I am working on a project for a client that is a combination of the Mom’s/Grandma’s and Dad’s/Grandpa’s clothes. They want four quilts that are the same design and they wanted squares as that is what Mom/Grandma liked the best. I felt the squares needed to be big enough to show off the designs in the clothes. Many of the shirts had large patterns and some had only a few repeats in each shirt which made it a challenge to get four blocks out of them that were close to the same. The block we decided on was a 10″ finished Uneven Nine Patch. The center block was a 5 1/2″ cut which worked out perfect as I could use my 5 1/2″ All Squared Up Tee’s template to fussy cut the center blocks for the squares.
When you are using clothes for quilts sometimes you can just cut them up just like you would regular fabric. I was able to do that with many of the shirts in this project but some of them needed special treatment. I am going to go through some of the blocks here for you to give you an idea of what my thought process was when I was cutting the blocks out. Since I was in design mode not teaching mode I didn’t think of taking pictures of the shirts before cutting so please forgive the lack of before and after photos. OOP’s :-). I am sure you will get the idea without them.
I had several men’s Hawaiian style shirts that had patterns with large elements that were spread out across the whole shirt. When you have a design like this you want to pick the element that will pop the memory of the shirt the most and use that in the block. In the case of the shirt below the little scooters were a focal point in the shirt so I needed to use them so the memory of the shirt would come forward when looking at the block. Using my 5 1/2″ Template I fussy cut 4 squares making sure the scooter was in the block.
Using the same 5 1/2″ template I cut the other shirts. For this one I made sure the flowers were in the center square and leaves and part of the volcano were in the corner blocks. This shirt had a row of the pink building across the front and back. Using the template I was able to cut 4 different portions of the building so it was included in all the center blocks. I cut the leaves that were on the rest of the shirt to make the four corner blocks.On these next blocks I made sure that each block included a portion of the overall design. I tried to make sure the center block was a major design that reflected the shirt. The corners took in any other portions of the shirt I felt needed to be included to reflect the whole shirt design such as design elements or other colors. The shirt cut for the block below was mostly the geometric black but it had large pops of the red with some orange. For this block I made sure I got the red in the large block and then made sure each 10″ block also got a pop of the orange in it to reflect the overall design of the shirt.
The shirt that gave us the block below had all the different purples as well as the lime green and blues. I made sure when I cut the pieces for the blocks that it represented all the different colors in the shirt.When designing quilt blocks using all these different designs it just takes a little bit of thought to make a quilt that will bring back all the fond memories your clients have of the person wearing them. When they see the quilt block they don’t just see the block but a picture of their loved one wearing the item. This technique can be used with any item such as dresses, skirts, coats etc.
Don’t forget to pull out my small All Squared Up Tee’s Templates for these projects. They really make fussy cutting the blocks a breeze.
Happy Memories, Trish