Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Green Quilting- Making a quilt from old shirts and scraps

This is a quilt on my design "floor"... just playing with the placement at this point. Do any of you remember Happy Blocks from Block Central? Well, that's all these are!
These are very simple blocks (even easier than a 9 patch). The sizes of the happy blocks are 3" (finished size), 6" and 9". I choose these sizes because they all work together (multiples of 3's) to form a large 24" block.

The quilt will have TWELVE 24" blocks (3 across, 4 down) when I'm done so that my quilt is 72" x 96... and no borders :) That should give this quilt the vintage look I'm after. And how will it be quilted?...Still thinking about that...probably something very linear. 

Here's what I'm starting with:

Lots of 100% cotton shirts (all striped ones), a few leftover pieces of striped fabric and my box of solid scraps.

A few of the shirts weren't completely cut up yet so doing that now too.

From this shirt I'm getting 2-1/2" wide strips, a few 3-1/2" wide strips and plenty of 1-1/2" wide. After cutting strips, I sub-cut into top and bottom pieces or side pieces (of my blocks). Then I find a solid that works with my stripe and cut centers. The centers need to stand out so sometimes they match and sometimes they don't.

Here's a navy center on a light green stripe. The center will really "pop" and bring the eye to that block. I line up the center pieces so that the stripe is sideways and then make sure that the top and bottom pieces have their stripes going in the opposite direction.

Stitch the middle, then the top and bottom and the block is done. EASY! Press to the outside when making these blocks and they'll lay nice and flat.

Just in case you want to make this quilt too, here's what you need to cut....
For a 3" block you need:
(2) 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" striped strips (make sure the stripe is going the short way!)
(2) 1-1/2" striped squares and
(1) 1-1/2" solid square.
For a 6" block you need:
(2) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" striped strips (make sure the stripe is going the short way!)
(2) 2-1/2" striped squares and
(1) 2-1/2" solid square.

For a 9" block you need:
(2) 3-1/2" x 9-1/2" striped strips (make sure the stripe is going the short way!)
(2) 3-1/2" striped squares and
(1) 3-1/2" solid square.

Just roughly figuring, I'm thinking I'll need about 36 nine inch blocks, 70 six inch and 150 or more 3" blocks. Seems like a lot but in two days I have about 1/4 of the quilt blocks done.

This is a drawing of a few possible ways to place the 3, 6 and 9" blocks together to get a 24" square. Sometimes it's going to require a set in block.

While writing this blog, I noticed that the bin of striped shirts hasn't gotten any smaller even though over 50 blocks have been made from it. Hmmmm.... that always seems to happen. Make a quilt to use up stash or scraps and usually you'll end up with about what you started with. It's one of the mysteries of quilting!


Vroomans' Quilts said...

These are quick and fun blocks to make - a great leader/ender project, too.

Lynn Wakeham said...

Thank you for this post, perfect timing for me, one of my best friends lost her Dad last weekend & I told her to save his shirts for me to make her a memory quilt, this looks like a perfect pattern.

Northern Deb said...

Lynn, It's so nice of you to do that for your friend. I'm sure she'll treasure the quilt.

Karen said...

I like! All the plaids and stripes and the masculine look. A good quilt block choice for using them.

Rebecca P said...

I love using Gregg's old shirts in quilts. The pattern you are coming up with is so neat, very modern.

Mary Roberts said...

Deb I wonder if you can tell me where you got the pattern for your spool quilt? If you designed the pattern would you be willing to sell it? My granddaughter wants a spool quilt and found yours on the internet. She has kindly informed me only your design will do. Please put me out of my pain! Mary Roberts

Northern Deb said...

Mary, I bought the pattern at Hearts to Holly Quilt shop. It's called Spools #154 from Thimble Blossoms. Can be ordered online.

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