Thursday, July 5, 2012

Johnnycake Jog Tee Shirt Quilt

It’s Jog time here at The News-Herald and I thought it a good time to tell you about the tee-shirt quilts that I made for the JohnnycakeJog.

I have volunteered to work at the jog for 3 years now and it is a lot of hard, hot work but a lot of fun. Two years ago as I was waiting for the first runners to come in I was thinking about all the tee shirts that I noticed the runners wearing. My quilt group had a speaker on how to do a quilt using tee shirts and I thought what a great idea to do a quilt with the shirts from the Johnnycake Jog.

When I got back to work the next day I talked to the General Manager about my idea. Within one week I was given a box full of old shirts from past Jogs, which was donated. I dug through my drawers to find some shirts that were missing and some more were donated to me over the weeks to follow, so now I had enough to do one very large quilt or two smaller ones. I choose to do two quilts.

The first thing about doing a tee shirt quilt is to understand the when you cut a tee shirt the fabric stretches and rolls. You need to use an Interfacing to stabilize the tee shirts before you cut the logo out. I cut the front away from the back and cut off the sleeves, save them if they have a logo on them. Iron on your interfacing then decide how big you want to make your blocks. There are no set rules as to how to put together a tee shirt quilt, just let your imagination flow. I used colors from my stash to make strips to make the blocks fit together.  You can tie the quilt or have it quilted, I choose to tie the quilt for the Jog only because they will only get used as displays.

I finished the quilts about 2 weeks before the Johnnycake Jog and presented them to the general manager along with Bamboo poles. I made them from the bamboo that is overtaking my mother’s property, a little advice, don’t grow it unless you want it to overpower everything. I put a spray varnish on the bamboo stalks which brought out a beautiful glow to them. They are great to use because they are light weight but sturdy enough to hold a quilt up.
Now you know what to do with all those tee shirts you got stuffed in drawers and closets. I have a bunch of shirts from the Playhouse Square that someday will be a quilt for me.

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