Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New (Quick?) Project

Last weekend I made some progress on a project I've had in mind for a while. I think I actually got the idea from a haunted house volunteer who wants to do a similar project for my boss, but I shamelessly took the idea to make for one of the students that works for us. She is headed to college this coming fall and has a busy summer, so we might not see her much. That means "good-bye" day is coming all too soon.

Usually we have a farewell lunch for departing students sometime before they leave, and I wanted to make a gift for her--a "tshirt" quilt made out of the haunted house tshirts. (We have a new one each year, in a new colour, that is handed out to the volunteers at the end of the season.)

It's standard practice to turn in any shirts you're "done with" to the office. The idea is that they "stay in the family" and not be sold at yard sales or given to second hand stores. Every year at the wrap-up pizza party, we put them out so that volunteers can take them if they want.

A coworker brought in several from her daughters in nice colours and I snatched them up for my project. I supplemented them with a few from our overstock and came up with a plan:

The squares will finish at 13" and this should make
a nice "throw" size quilt.
Last weekend I finished backing and cutting out all the squares. The shirts have designs on the front and back so I get a lot of fabric from one shirt. Since tshirts are made from knit fabrics which are too stretchy to just sew together, they have to be backed with stabilizer or interfacing.

For the first batch, I used some applique fusible that I had lying around, but I've since realized that might become a problem. It's fusible on both sides, so if I ever hit them with an iron now, the squares are going to stick to whatever they're sitting on. If I avoid that while getting the quilt together, then there's still a possibility that they will get ironed to the batting after the quilt is assembled. Not so bad if everything's all smooth and lined up, but if the quilt were wrinkled, it could really wreck it.

I've thought about prophylactically ironing those squares to the batting, but I think that will make the quilt really stiff. I think I'm going to leave it, make sure to put "Do not iron" on the label, and take my chances. (I mean, what are the chances that a college student is going to own an iron, let alone use it on a quilt?)

The second batch of squares, done after I ran out of the applique fusible was treated with regular light-weight iron on interfacing. They should be no problem.

The quilt also contains a little joke. See the left white square? It's got a different design and is dated much earlier than the rest. Well, every year at the pizza party my boss makes a big to-do about who has the oldest tshirt. He promises a cruise to the person with the oldest shirt. He starts calling out recent years, and then goes further and further back until it's down to one of the other Board members and him. And he knows his shirt is one year older than the other Board member's.

About the second year I saw this performance, I said to my coworkers that we need to talk to the printers and get an older shirt made up to show him up. This year one of them took my words to heart and had the printers make up a few shirts for us to wear with the original logo on them. No one knew the exact year that the haunted house started, but they picked something close and went with it. We surprised my boss at the party when we all beat him by more than a decade:
We're still waiting for the cruise. My boss keeps calling us all "big cheaters" while I am sticking to my story that I found them at Goodwill.

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