Wednesday, May 23, 2012

t-shirt quilt :: alabama chanin-ish

About a year ago
I discovered the works of
Natalie Chanin...
a hand-sewing artist.


At the time I was on the
hunt for the perfect
summertime quilt...
so her sampler quilt
made of t-shirts
spoke to me.

Immediately
that spark took shape.


I raided my stash of
t-shirts...

those that were out-bound...

and went to
work.


With an old record album
as my stencil
I cut and
 assembled the blocks
in a scattered
pattern
that I found pleasing.


Now I was following
my own pattern...

I cut the backing squares
from a flat t-shirt sheet...
for some reason my family
only uses the fitted sheet.


My "batting" was made from
black sweatshirts...
I had to purchase a few from
goodwill to
make it work.

Three piles lay at my feet...
top...batting...backing.


I layered and began
sewing individual
sections together...

Last year...
almost to the day.


Made sure the seams were
clean cut
because like Alabama
I too like my seams
(even machine stitched ones...
preferably machine stitched ones)
to show.


Hand-sew the edges together
with a blanket stitch.

And this is where
I stalled.

Back to now...
I have been thinking about
summer weight quilts again...
something my house needs...
apparently.

I started dreaming of another
design...
I have named it and everything...
The Sunshine Quilt.

This is where I start annoying
myself...
I remembered the t-shirt quilt and
declared I couldn't start
a new project until I finished
the old.

Don't you hate when you do stuff
like that to yourself?


Hand-stitching and me just don't go together
well...I find it
annoying and will find
ways to machine stitch instead.

I was expecting perfect little stitches
like my sister Tina
whose quilting looks
like a machine did it.

Then I did a miraculous thing...
I gave myself permission to
be less than perfect.

In fact I said it out loud...
perfect don't live here!

Ahhh...
it was at this point I got to work
at an amazingly
imperfect pace.


Sprawled on the floor
and making it happen...
even with a little joy!

The childish stitching
actually enhanced
the look of this design...
and no one can tell me otherwise!


The last few stitches found me here...
at the square with a
big ol' smiley face.

So Happy.

Here it is...
my version of the
t-shirt quilt.


In colors that blend with
my world.



I can vouch for its
comfy factor...
as I covered myself in
the satisfaction of finishing
something I started...
a year ago.


Funny...
during this process I recalled
reading how Alabama
interviews for
her fellow artists...
I saw myself telling her
how the process of hand-sewing
can be made pleasant
once you allow yourself
to be yourself...
imperfect!

Hey...
I got the job...
in my mind, anyway.

Off to start that
Sunshine Quilt...
expect to see it in about a year!


3 comments:

  1. Love it! The t-shirt quilts are really popular with runners, as they seem to collect a t-shirt with every race they've ever participated in. Your quilt looks very masculine...perfect for the house of boys!

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  2. this is sooo cute! Found your blog from the 30 day vegan workshop.

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  3. Thank you, Rebecca! Stop back soon.

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