Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Making A Custom Jersey Quilt

Recently I had the opportunity to make a custom memory quilt using jerseys and t-shirts.  I had yet to make or even see one in person but I had seen a few on Pinterest and through Google searches.  When I was approached about doing this quilt I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting myself into nor did I know what to charge because I really didn't know how long it would take me.

I was a little unsure about trying to piece and quilt a variety of fabric types including t-shirt jersey and polyester jersey with and without holes.  After doing a little research I was able to determine what supplies I would need and how much of each.  I found out that the key was to stabilize the backs of each shirt to make it easier to piece and quilt.  I chose to use SF 101 which is a cotton weave and would work well with the cotton sashing fabric I was using.  It was also great for the jerseys that were a little wholier than others.  The woven interfacing made it look like a piece of fabric was underneath the jersey.

When I was cutting out the jerseys I learned my next lesson... Cut out more of the t-shirt that you want to use, you can always make it smaller later.  There were also some cool logos on the shirts that I wanted to highlight but to do this I needed to sew a curved seam.  I have never sewn two curved pieces of fabric together before much less tried to cut two pieces of curved fabric that are suppose to fit together!  Was a little nervous about this one.  Luckily I found this great tutorial about sewing curves.

It was a lot easier than I had expected.  I must make a curvy quilt soon!
I also wanted to personalize the quilt a bit by adding in their last name.  A few shirts had the name on it that I was able to use and then I paper pieced the last name too to add in a little more of the grey crosshatch to the quilt top.

My overall goal was to make the quilt top using a mosaic layout.  I basically split the quilt top into 4 sections and just worked on one section at a time. When each section was done I pieced the four sections together to get my 80 x 80 quilt top.  I found out my math skills are not as good as they use to be.  I really need one of those handy fabric calculators I've seen at Jo-Ann.

The next challenge was quilting it. I struggled with what color of thread to use since there were so many bold colors in this quilt.  In the end I decided on an invisible thread for the top and a light grey for the bobbin thread.  It was a little tricky to stipple and I had to really mess with the thread tension to get it to look right.  Another problem I ran into with the invisible thread was that it was so difficult to see where I had already quilted.  Much tougher than I thought it would be.  But I loved the outcome of the stippling. You can't see the thread the quilt just looks textured.

After it's all said and done I really like the quilt.  Some of the spacing could have been better but not too bad for my 1st time out. 
If you have ever made a jersey quilt what are your pointers?  I would love to hear what you learned.
I hope to get to do a few more...and just FYI I'm always excepting custom work and can be contacted via email: halfstitched@gmail.com

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