Ragan’s Soccer t-shirt Quilt

Have you ever made a t-shirt quilt?  I hadn’t, until 2020 when a dear friend asked me to make one for her daughter.  I was nervous, but said yes.  So here it is:  Ragan’s soccer t-shirt quilt, filled with memories and evidence of great accomplishment.  

Ragan selected her favorites, and on many of them they pinned a note saying what she liked most about the shirt.  This really helped me when cutting the shirts and deciding which parts to use.  In addition to t-shirts there are some jerseys and a large mix of fabrics.  I chose a few basic measurements and started cutting.

I ironed a stabilizer to the back of each piece so it wouldn’t warp and stretch when sewn together.  Mine was really lightweight, perhaps lighter than is ideal.  But it was a pandemic and SO hard to find things, so I had to work with what I could get.  In the end it turned out ok.

The layout is one I worked out based on all the shirts I had, and I filled in the holes with small strips, patches, or emblems from various shirts.  I tried to balance color to some degree, but this is really a gallery quilt.  The one inch black sashing ties it all together.

Melissa quilted it for me, and she was so great to accomodate the thick necklines, patches, and other obstacles to her machine.  It turned out fantastic.  Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of t-shirt quilts until I made this.  Now, I see their value for preserving memory and history, and I want to make one for each of my kids.  

Ragan is more than an exceptional soccer player; she is an outstanding young woman in so many ways.  My family and I are blessed to know her and her family.  This was a fun way to serve people we love.  

Because it was 2020, I included Ragan’s soccer t-shirt quilt in my 20 in 20 project, which I also finished recently.  I’ll share it soon!

Happy Sewing,

Jennifer

Prairie Sweets Quilt

I am excited to share my Prairie Sweets Quilt today.  When I started it, I was so intimidated by needle turn applique!  The pattern intrigued me but it was definitely a stretch for my skills at the time.  Looking back, this quilt started my love of applique.  

I made it with Anna Maria Horner’s Pretty Potent collection.  The background fabrics are a mixed selection of low volume Swiss dot from various manufacturers.  This was the first applique project that I started carrying with me in the car for on-the-go stitching.  I still remember my view at several soccer tournaments, stitching circles happily in the car while waiting for the game to begin.

I finished it years ago, and it sat because I had no idea how to quilt it, and no budget for the custom quilting I wanted.  When I finally got serious about quilting Prairie Sweets myself, I turned to my sketchbook and started doodling until something came together.  Although it’s flawed, and definitely NOT the work of a longarm professional, I am thrilled with how it turned out.  It’s one of my best quilting efforts on my little machine.  

I had carefully preserved the centers of my rings when making the blocks, so I put them to use.  I appliqued them to smaller low volume background squares and used them for the backing.  That gorgeous strip of Amy Butler fabric at the top makes it look like a temple, or castle.  I framed the whole thing with more AMH fabric to complete the back.  It’s one  of my favorites to date.

I love the way the quilting looks in the next two photos.  I am proud of my work and glad to see progress in my skills.  And patience!  Courage, too, I suppose.  It’s so nice to have this one done so we can enjoy it.

Framing the rings with another ring of small circles let me join the blocks to each other without starting and stopping, and the corners as well.

This Prairie Sweets quilt is a really fun and versatile pattern.  It’s a lovely showcase for the beautiful prints.  Although it seems like yesterday that I was sewing with them, they’re about eight years old now – but I still love them.

So here we are, a finished quilt 8 years after it’s beginning.  I hope to push a lot of older projects across the finish line this summer.  It’s fun to bring them back and make them useful.  

Happy Sewing!

Jennifer

Everglade Quilt

It’s no secret that I love Carolyn Friedlander’s applique quilt patterns.  I have made many of them, such as the Catenary, Botanics, Aerial Grove, Rin, and Collection quilts.  Quilting, however, is an obstacle for me, as I’m always wanting to quilt a masterpiece myself, but afraid of ruining them.  So I have several awaiting quilting.  It’s the bottleneck in my quilting process.  Today, however, I’m happy to share photos of my finished Everglade quilt!

I shared photos of this Everglade quilt top in November 2019 and had it quilted in 2020.  I am going through all my quilts and finding that I just didn’t photograph or blog about several of them during the pandemic.  Part of it was pandemic life and a desire to stay away from the internet.  But a bigger part was that my best quilt holder was away for two years and I just never seemed to ask anyone else to do it.  So this summer I intend to catch up on all the quilts I skipped!

My Everglade Quilt is a happy quilt, but difficult to photograph with all the pastels and blues.  Still, it went with us to our last trip to the beach house for a few snapshots there.  I had it quilted with a simple allover floral design which seemed appropriate for a trellis design.

These colors and fabrics feel beachy and summery to me.  They were a joy to sew with!  Jennifer Paganelli draws some gorgeous florals, that’s for sure!

The acidic yellow floral across the top became a favorite while I was sewing this.  I love all the pattern on pattern in this quilt.

I sure love this house, even with the old windows, fading paint, and Grandpa’s funny collection of shutters.  It has been a gift to be here every summer, all my life, and to bring my kids and my quilts as well.  These pictures in front of a place that means so much, is a lovely way to document my heart and my life.

I hope you take pictures of your quilts.  I hope you take them in front of places that are dear to you.  Know that what you create, what you care about, what you document, MATTERS.  It really does.

Happy Sewing!

Jennifer

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