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Saturday, May 26, 2012


Things I learned from this project:
#1 - Don't expect to finish a quilt of this size in a week.   (Although it only took  me a little over a week with no sleep)
#2 - King size T-quilts take not 1, not 2, but THREE packages of fusible.  That's 30 yards.
#3 - Dont even think about trying to take a photo without at least 2 other people helping you ;c)
#4 - You're going to need more than just a queen sized bed surface to lay out your shirts and graph them!

Here are all the shirts, ready to be cut, fused, and sewn!
 In order to lay out all the shirts and graph them, I had to lay out the shirts sideways on my queen-sized bed. I put a table on one side, and some laundry hampers turned upside down on the other side. ;c)
 Just graphing a little less than half the quilt took me a whole day.
 Here's the whole quilt graphed:
 The quilt TOP finished, hung up sidedways on my design wall.   all 85" x 95" of it.
 A curious thing happens when I'm finished with the top:   This is the same box that all the shirts came neatly packed in.  The box was FULL when it got to me.  Now that the top is done, the box is full, OVERFLOWING actually . . with those same T-shirt SCRAPS.  One of my friends says this breaks some law of physics or something.   LOL
 And finally, the finished quilt.   Thank you to my helpers:  James (my hubs) and Mark (my mom's hubs) ;c)
A closer look: 
Some notable things about this quilt/project:  
 This quilt was for a teacher who was retiring.  All the fellow teachers got together, signed the shirts, and had them made into a quilt.  This "SISTERS" block was made because they refer to each other as "sisters."   I took some sparkly cream fabric, and using raw-edge fusible applique, stitched the letters on top.  The letters were made using one of the shirt scraps.  I like how much depth the T-shirt material gives to applique.
 One of the lady's made a cross-stitch and signed it and included that into a quilt.  I LOVED this cross-stitch!  I hate to pick favorites but this probably WAS my favorite block.   I quilted my squigglies AROUND the block, but didn't want to quilt over top of her beautiful hand stitches. ;c)  Now I wish I had gotten a better photo of it.
 Look at all of these SET-IN Seams!!!!   I have a choice to make when making these T-shirt quilts:  I can hurry up and graph them, not paying any mind to whether the seams are Set-in or not, and do the work LATER, when I'm actually sewing the pieces together.   ~or~  I can take my time graphing it, and try my best to AVOID set-in seams, so the stitching goes faster later.  
On this quilt, I chose to hurry up and graph it.   Another thing is, I actually LIKE the way the set-in seams look.  It makes the finished quilt look more like a puzzle and less "block"-y.
 This is the teacher who is retiring I believe.   They had her photo printed on a T-shirt at walmart.  
 This next block is interesting because it was a baby onesie.  Instead of unsewing (ripping out) all the seams on the onesie, I just appliqued the front area to a white background.   One of the t-shirts used in another area of the quilt was almost the exact same weight/material as the onesie so I just used that as the background.   Also, in the process, one of the ladybug's eyeballs came undone.  I had to restitch both of his eyeballs because I didn't have exact matching thread.  So one eyeball would have been darker than the other if I didn't do both of them over.  LOL

So that's it!!!   My biggest quilt to date is my Carolina Christmas which is 90" x 90"  This quilt is 85" x 95" So I would say it's a tie!   
 It wasn't difficult to quilt thanks to my Juki Industrial machine, but unfortunately couldn't do anything really "fancy" with the quilting because of the size.   This quilt is so sentimental, and has enough differences in color and pattern, it really doesn't need a whole lot "extra" anyway.   


  1. Looks great! What a quilt, you must be very proud!

    1. This is one of the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen! Our principal is going to love it!! It is going to bring tears to her eyes!! I can hardley wait for next Sunday when we give it to her. Thank you for your promptness. You are such a talented lady!! Wish I could meet you in person to give you a big hug! Thanks for all your hard work! Lisa M.

  2. I am a employee of Mrs. McMeans and I wanted you to know this is the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen. She is going to cry when she receives this. You are a very artistic person for sure. She will have a wonderful remeberance of her fellow employees and her past 38 years in the school district.

    Vera L.

  3. Oh thank you SO Much you guys! I'll give you a "virtual" hug! From WV down to TX ;c)
    I love it when I get tears of happiness!!! That and your kind comments are what I LIVE for. Worth much more than the $$ made :c)

  4. Katie,
    Looks beautiful! I love it. Can't wait for Mrs. McMeans to see it. I know it will be very special to her.
    Amy K.

    1. Hi Katie, My name is Carol Loving, I was Mrs. McMeans' secretary for 15 years. She and I are like sisters. I always told the story that she was my sister because "she was adopted and my daddy was a rounder."She would always laugh when I told that to people. My dear friend (Lisa McCollum) who takes care of everybody made sure that the "sister" square was on the quilt for me. I have always considered myself crafty and creative but you have beat my by a mile. The quilt is the most beautiful piece of art that I have ever seen. Thank you so much for all your late night and hard work you spent on this heirloom. You have made everyone at our school very happy. Thanks again and when this quilt is revealed next Sunday everyone in Texas will know Katie's Quilts and Crafts. cl

  5. Katie, My sister, my cousin, and their friends are so excited about this quilt. They are all very fond of Mrs. McMeans as you can probably tell by all of the efforts they made to gather the tee shirts and signatures. These educators are very committed and dedicated to their students, their parents, and their school district. I can't wait to hear about her reaction to her beautiful surprise. I can assure you they are very appreciative of your time and craftsmanship. Our mother and grandmother were avid quilters. They would be very pleased! And Mrs. Loving is right - "Everyone in Texas will know Katie's Quilts and Crafts." This will be her most cherished gift! :0)~ Brenda V.