Friday, May 25, 2018

Tee-Shirt Quilt Finished!

More than two years have passed since my son handed me a pile of his old tee-shirts and asked if I thought I could make them into a quilt. I said, "Yes," of course, not realizing what I was getting myself into! Since then, it has been a learning curve. First, I had to buy a presser foot for jersey fabrics and "stretch" needles for sewing on jersey. Then I had to figure out the right fusible to use, the correct temperature of the iron to do the fusing, and I had to decide how to cut the jerseys. First I cut each of them into 15 1/2" squares. After fusing, I trimmed them to 12 1/2" making sure the motifs were centered and any writing was in a straight line.

Tee-shirt quilt made for my son and finished on May 24, 2018

Then I had to decide on a fabric for sashings. I chose black fabric with musical notes and symbols as the recipient loves music. Since so many of the blocks had a red background, I chose red for the cornerstones. That fabric has stylized letters written in an all-over pattern. I very much wanted to use the tie-dye shirt he provided. It is so colorful and cheerful and has writing on one side.

The first border is a burnt orange color fabric with a tiny bird print. I think it helps to coordinate the look of the quilt. The second and final border is magenta. It is batik fabric with large scale leaves and undertones of orange.

I used all the shirts he gave me with the exception of a green shirt that I did not think would blend well with the other colors. For two of the blocks in the bottom row, I used a Red Sox fabric that I had on hand as he is an avid fan of that baseball team.

Block dedicated to Samuel Sewell and 50 years of the United Church of Christ

Sewing the blocks together was a challenge. I found it worked best if the jersey fabric was the top fabric going under the sewing machine needle. The jersey fabric stretches slightly more than the cotton fabric, even when fused, so it was a task to get the cornerstones properly placed.

Tie-dye block that commemorates a Mission Trip

The quilt is as perfect as I could make it and it is now finished! It was made with a mother's love and it will be warm and serve as a memory of times when the recipient was a youth leader in his church and took his group of young people to visit the Lakota Indians on several occasions, as well as participating in other missions.

"WE ARE ALL RELATED" ~ Lakota Sioux

Now, it is time to think about finishing some UFOs and perhaps starting another small or not-so-small project. Goodness knows, I have the free time and the materials at hand to continue quilting for a very long time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Quilt Donated to Museum

Here is a photo of the quilt that I just sent off to the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum. It is a Redwork quilt that I designed. The five embroidered quilt blocks are reproductions of Penny Squares sold at the Pan Am Exposition in 1901. There is a large and fairly famous Redwork quilt that utilizes all the Penny Squares in that series, including those that depict the various buildings at the Exposition.

President McKinley Tribute Quilt by Patricia Cummings

The center square of my quilt shows the Temple of Music. That is where President McKinley was shot at point blank range by a crazy person who snuck into the receiving line. The quilt has "musical" fabrics to support the theme, one of them with a black background to remember a nation in mourning. The president did not die immediately. His vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, (who is also depicted on the quilt), became president. The images of the wives of the two men are also embroidered on the other quilt blocks.

I have always been interested in political and presidential quilts and decided to make this one in 2006. It is hand embroidered, hand appliqued, and hand quilted. I am so happy that the museum wanted to collect this quilt! It makes my heart glad to share my work!