Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Beast Revisited

It has been a long time since I felt my shoulder could handle pushing this heavy, king-size T-shirt quilt around under Gidget's needle. It feels good to be seeing real progress now, and without shoulder pain.
This is my youngest son's college graduation quilt. He graduated 5 years ago. Do you think it is about time I completed it? When I started the quilting on this a few years ago my shoulder problems eventually brought it to a halt. After finally having surgery 2 years ago I thought I would get back to this quickly. But healing was slow and then other projects had gotten in the way. Now this is my machine quilting priority, and over the past couple of weeks I have quilted 16 blocks. I have four to go, and then I get to start on the sashing.

I am doing some pretty dense quilting, and I am trying to make each block different from any others.
Some turn out well--others, not so well. The block to the left is one of my favorites. The one below is in the "not so much" category.













I have never loved quilting pebbles, hence I don't do it much, so I can't do it well. But by the time I decided I wasn't thrilled with this block, I had gone too far to unpick (I just wasn't willing to do it at that point). Of course, this is the brightest, most fluorescent of all the blocks, which makes it  obvious. So be it.
These photos show a few of the other designs I used in the quilting.
         





















This T-shirt quilt has a twin brother. My oldest son graduated from the local university in 2011, and only 4 months later his T-shirt graduation quilt was quilted and bound. Of course, I didn't do the quilting myself. Here is the twin--and they were only born 4 years apart. How is that for a trick?
Between the two of them, these are the quilts that compelled me to learn machine quilting. When I picked up this quilt from my machine quilter, she told me about all of the problems she'd  had with breaking thread and wacky tension as she quilted it. Then she said that she wouldn't be sad if she never had to do another t-shirt quilt. My youngest son was already in college by then and already had the t-shirts stacking up (my sons were joiners). At that moment I figured I just needed to learn to do it myself, and that very month I was attending my first machine quilting classes (where I was, in all honesty, the class dunce).

One other near completion, my "Mom's Flower Garden" quilt finally got the border attached. Here it is on the guest room bed, making sure it is the size I want before I send it off to be quilted. Yes, there are too many quilts in the queue, so I am quilting this one by check.
Every couple of years I hire a friend that does excellent work and let her finish one of for me, and this is one of those times. I am excited to have her work her magic and get this 22 year old UFO into the "finished" pile!

And lest you think you are on the wrong blog, I do have a couple of small quilts that are in the works. One of them should end up being my mini of the month and will make an appearance here soon.

Our little valley has had an explosion of Covid cases in the past couple of weeks. We went from under 100 to over 700--heavily related to employees at a meat packing plant. Hope you are all able to stay safe, wash your hands, social distance, and wear a mask when you can't.

Until next time,
Janet O.


31 comments:

cityquilter grace said...

janet those are beautiful and monumental quilts for your boys...but you are your own worst critic as we all are...and a beautiful heirloom GFG...well done i say...

julieQ said...

What a fun t-shirt quilt, and your quilting just makes it! Love that flower garden quilt...just super fun stuff going on at your home, and I am glad your shoulder is "OK" enough to work on that big quilt.

CecileD said...

The beast ?? Ha ha !! Yes it's a BIG quilt but beautiful !!
I'm pretty sure your son will love it !
The Flower garden quilt is beautiful too !! Oh I love the fabrics you used !!

I wish you a lovely WE !

Frog Quilter said...

Congratulations on getting it done! T shirt quilts are great!!!

Cheryl said...

Two wonderful quilts and I admire you for quilting the one yourself! Hard work. Stay safe and healthy in these uncertain times.

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I really admire you doing TWO t-shirt quilts. I haven't been able to bring myself to start even one and my son's shirts have been languishing in a bag for years. Your quilts are wonderful and I don't see anything awry in your quilting--looking good from here! That's quite a jump in Covid cases--take care and stay healthy!

Debbie said...

I love the results from your latest t shirt quilt. It is looking grand. You put so much effort into that quilting. And I bet it weighs a ton anyway. The flower Garden quilt is a beauty....love that old simple pattern and know it will be beautiful when finished.
things are exploding here...and the politics is only making things worse. I am swearing off all news for now....the world has gone crazy and I have been house bound for 5 months now.

Sandy said...

I really like your t-shirt quilts, Janet. I love the "block" setting with the sashing, which gives them more of a structured look than most t-shirt quilts I've seen. Your quilting is perfect! (I can't find anything wrong wih the pebble one) I'm so glad your shoulder is finally better.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Oh my! What an accomplishment! I can't even imagine doing one so large and so beautifully quilted. I think if I ever did another one I would have to do it in the potholder method. I just can't fathom jamming that thing through my little machine. Kudos to you! I'm sure your son will be thrilled! And as for your delicious flower garden quilt, you already have so many delightful hand stitches in it, I'm sure it won't mind being machine quilted. It is so beautiful!

Loris said...

Janet, so sorry to hear of the virus burst there :-( We are seeing small rises in my area too. Praying people are able to get the healthcare they need as new spots have more hospitals overwhelmed with it.
I'm so glad to hear your shoulder is feeling stronger. The quilting looks great and the quilt will be loved :-) I do like your pebbles. Hopefully it will look better to you have it is all done and bound. The pebbles go well with the bicycle wheels.
And aren't we glad you decided to learn to quilt?! :-) You have brought beauty and inspired many!

Kyle said...

Each fabulous block quilted gets you closer to taming that beast and sending it off to it's new home. Glad your shoulder hasn't bothered you and doubly glad you have shared your machine quiting talent with us.

---"Love" said...

What treasures both of those tee-shirt quilts are for you sons! Not only will they recall all the events the shirts came from, but they certainly will appreciate the time their mom spent piecing and quilting them! Great job on both. The Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt is beautiful, and also a treasure. I need some motivation and inspiration, so I'll be watching for your next small quilt. Glad your shoulder is better. ---"Love"

Kyra Franz said...

Thank you for sharing your T-shirt quilt story. I know you’re having fun as you lovingly quilt each block. Having a grandmother’s flower garden of your moms is such a treasure.

Julie said...

I love both your son's t-shirt quilts Janet. What a special momento for them. Your grandmothers flower garden quilt looks beautiful on the bed - I look forward to seeing it when it comes back from the quilter. I was sorry to read of the increase in the number of cases in your Valley - it is still such a scary time for you all. Our Country is doing well but we must be diligent as we are pretty much in winter now & the virus can rear its ugly head again.

Kris S said...

Your T-shirt quilt is fantastic. Even your pebble quilting. Your sons are lucky to receive such a special gift.

Here in Green Bay we experienced a huge increase in COVID cases at the meat packing plants, too about two months ago. Cases are finally declining here. Please stay well.

Mary said...

I made one T-shirt Quilt. I swore I would never make another. I serged some T-shirts together for two of the other boys. That's cheating, I know. Hope you stay safe in the Hotbed of Covid area. We are well, so far.

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

What an absolutely awesome t-shirt quilt and it's such a labor of love to make a t-shirt quilt! Keep safe. I don't like the news I see in the U.S., with the upticks in Covid cases.

Barbara said...

Wow, those are two wonderful t-shirt quilts! Love the way you've quilted each block in a different design. Hard to believe you were just learning to machine quilt after you made the first one. You do such beautiful work! Your flower garden quilt looks so nice on the bed and it sure will feel good to have that one quilted :)

Kris said...

Oh, wow!! I love the T-Shirt quilts and I really like the pebbles quilting!! And of course it's lime green so that makes it extra special. Your Mom's flower garden is fabulous!! It'll be fun to see it quilted and all done!! Sorry about the new cases!! Did the plant have to shut down? Stay safe!! xoxoxox

Quilting Babcia said...

I admire your fortitude in pushing forward these two tee shirt quilts!can't imagine quilting one of them by machine or by hand. Thankfully my son has never requested one, though he has a lot of tee shirts. So sorry to hear about the increasing cases of the virus in your area. I hope you and your family are able to remain safe until this finally passes.

Karen said...

Five years...yes, time to get it done. I hope your poor shoulder holds out for the whole finishing process. You could make a lot of mini quilts in the time it will take to finish the tee shirt quilt at a safe pace!

Barb said...

What fun to see your twin quilts! Your quilting is so great - the pebbles look perfect to me.
I love that each block has its own quilting pattern. The lattice strips and corner stones are a perfect way to set off the tshirts.
It will be wonderful to have the GFG finished. Will she hand quilt it?

Ruth said...

Both T-shirt quilts are awesome! And your quilting job is great. I really like the quilting on the block that is your favorite and the pebble quilting looks good too. I agree with your sentiment that I don't like quilting pebbles and don't do them very often. They look great on the green and I'm sure no one is going to nit pick them - it's the over all look that people see and it is an impressive look. I have made 2 T-shirt quilts; one for a great niece and one for a friends niece. I then decided I would only make them for relatives (and will pray that they don't want many). Actually, I don't hate making them (at least I don't now since its a few years since I finished them).

Denise :) said...

I've always wanted to do a tee-shirt quilt, but never had the courage to do it! Your's is AMAZING! I love your hexi garden quilt...it's so beautiful, Janet! You do good "big" work!!! :)

Little Penpen said...

The t shirt quilt looks great, but I can imagine how heavy it is! Can’t wait to see the hexi quilt in all its quilted glory!

Lori said...

Good for you for getting that quilt done! The quilting looks great!
Love your hexi too.

Quilter Kathy said...

Wow that is amazing! Very intense quilting... hope your shoulder is okay after all that work!
It is wonderful that we have so many options to hand or machine quilt, or to quilt by cheque... it's all good :)

canuckquilter said...

Wow! that's a lot of detailed quilting. I'm glad your shoulder has healed well enough now that you can work on this one. I completely understand quilting by check. As much as I want to quilt everything myself, there are some that I just need finished and know I won't have time to get to myself. TI'm looking forward to seeing how your friend quilt your flower garden. We've had an uptick in Covid in our county as well these last weeks, with the dubious distinction of being listed as one of the ten cities with fastest growing rates. We wear masks to protect everyone else when we can't stay 6 feet away, and I wish everyone else would return the favour and wear theirs to protect us!

Nancy said...

Your t-shirt quilts both look great, Janet, especially the precision of the sashing. It adds a lot to the overall look of the quilt. Making and quilting a t-shirt quilt is right up there on my to do list with flying to the moon -- I don't have an interest in doing either, though I admire those who succeed at it.
So glad your shoulder is feeling well enough to tackle this quilt. Is your son anxiously awaiting its finish?

Laila said...

Wow. I wish I could make one of those for my family

Raewyn said...

I wish I'd known about t-shirt quilts when our son left for Australia, leaving all his rugby league gear behind. Hubby and I used them for farm clothes - they were too far gone by the time I realised what I could have done with them. That would have been a great quilt. Glad to see yours is getting there :-)