The sports jersey quilt is finished! This is the second t-shirt quilt I have made, the first one being for my niece, Lil (Sam’s cousin.) The jersey quilt was a good learning experience, but what quilt isn’t? There is always something new to try or a skill to further practice.
The biggest challenge was definitely piecing those slick, polyester pieces of the jerseys. Second to that would be working with the rubbery decals used for his number and the logos. They were much thicker than one would think. Other than those two issues, this was a breeze to make. You can read progress posts about putting it together here and here.
To quilt this rather heavy project, I rented time at the long arm shop. It would have been difficult to feed it through the throat of my home machine because the decals are thick and stiff, making the quilt unwieldy. Once I had it loaded on the machine I quilted it with lots of interlocking squares. It looks like a nice, masculine motif and works great with the blocky pattern of the quilt.
I tried to avoid quilting through the rubbery decals and numbers. Instead I went around and inbetween them wherever I could. It was really difficult to keep the quilt flat while quilting it. I cannot tell you why, the heft of it or maybe the slick jerseys? If I were quilting it at home, I would have guessed I didn’t baste it well enough. But when we loaded it on the long arm (the gal at the shop kindly helped me) it seemed very straight and flat. At any rate, it is not tightly quilted. The quilt has a puffiness to it. It doesn’t bother me though. I plan to wash it today before I mail it off and it is likely to crinkle up a bit when the batting and cotton fabrics shrink up a little.
Remember I pieced the backing so I could use up a few more jerseys? This is the first time I loaded a backing that really had to be straight on the long arm to line up well with the front. It was mostly a success – the logos are straight but they aren’t centered across the back. Side note, it has been quite rainy this week which is wonderful. I kept waiting for a clearing in the weather so I could take some photos. Finally, Julia said we better just to take pictures Mom. So off we went in the rain. I put a beach towel under the quilt and she held it over the railing. Such a dedicated quilt holder!! You can see the towel shows under that edge on the left. 😉 Ok, back on topic – I love the way the back looks and it shows the quilting pattern off a bit. I keep looking at the larger spaces near the decals and wonder if I should add some quilting there? Do you have any input? Are those unquilted spaces too large?
The binding is an older stripe with 1 1/2″ widths red and gray. At first I was hesitant to use it because the red wasn’t exactly the shade I wanted but there are so many different reds in this quilt between jersey colors and the sashing I used that it worked well in the end. The bold, chunky look of the stripe fits with the blocky pattern of the quilt just fine.
So this one is finished and will be sent off to Sam early next week. The long arm practice continues. It is tons of fun but has a definite learning curve to it. My skills are improving but I need so much more practice. It motivates me to finish up some of my projects so I can go back and practice some more!
Now sewing time for me over the next couple of days. This weekend my sister and I are working the Pioneer Quilt Guild’s show in Roseville. If you are local and planning to attend, please come say hello! I am excited to see the quilts hanging and meet members of the Pioneer guild!
I have no advice for you, but just cheering you on for getting it done! He will enjoy it for years to come! Hope you have a great show!
Thank you Wendy! I always appreciate a little cheering on!! The show will be lots of fun- have a great weekend.☺️
Your quilt looks very nice. I immediately the striped binding which seems absolutely perfect with the t-shirts! I have made several t-shirt quilts and on the last few have quilted right through all the designs even though they are thicker with the coated screen prints. Just make sure you do not have to rip out quilting stitches as they will leave holes and not wash away in those areas.
T-shirt quilts are difficult, but you pulled this one off beautifully. I think the puffiness will make the quilt cuddlier (is that a word?), so I’m not sure I would add more quilting. Just check the batting instructions to see how far apart it can be quilted. Some days we just have to take rain pictures. Yay for you for having a great helper! 🙂
You have made a lovely job of it Bernie, I really like the design and the binding is perfect. If he doesn’t love it then he is very hard to please 🙂
I am sure he will like it. He is a sweet kid and I think he will really enjoy having it. He lives in snow country in Colorado so it will be well loved.
I agree with Beth about checking on the batting recommendations to help decide if more quilting is needed or not. I really love how this came together, and I bet your nephew will as well! I hope you have a good show this weekend and enjoy your time with your sister. 🙂
I think the quilting will be fine. I may outline a few of the numbers but other than that, it should be fine.
The show was so great – really nice guild and lots of sales which is (naturally) quite satisfying. Thanks for your input Yvonne.
Sam will love it. Can’t wait to see it in person!
Beautiful Bernie! I love your boxes!!! Nicely done! Looks like the long-arm was a perfect choice!
You did a great job! Those stretchy jersey fabrics with the stiff numbers are a pain to quilt.
Thank you Carole! It was a challenge but I had worked it up in my head to be much worse. So, I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂
Wow, Bernie, you took what I think of as a daunting task and just ran with it. I love everything about it from the layout to the quilting to the binding (which makes me think of the edge of a postage stamp). When your nephew gets it, don’t be surprised if his friends don’t ask you if you could make some for them. If the quilting is close enough for the batting, I would leave it as is. It’s nice and smooth and quilting through those numbers and decals might weaken them and maybe make them “crack” over time.
Thank you Janine. What a nice compliment. 🙂
I agree about punching holes in those rubbery numbers….. it has been washed and dried now and it looks so cozy. They live in cold Colorado and I can just see him using it this winter. Yay!
I really like the design and how you added the red stripes between the shirts.
Thank you Cheryl — it was hard at first because I thought I would just sort of improv piece and fit the logos all together somehow? That was daunting. But when I saw this pattern, it laid everything out so easily. I am happy with the quilt and I am pretty sure my nephew will enjoy it too.
What a great quilt! I’m sure Sam will love it. I’m admiring not just your quilting but also your bravery in cutting up those sentimental shirts. For the quilting, could I suggest just “outlining” the numbers or letters in the jerseys for additional stability? That way you don’t stitch over them but you don’t have big unquilted areas either. Hope your show went really well!
Thank you Mari. The idea of outlining some of the numbers is a good one. I just washed and dried it. But I may still attempt a loose outline. I like the idea.
The show was awesome. I had some really wonderful sales, fun customers, and people seemed to like the fabric selection. My sister sold lots of holiday dresses and had a number of custom orders which is pretty cool. We had a great time.
Nice job putting this together. I like how the red blocks connect it all. I’ve only made one t-shirt quilt and did not have the issue of it not staying flat. This was probably due to the stretchiness of the jerseys. He’ll love it no matter. Also, I like Mari’s idea of outlining the numbers – but only if the batting requires it. Well done!
Hey Karen, Thank so much for the input. It is really helpful to hear what others have experienced. I am pretty darn happy with the outcome of this quilt. I washed it and it looks great.
Have a wonderful evening. 🙂