The custom machine quilting for hire portion of Realizations Fiber Arts has finally finished its 10-year plus run. I finished my last customer quilt in October…a masterpiece of piecing (by friend, Carol) and quilting (by yours truly) based on a Jackie Robinson design called Eureka! An appropriate finish to a wonderful experience that has constituted more than half of my fiber arts business over the years. The family quilts and original fiber art for sale still remain as does the Gammill which is the cornerstone of the business.
About 7 years ago, my nephew, Rick, asked me to make him a t-shirt quilt using his extensive collection of Harley Davidson t-shirts. I am ambivalent when it comes to making t-shirt quilts…so, I postponed the process a long as possible. After all, trimming the t-shirts to the appropriate size is only a small portion of the process. First, you have to decide on a common denominator for sizing the blocks, design the quilt, cut the t-shirts apart, iron on the stabilizer (after all, t-shirts stretch if not controlled), re-trim the blocks to the correct size and, then, finally, start the piecing process. If I could get away with designing and quilting only, life would be good!
Rick turned 60 this month and, since that milestone doesn’t come around more than once, his birthday served to jog me into putting aside my procrastination long enough to finish the project.
ONE FINE HOG is a large (110×12 inches) quilt. I positioned the t-shirt for which Rick was the model slightly off center near the middle of the quilt top (block surround is red).
I saved the backs of some t-shirts to cut into strips that served as sashing to separate adjacent blocks of the same color. All of the monogrammed imprints were used including pockets and sleeve logos. Where there are pockets on the front of the quilt, the quilting was interrupted to leave the space intact and the pocket usable.
The process of quilting, like always, was the most fun. I chose a close pattern of parallel quilted lines that formed chevrons from block to block…by placing the seams less than 1.5 inches apart, the integrity of the quilt was maintained and the t-shirt stretch tightly controlled. The end result is a very square quilt that won’t distort with use…all in all, a pleasant piece of work.
In addition to weaving and felting, I also took a break from quilting to make curtains for the kitchen and one for the bathroom (the remodel has finally come to an end after 2 months!) . I resurrected the embroidery attachment for my old Pfaff 7570 and found good craftsman style logos to complement the design of our 1920s bungalow. The curtains brightened both room when finished…and offered me a break from other projects. After three years in residence, we are beginning to paint and add final touches to a great old house…hopefully, 2013 will bring about time to complete more home projects.