts. Which is odd, because it certainly doesn’t do that in other quilts I have seen. I called down Steve to look at the white after I had sewed two strips on, and he agreed. Hence the stickers on a probably vain attempt to keep the blocks in order. The good news is that next weekend I have a reason to go to the fabric store and also, I can cut out my skirt this afternoon while the big game is on. I will eventually get the skirt online, at this point I only have one layer sewn so it is not really ready to be photographed. The other good news is that football season is done after today, and I will get my husband back on Sundays, which means less sewing but more fun. I love the colors!

New turn on a old friend

This fabric has been with me for a long time. This is a group of Steve’s Hawaiian shirts. He hardly ever wears this type of thing, but because he was born in Hawaii, he has an attachment to Hawaiian things. Initially, I sewed cut them up and sewed them together randomly. This was not successful. Then I made a muslin dress base. I cut them up more randomly and sewed them on to that base. This was also not successful.

The dress hung on my design wall for some time. Then, I machine quilted across the large sections in one inch parallel lines. Other parts I sewed together and then ironed to fusible interface. Then, I cut them up into 9 inch squares. Here is the results:


I have many ideas how to put these together including putting them on point. I haven’t done this before so there will be some math required. I very pleased with the outcome. Even though we really don’t have any use for another quilt, Steve has called it for himself. He has a pretty valid claim since they were his shirts.