Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Billy's Memory Quilt ~~ finished!

Memory quilts seem to be the most requested commissions I get. I'm a little tired of them, but this particular quilt is really special because I made a memory quilt for this mom in 2015. That one was for her oldest;  this one is for the middle child. She brought it to me in the fall, but allowed me to push it back to get other quilts done.  

This little family has seen a few changes: mom got remarried and had a baby. That older brother started college. This one is graduating in May. And somewhere between this graduate and the baby, there's another boy. So mom was not shy about asking me to keep costs down. Somehow, I managed to keep the price down enough that it almost matches the first memory quilt I made for her back in 2014-15. 

That's me playing quilt model in the whole quilt photos. Richard's back and neck hurt too much to hold his arms overhead, so I climbed on a patio chair and did the honors. Hmm, no wonder everyone tries to hide when I come around with a quilt and my phone--quilts are heavy! 

One of my favorite parts of this quilt are the tee-shirts Billy painted. The one above is especially cute. The bottom of the shirt and both sleeves had been cut into small strips and embellished with beads. (Could there have been a girl in the vicinity?) I didn't want to lose that personal touch, so I cut off the fringes and sewed them into the quilt along the top of the shirt. They are still free to move around and really give the quilt some character.

 Another shirt must have been painted at VBS or church camp. There are lots of Christian symbols on both sides of the shirt, so I cut the front and back and stitched them together to make one panel. Then I custom quilted around the fabric paint to help make the letters and symbols stand out. 

Because mom had asked that I keep costs down as much as possible, I decided to stipple most of the quilt but just couldn't help myself on some of the shirts. This sports shirt is one example: I stitched around each of the players so that the characters stand out against the white background and to avoid cutting bodies with stitching lines. This one was great fun--I guess the only thing I didn't stitch is the background!  

Quilt Stats
Name: Billy's Tee-shirt Memory Quilt
Size: 60 x 80
Fabrics: Tee-shirts from client
Backing:  muslin (from stash)
Binding: black Kona 
Pattern: puzzle design
Quilting: stippling
Completed: March 2018

Another way that I saved on costs for mom was to put a few of the shirts on the back. The quilt is not so wide, but it's still ample enough to cover a pretty good size guy.  What do you think about my cost-saving measures? Do you have a few tricks to lower the costs for clients? I'd love to see a few that I can share with my customers. (And still make a few dollars.) 

I am committed to one more of these, then I think I'll take a break and play with my own projects. We'll see how that goes! Have a great week of quilting everyone!


The Joyful Quilter said...

No cost-saving measures, but I absolutely LOVE that you kept the beaded fringe!!!

Karen S said...

Fantastic finish. Well done with all the amazing work you put into it..

Sylvia said...

Another great finish to a challenging project! Congratulations!
Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

I love looking at T-Shirt quilts but I do not like making them. The only time I made them was for a dear friend whose husband passed away so I made two of them for her kids but I made them using the rag quilt method which for me saved time and energy since I made each block the same 14" square. Otherwise, good for you for making these.