Kristine's Memory Quilt

>> Tuesday, April 3, 2012

   I love when I get the chance to be creative for a client, but I really love it when I have the opportunity to do almost whatever I want. Thats when my creative juices really start flowing and some of my best work comes out. This time I had the opportunity to create a memory quilt for a friend of my cousins. Last February, I made a memory quilt for Katrina, completely custom with appliqued and embroidered blocks, sorority letters, special symbols and custom quilting. It turned out so amazing! One of her friends, Kristine, had shirts from her younger years that her mother wanted to put into a quilt for her. I generally tell clients that the more shirts the better, this time I didn't have as many as I normally do and all the designs were smaller motifs. This presented a little bit of a problem, but I made do! The only constraint I had was using the colors from the Wisconsin high school she attended: Yellow/Gold and Black.

   After I got the green light on the fabrics, I went right to work. I only had a few weeks to get not only the top done, but the quilting and binding as well. It's a little bit of a process when making a quilt from scratch and takes many hours. First, I back all my shirts with Bosal fusible woven interfacing to prevent any of the edges rolling under when I cut them down. Second I throw them up on my design wall to see where they might work in a design. This all depends on what each shirt has printed on it and what the client wants from each shirt.

   I start putting sashing on shirts, and making custom embroidered blocks to fit in where needed. Kathy (Kristines mom) had a few phrases and dates that she wanted added to the quilt -like an inside joke 'Peace be witchu Mary' from a childhood play Kristine was in. 

    I took a satin shirt off a little stuffed bear, which had her graduation dates embroidered in it and placed it in the sashing of one of the blocks. I also took her Brown Deer high school logo, digitized it and embroidered it for another quilt block.  

    I took the patch off her honor society sash you wear while walking the line and placed it in the quilt below some ribbons from sport medals she had won. Feb 8th is her birthdate, so I embroidered that between the ribbons.  

    I also had a large Little Mermaid shirt with all these fun designs on it..I thought it would take up some space for me! Turns out she just wanted the little flounder off of it...shucks. So I put the flounder in 'apple lake'...turns out its Kathy's favorite part of the quilt! After messing around with all the shirts and sayings, about 4 different layouts and 18 hours of sewing and planning I was done with my top.

       I threw it on the HQ quilting machine that night, knowing my deadline was just a few days away. 
I went with Shannon charcoal grey cuddle for the backing, Dream Cotton Select batting, and grey King Tut quilting thread. 

    For the top I used two different King Tut quilting threads- the grey from the backing and a variegated yellow to brighten it up. I went completely custom, quilting each block on its own and using a swirl pattern in the sashing to tie it all together. 

   After 5 hours of quilting, I was done. As soon as I took it off the machine to see the quilting in its entirety not only was I really proud of the job I had done,  I didn't want to give it up! I didn't think it was going to turn out this amazing, generally I don't even to this custom of quilting on my own quilts! 

   After it was bound I snapped a few pictures quick, then headed to the post office to ship it to Kathy in made it just in time - the day before Kristines birthday. 

I really love the back because you can see all the quilting, it really makes the quilt pop.

     My favorite part of the quilt...besides the quilting itself? The bubbler block. I love it because its quirky and I love the water droplets in the quilting. I guess 'Bubbler' is what they call drinking fountains in WI. Who knew?!

  I had so much fun getting creative and having no boundaries to follow. Thank you Kathy so much for the opportunity to put these memories into a quilt that will last her lifetime! I feel so honored to have the chance to do something like this. 
    I have another client T-shirt quilt that I am in the middle of, but its another surprise so I can't show you just yet. Each one of these quilts I take on has so much personality and each one is so really makes the designing process enjoyable!  



Jennifer April 11, 2012 at 11:46 PM  

I LOVE the quilting!! SO cool! :)

FabricDonkey May 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM! That quilt turned out AMAZING! You did an amazing job.

Rachel Booth July 10, 2012 at 6:41 AM  

Love your Tshirt quilts! I just found your blog! My grandparents are in Brainerd!! Small world!

Jessica McGurn December 23, 2012 at 3:01 PM  

I stopped in the shop for the blue and green flannel last week and finally got around to checking out your blog! Keep on blogging, love to see what you're up to!


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