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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

All Three Finished and NTT

Welcome to Needle and Thread Thursday, friends!  I have been a quilting and binding fool this week, and I am so happy to report that all three quilts made from my grandfather's shirts are now finished.  In fact, I just finished binding all three this morning!  

I chose my favorite shirt quilt pattern for all three quilts, and though the pattern is the same, the layout is different in each one.  The simplicity of the pattern allows the shirts to take center stage, and it also allows the use of lots of different shirts.  And, the size and regularity of the pieces means that there isn't a ton of wasted fabric.  I used thirty different shirts in these quilts.  

My grandfather had shirts of many different colors, but he especially loved pastels- pink, yellow, mint green, and salmon.  He was a very casual dresser, and the chambray background fabric is the perfect compliment for his wide variety of colorful shirts, since he almost always wore jeans.

With so many shirts, there were plenty of leftovers to make pieced backs, and again, each one is slightly different.  When my grandfather needed to dress up a little bit and wasn't wearing jeans, he wore chinos, so I widened out each backing with strips of khaki.

Even when it's 100% cotton, men's shirting fabric doesn't behave exactly the same way as quilting cotton.  It's not as thick, and because shirts have been worn, the fabric is soft and supple.  That's great for clothing, but it makes piecing and quilting a bit more difficult.  So, I always stipple shirt quilts.  It adds plenty of great crinkly texture, but it doesn't quilt the more delicate fabric to death.

Several of the shirts have navy accents, so a solid navy binding was a great choice for framing these quilts.  And because these are for family, I attached a handwritten label to each one.  When I made the labels, I thought there was no way I would finish these quilts in January, but I was wrong by one day.  That's okay, they won't be delivered until February, so the label is still true.

The three quilts are going to my mom and aunt (his two daughters), and my grandmother.  My parents and grandmother are coming to visit in a couple of weeks and I'm glad I can give them to them then.  I have a few more scraps of each shirt and I have a plan for them to make something for each of his five granddaughters, of whom I am the eldest.  Yes, you read that right.  My grandfather was the Daddy of two girls and the grandfather of five girls, and he loved it.  He was truly a special man, and it was an honor to make these quilts in his memory.

Last week's party was amazing, as always!  Take a look at this super cute quilt from Jen at Handmade With Heart-

Jocelyn at Happy Cottage Quilter shared this awesomely scrappy quilt-

This lovely drunkard's path sampler is from Maggie at Making a Lather-

And finally, it always thrills me to see someone make one of my patterns and put their own spin on it.  Something Rosemade made my Bubble Bath pattern, and I just love these fabrics!

Okay y'all, without further ado, let's get this party going!  You know what to to!

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  1. Your shirt quilts are all very pretty. Great use of the shirts.

  2. The quilts made from your grandfather's shirts are a sweet remembrance, they will be loved!

  3. The three quilts are beautiful and so precious. Stitching while remembering a loved one is very therapeutic. Thank you for sharing those with us.

  4. Wow, Kelly, the quilts are stunning and clearly you made them with a lot of thought, care, and love. I'm sure they will be treasured and prompt continued remembrance and loving stories of your grandfather.

  5. Yay you for finishing! (Sorry about commenting in a previous post about you quilting and quilting.) You're done, and they're fabulous! You'll have such a satisfying time handing these to family members, and I'm sure you'll come up with a wonderful keepsake for each granddaughter. I did something very similar with my grandmother's fabrics, though had to make things for both guys and gals. Have fun using-up the last bits of clothing.

  6. Kelly, your memory quilts are gorgeous. i was wondering what size you cut the blocks? i am going to be helping a friend with making a quilt for her husbands shirts and thought your quilt was just what she needs. thanks a million!!


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