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!