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.

that spark took shape.

I raided my stash of

those that were out-bound...

and went to

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

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...

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

This is where I start annoying
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!

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.

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...

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

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


  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!

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

  3. Thank you, Rebecca! Stop back soon.