I have finally finished my first t-shirt quilt! It was, in all honesty, a fairly easy project. The hardest part is the cutting, it’s so time consuming. If I really cared about the end size of my quilt, I’d think another hard part would be figuring out how big you need to cut the shirts to make the size of quilt you wanted. I knew I didn’t want a baby/lap quilt or a king size, so I was happy with anywhere in the middle. This is going to be a quick “how to” because there are so many ways to quilt and so many blogs that do a great job and explaining the process. It is fairly simple. The one rule that I’d like to pass on, that my mother instilled in me, is… “there are no rules for quilting”
- LOTS of shirts
- Fabric scissors
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Grey thread (whatever color you want)
- Sheet (or fabric for the backing)
- Yarn needle
- Quilting safety pins (to baste quilt sandwich together)
Once I had all the shirts cut and sized, I played with the layout of the shirts. And no, I did not use any stabilizer. I wanted my quilt really soft. There are people who have to use stabilizer and those who don’t care. I find there are pros and cons to both. For my next shirt quilt, I will try and use stabilizer. I think my quilt turned out perfect without it though.
Next I had to start sewing the shirts together. I sewed them by rows first. Then I sewed the rows together. Then I made a border with my sheet. It was a Cal king sized sheet and so there was plenty of fabric. You can click HERE to see how I did it. It actually is a great way to make your quilt even. When sewing shirts/blocks together the quilt can become uneven.
Once they were sewed together I cut my batting (I used cheap polyester low loft batting from Walmart). I cut it a little bigger than the shirts, basically a few inches of the batting was sticking out from the edges. I also cut my old sheet (back of the quilt) the same size.
Then I made the quilt sandwich. This is where you put all your layers together and use your safety pins to make is stay and thus… start the quilting process!!! I actually sewed around the edges (where the silver border and shirts meet) of my quilt to make sure it wouldn’t come apart. Then with my yarn, I quilted it.
Then I cut the edges of the quilt sandwich to make it all uniform and even. Last I sewed on my nice white binding to put it all together. Throughout the entire quilt, I did use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. There are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest on how to do each individual part of the quilt, if you need assistance. The part I needed the most help on was adding the border to even out the quilt.
It isn’t perfect, but that’s what makes it a quilt!
A long with my last blog post… When I tell people today, that I used to be fat in high school, they look at me like I am crazy. It’s true. I was. I sometimes I still see the same person in the mirror. I’ve lived with that person for like 6 years. It’s hard for her to leave when I look in the mirror. To continue on with my previous posts about my lifestyle changes, I’ll now be writing about how I first started to lose weight.
Usually they say that students who go to college gain 15 pounds (freshman 15). I was neither a freshman, nor did I have the room to carry more weight on me. Haha. When I lived in Provo, UT, I was south of campus. I had a lot of walking to do. From this experience, I truly believe in walking and the good it can do for you. I would walk to and from campus a couple times a day. And I was a pretty busy college girl. I had a goal of finishing in two years, so I took full loads of classes. Anyways, on my way to one of my classes every other morning, I had to walk up these huge steps! I had a roommate that I would walk with and she was skinny and in shape. This gave me motivation to keep up with her and just tackle the steps. After a month of two of college, I noticed my pants were fitting a little looser. When I went home for Thanksgiving (2008), people even noticed I had lost some weight.
People noticing actually gave me more motivation on my journey to becoming more healthy. When I got back to school, I decided my major would be in Public Health. I decided that would be my major because it was one of the only majors that I had a lot of prerequisites done for and I would be able to finish by 2010. I just wanted to get my BS degree, but I am very glad I majored in it. It motivated me even more to become healthy since I’d feel like a hypocrite if I didn’t practice what I believed. I didn’t even realize that I was becoming motivated, but around spring time the following year. I had been walking a lot around campus and drinking more water. That is really how it all started.
I also have another roommate, who loved to cycle and run. One day, when all my roomies were gone, I decided to lace up my gym shoes and try it out. OH. MY. GOSH. I didn’t last long at all! But I did it. I ran from my apartment to the train tracks, which was about 10 minutes. That was my goal – to run to the tracks. I don’t even think it was even a mile. Then I walked back. I was an athlete in high school, I played volleyball and softball, but this was a whole different type of workout. I was so sore the next day too. But I kept doing it.
Eventually I started looking at calories and what I should be eating. It was the simple things, like looking at saturated and trans fats. Also looking at volume in regards to calories. I like staying full. This was now my second semester in college. I went home for the summer and I was about a size 8. I used to be a 14! I started running more and taking time to do so in the morning. I was running about 15-30 minutes. Not much, but then when I went back to school, I started running 3 miles daily with 5 miles on the weekend.
Basically, I didn’t even know I started loosing weight during my first semester. Then during my second semester, I decided to lace up my shoes, run, and carry water with me everywhere. Then during my first summer off, I started running a little more. It started slow with me, but the weight came off fast. Just these little lifestyle changes really made the difference.