The Final Four

When I went into the sewing room yesterday afternoon, I had in mind to do some small projects...blocks that I could finish in a single sitting. Since I was behind on the blocks for the Live, Love, Teach quilt, I decided to at least do the two t-shirt blocks. I've been dreading this because it's a new technique to me, and I didn't want to mess up the two shirts.

Many thanks go to my friend Dana who put me onto the right stabilizer for this job. She steered me in the direction of the Pellon Shape-Flex SF101, which is available at JoAnn. As long as I was buying some, I wondered if it would work as a stabilizer for embroidery as well. Checking the reviews on Amazon, I discovered that it would. Cool beans.

There are several good YouTube videos that show you how to do this. The one I thought was the most helpful (and the least annoying) was this one:

If you can't see the video, click right here. She's using a different stabilizer from the one I'm using, but I trusted my friend Dana on this.

Okay, so having watched the video, I was ready to brave the blocks. I started with this one. The shirt was already cut, and I had a nice size piece to work with. I ironed the stabilizer to the back, and then cut it a half inch larger than I'll need it when I sew it into the quilt. I could probably just cut it to size now, but I felt better leaving myself a little breathing room.

For the second block, I had the whole shirt, and you can see that the insignia is only about an inch and a half away from the placket. That created a problem. To center the insignia, I'd have to cut the block too small.

The only way to do this was to cut the insignia as large as I could, and then sew a border around it to make the quilt block the correct size. I'd mulled over several ideas, but then I turned the shirt over and saw this on the back:

Then, I remembered that the Idyllwild school mascot was a mountain lion...and, duh, there's a mountain lion right in the middle of the insignia too. Well, that made it easy, and I knew exactly what to do. Here's the finished block.

So, phew! I used the remainder of the shirt to wipe the sweat from my brown. No t-shirts were destroyed during this process. Well...actually two t-shirts were destroyed, but the blocks were a success. You knew what I meant, didn't you?

And then...there were just two to go. When I counted the blocks at the start of this project, I counted 56. There were a few eensy-weensy little things Lisa sent me, but in the end, I decided not to use them, and I came up two blocks short. For one of them, I decided to cut a block from this school bus fabric I used as the back of a quilted wall-hanging. 

Good enough. And for the final block, I made a small rendering of the Wonky Schoolhouse wallhanging I made for Lisa a couple of years ago. Here's the original wall hanging:

The original quilt ended up at 15 x 20 inches. Here it is reduced to make a 6 1/2-inch block.

And that, my friends, is that. Want to see what a stack of 56 quilt blocks looks like? Here they are:

In June, I'll sew these all together and quilt them, and this quilt will be on its way to Lisa.

Today I have an appointment with the eye doctor and then a couple of other little errands to run. I'm hopeful I'll have some time for more sewing this afternoon, and I'll work on a few more small projects.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I can't wait to see this one all together - what a special quilt it will be.

WoolenSails said...

That will be a fun quilt and love the wonky schoolhouse.
I need to get into my sewing room and organize what i have and clear off areas so I can have space to work on;)


gpc said...

Looking forward to the big finish -- it's gonna be amazing, for sure.

Lyndsey said...

Love the blocks you have made here and I can't wait to see all the blocks together.

works4me said...

Well done. You have done an amazing job on all those blocks and we have learned techniques by watching your progress, as usual. Lisa is one lucky lady to have so many who care about her and to have you to make her memory quilt.

And I imagine your quilt inspectors will wholeheartedly approve of the project once it is together. :)

Quilting Babcia said...

Wow, this seemed like the never-ending project! It's going to be an amazing quilt.

Quilting Babcia said...

Wow, this seemed like the never-ending project! It's going to be an amazing quilt.

crazy quilter said...

Wow you are finally done with all these blocks. It will be a fabulous quilt! Great job!

Vicki W said...

It must feel great to have that project almost done!

nellieduclos@yahoo.com said...

I made two t-shirt quilts for my daughters. They were not difficult but took some time. The reward is really in seeing them finished, a-ha, a sigh of accomplishment.

Dana Gaffney said...

We've been watching this quilt for so long it must feel good that soon you'll be gifting it, she's going to love it. Nice that the stabilizer works for your embroidery too, now you'll be buying it by the bolt like I do.

quiltzyx said...

56 finished custom blocks - you should be VERY proud of yourself!! I liked the video too. I have a t-shirt quilt to make - have the shirts cut, but haven't done anything else with them. One of these days, I keep saying.

Kate said...

Love those final 4 blocks. The little school house is adorable. It's going to be such a fun quilt.