Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Quilt: An Update

So... I'm the worst quilter ever.  Okay, maybe not ever.  It's just... do you ever start something with the good intention of following it through and then just never seem to get around to it?  I started this quilting thing at the beginning of the month and here I am a month later, not even having the task of cutting my tshirts completed.  In my defense, it's a longer process than I expected it to be, and after a while one's hand becomes tired of holding the scissors and cutting away at cloth.  Although if I haven't sung the praises of the scissors I'm using enough - they're fabulous.  They cut like champs and I'm glad that the person who lent them to me will soon become my husband because that means they'll soon reside in my household :D.  But that's an aside.  There is still much to be done.  I need to get the proper backing for the tshirts, iron them, iron the backing on to them, measure them, cut them, buy fabric for sashing, find a fabric for the packing, start sewing rows together, figure out how I'm going to assemble my quilt (tying or whatever the other method is called), and then actually assembling my quilt.  Sigh.  This is a much bigger project than I anticipated and here I am, already with study season looming again.  Where does all the time go?!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Embracing my Inner Crafitness

I've never really been a crafty person.  At least, I don't think of myself that way.  My mom is the quintessential craft-making, costume-sewing, cake-decorating, wood-working guru of all time.  Seriously, she is.  There is not a single craft that I can think of that she has embraced and not excelled at.  I chalk it up to her eye for things and her allowance for imperfections as an artist.  I, on the other hand, am a perfectionist.  And as a perfectionist I like things to be done flawlessly.  This often times leads to things taking twice as long, having to be redone, and it almost always leads to me giving up entirely on things.  How can it be that my mom paints something and goes "oh well, that color isn't what I wanted, but it kind of works" and it looks great and I will mix and mix until things are exactly the way I want and it somehow looks too forced?  How is it she'll throw together pictures, stickers, and comments and have a fabulous scrapbook page, and I will spend hours thinking about how I want my pictures displayed and which I want to use, only to give up, want to use them all, and end up with a huge collage instead of a beautifully displayed page (don't get me started on my lack of scrapbooking ability - I'm a collager, not a scrapbooker)?  That's all to say that I've spent my life in the shadow of a craft genius and have therefore never tried to embrace my inner crafty person.

Until recently.  Recently, I've had a surge of crafty instincts and a desire to change things up a little.  It started this summer with these little keychains (turned magnets when I realized how fragile the plastic is and that they'll snap if they're keychains) that I made for my friends (still haven't sent them - scared they'll break in the mail) and for my campers.  With the success of that project, I thought about other things I'd wanted or had been meaning to do that I just never got around to.  Enter my t-shirt quilt idea.  In college my friend Megan had a t-shirt quilt - a conglomeration of t-shirts from the past that are almost never worn anymore but have sentimental value.  I always thought it was such a neat idea, but never really thought about making my own.  Besides, I didn't really have enough shirts for something like that anyway.

Enter ASB.  In college I was on student government, and there you get a t-shirt for everything.  Welcome Leader?  Here's a t-shirt.  Volunteering for Admitted Students Day?  Here's a t-shirt.  Mustang Madness?  Don't forget to wear your t-shirt!  Summer Missions?  Buy a t-shirt and support our cause!  I ended up with many shirts that I love and am attached to but never wear.  As I cleaned out my closet this past summer, making room for what I call "adult clothing" (things without logos, printing, and that can be worn to work), I found myself bagging a lot of these shirts and wondering what to do with them.

And then inspiration struck.  I can make my own t-shirt quilt!  So that's what I'm doing.  Or at least, I'm going to try to.  I've never quilted before, and while I think this is probably easier than a regular quilt, it's still more daunting than say... making a batch of cookies.  Once I start, I'm committed to the project, otherwise I'll just have a bunch of cut up t-shirts sitting around my house.  I borrowed scissors from a friend (these are amazing scissors by the way) and I'm off and running on the project that I've been mulling for the past five months.  I had originally put together a complicated pattern with squares of alternating sizes, but after I started cutting my shirts I realized this will be much simpler if I go with plain squares.  Some will be squares within squares because of the size of the logo, but I'm sticking with 13 inch squares with 1 inch sashing and a 2 inch border.  It sounds fancy, but really it's not.  Because this picture shows you exactly how far I've gotten... which is not very far at all.  I've cut 10 shirts, have about 14 logos, and still have two stacks waiting in the wings to be cut.  With that first cut, I was committed, and now I'm determined to see this project through.  Hopefully everything goes well... and nothing is disastrous.

If it is, at least I have my mom to patchwork my handiwork and tell me it's going to be okay that it's slightly imperfect.  Here is what I've done so far... Even cutting the shirts is harder work than I thought it would be!

Wish me luck!  Updates on the quilt to follow (when I stop being such a lazy blogger!)