The Making of a T-Shirt Quilt

I’m not sure when or where (I’m sure somewhere on the internet), but I saw the idea of taking old t-shirts from over the years and making a quilt out of it. A way to preserve the memories that would be useful. I loved it so much that I started saving my kids t-shirts. Man oh man do they have a lot of t-shirts! Every activity comes with a shirt, school activities, extra-curricular activities, church activities – all with a shirt. I even keep jerseys! Where do you store all those? you might ask – I keep a plastic tub in the corner of each of their closets. As they outgrow shirts, they go in the tub. It’s a good idea for you, the mom, to make the decisions on which ones are tub-worthy or not, or you might end up with wayyy more than you can use. (speaking from experience).

I have now completed two of these – one for each of my now college kids. Many of the techniques I used with the first one I used with the second one, but I also made a few changes that made my life a little bit easier.

how to make a tshirt quilt

There are soooo many different ways you could approach the piecing together of the quilt, but there are some basics that are going to be the same. I’ll walk you through how I put mine together and give you some alternatives along the way.

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Tips For Adding Piping Trim To Pillows

Last week I shared with you how I created my own custom piping for our patio pillows. Easy right?? So, today I’m going to share some tips on how to add it to your pillows.  

If you’ve ever added trim to pillows, you know it’s pretty basic. But, there are a few tricky spots that can be a headache – how to begin and end, and how to handle corners. So, I’ll address those issues today.

To start, hang the end of the trim off the edge of one pillow panel. Then, you will sew OVER the trim and continue on the sewn edge of the trim. It should look like this. 

I usually match up the edge of the trim with the edge of the pillow panel, regardless of the size, I don’t worry about seam allowance too much. 🙂

For the corners – stop about a seam allowance (whatever that might be for the trim you are using) away from the corner, cut a slit in the trim – up to, but not through, the sewn edge. 

This will allow you to turn the trim on the corner cleanly. Continue sewing!
To finish, hang trim over the edge and stitch through. Matching up the beginning and the end. It should look like this. 

You’ll want to trim off the excess before sewing the panels together.
After you have the trim attached, pin the pillow panels right sides together and use the seam made by attaching the trim as a guide for sewing the pillows together. 

When making our patio pillows, I chose to not make removable pillow covers so I just left an opening for stuffing the pillow in. 

I hand stitched the opening closed, and ta-da! You’re bottom edge should look like this

Barely detectable, right?? Obviously this method is for those permanent pillows you might want to make and not pillow covers. You could use this method if you were making a envelope pillow cover. If you are adding a zipper however that’s a bit trickier. Here is what my zippered pillow covers with piping look like.

There are other methods out there for sure, but this works best for me!!  Happy sewing friends!!

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How To Make Custom Piping Trim For Pillows

Hi there! I’m so happy to be back to blogging!! My posts might seem a little all over the place for the next few weeks. I have a lot of things to share from the summer! Today I would like to start with how to make custom piping trim. The title says “for pillows” but you can use this for anything you would like to add piping to. As far as the level of difficulty, I would say it’s pretty easy. If you can sew a straight line, you can do this! 

I think sewing tutorials are really hard to write, but I’m going to do the best I can and hope that the pictures will fill in the gaps.

This is what you need to start with. Cording of your desired size – This is sold at most fabric stores in various diameters. I picked a little thicker one this time, I think it was 3/4″ maybe, because I wanted a little more chunky piping. And the fabric of your choice cut into strips. 

I have always heard it said that you need to cut your fabric on the bias (or on the diagonal), but I don’t think this is necessary. I have made piping using straight strips of fabric several times and it works just fine.

I like a fairly good size seam allowance so I made the strips 2″ wide. 

After you have all your strips cut, you’ll need to sew them together to make one long strip. A 1/4″ seam will work just fine, I made mine a little bigger, it really doesn’t matter. 🙂 Make sure you press open these seams! 

Then, place your cording in the center of your strip, fold the strip in half over the cording, matching up the edges of the fabric. 

Next, using a zipper foot, stitch as close to the edge of the cording as possible without sewing into the cording. 

As you can see from the picture, a zipper foot attachment allows the needle to be to the side of the foot (why do they call it a foot?? I guess it kind of looks like one) instead of in the middle.

When you are finished you should have a long strip of piping that looks like this.

Now you are ready to trim out any project you would like!! Easy-peasy right?? Please feel free to ask questions if something is not clear.

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Patio Sectional Update

Hey there! We spent a few days last week in Texas visiting my brother-in-law and sis-in-law. It was HOT but we had a great time! Here are a few highlights from Instagram.

Now that we are back home, I am in full “let’s-finish-things-up-and-get-things-in-order-for-school-to-start” mode. Not that I’m excited for the kids to be gone, but I am looking forward to some order in my life again. This is what happens to my house in the summer.  Anyone relate?? Ya whatever we are living and having fun and the last thing I want to do is pick-up and clean the house constantly. 🙂

Gotta keep it real sometimes folks. Anywho, about a month ago, I was chatting with a friend. We were chatting about patio furniture. They just moved into a new house and she shared how the sectional they had didn’t really work on their new patio, and she would prefer a table. My eyes widened and I quickly said, “I’ll be happy to take the sectional off your hands”. She said she would send me pictures and a price, and in a day the deal was done. 

Maybe you remember seeing this spot empty in this post. Really just screaming for comfy seating!I was beyond thrilled. It needed some TLC (chipped paint on legs, a couple a ripped cushions) but even with the cost of fixing those things it was still cheaper than even the DIY project I had in mind!! {and way less work} WooHoo!!  God is in the details people and He is good.
I knew I had some outdoor fabric that my mom had gifted me with years ago, and my plan was to use that, however I quickly realized I didn’t have near enough. So, I swallowed hard and headed to the fabric store to spend more on fabric than I have in a long time. (still cheaper than a new or DIY sectional) 

I used the fabric I had to make pillows and added another fun print to the mix to pull it altogether. I love the happy result! And my family loves this new spot!!

I will be sharing more of the how-tos and details over the next few weeks. And, a post on the whole patio space is coming soon!!  

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Lightening Up a Dark Couch With Pillows

Good morning friends! I’m here to say that living on a budget is sometimes no fun. We have been spending way too much on car repairs lately which has put everything else on the list on hold. Maybe you’ve been there?? So, as much as I would love to finish out our family room makeover with a lovely white slip-covered sectional from Pottery Barn today, I’m just gonna have to wait. So, what to do to make our dark brown sofa fit in?? Pillows, and lots of them!

I made all of these myself and used feather pillow inserts from IKEA (6 bucks people, you can’t beat that). I have started backing my pillows with dropcloth fabric. This helps keep the cost down. (don’t you love the styling of the tray on the ottoman – thanks kids for adding your touch :))

Don’t see the difference? Here it is before.

Cuter styling of the tray but way too much brown going on! 

Sewing pillow covers is fairly simple if you are doing a basic square with no trim. There are lots of tutorials out there like this one. What makes it tricky is when you decided to add trim, or a flange detail – like the orange pillows – or try to something really risky like use striped fabric to create a different design – like the turquoise pillows.

I must admit that I have been sewing since I was 9 years old. So, most of the time when I start a sewing project I don’t look for how-tos. I just dive in. I might do a few sketches, hold things together to see how it works, but mostly I just make it up as I go. I’m sure that a lot of times there’s an easier way to do what I do, but hey, I really don’t mind. I like stretching my mind and trying to figure it out. 

I also made this cutie for our rocking chair. This is the rocking chair I rocked all our babies in, which means I just cannot part with it. It has lived in several rooms in our home, and now it lives in a corner of our family room. This pillow got all the love (see what I did there? ha!) – trim, applique, and a print backing!

I am going to try to pull together a tutorial soon for the turquoise pillows. My making it up as you go routine, sometimes means that I didn’t take pictures of everything. So, we shall see.

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

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