Friday, April 29, 2016

A Quilt in 17 Days

Seventeen days:

I still can't believe it, but I made a t-shirt quilt, start to finish, in just over two weeks.  Seventeen days, to be exact.  Whew!

This was a charity quilt, commissioned by the senior class of Mills College, to be auctioned off.  Money raised will go towards scholarships for incoming students next fall.

Class of 2016: class color is purple; school colors are blue & gold
My challenge, in volunteering to make the quilt, was to balance the need for speed and efficiency with my inner perfectionist's cries of not good enough.

Walking-foot quilting: minimalist

Things I am most proud of about this quilt:
Best use of a zip-front hoodie in a t-shirt quilt!
  • I finished it!   
  • I used my beginner FMQ skills to quilt the border, and didn't falter or grab for the seam ripper when the stitching there wasn't perfect.
  • My favorite "block" is the one incorporating the zip-front hoodie; I managed to keep a functional zipper, backing the block with a zany people print that gets exposure when the zipper is down.
  • I cut into some long-stashed fat quarters to enhance a few of the odd rectangle shapes.
  • I made two "reference" blocks (adding an M for Mills and the year 2016) with fusible applique; tried a new technique to stabilize them when doing the satin-stitch outlines.
  • I camouflaged an "oops" cut into part of the design by using more applique
  • I used my walking foot quilting skills, and some creativity, to minimally quilt each of the t-shirt blocks without going over the printing.
  • This is the largest quilt I've ever attempted to machine quilt myself.  (Proof that it can be done.)
  • I made a label--which I've done only once before, but know I should do every time.
  • Did I mention that I finished it in only 17 days!?!?
Tissue pattern paper as stabilizer

Stashed fabric enhancement
 So that's what I've been up to in April.  Auction was held: quilt sold for a decent price.  Lots of folks on campus praised my creativity and workmanship (which feels pretty good).  And it was a really good practice to stay on deadline, produce a quality finished item, and minimize the amount of time I spent obsessing over tiny details that no one would ever notice.

Creative camouflage of an "oops"

I don't know how other prolific quilters manage their blistering pace.  (You should see the deferred housework that has built up in the past couple weeks.)

What's your fastest finish?


  1. Love the zipper! Knitting is not the hat in chunky yarn. 2 hours!

  2. Ah, the zipper: Sweetie could not keep her hands off the zipper! It was such an attractive element to the quilt, ha!