How to make a T-shirt quilt from start to finish

It has been a couple years since I filmed my how to make a t-shirt quilt series.

Time for an updated video! I got together with my friends at Prime Publishing to show you how to make a T-shirt quilt from start to finish.

 

To make your quilt, you’ll need a few supplies:

T-shirts
Press Cloth (an old dishtowel will do)
Lightweight Fusible Interfacing
Border Fabric
Rotary Cutter, Mat & Ruler
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine.

In the video I take you through all the steps of making your t-shirt quilt. Learn the best way to cut your shirts so that your whole design fits on your blocks, and tips for how to center your design. What do you do when you have different sized shirts to incorporate into your t-shirt quilt? Add borders, of course! I show you what bordered blocks look like.

Stitching together stretchy shirts can result in puckers and blocks that don’t line up correctly. Adding a light-weight interfacing to your quilt blocks (I love and use Thermoweb brand interfacings) keeps them from stretching while cutting, sewing, and quilting your quilt.

Quilting your quilt is easy using a walking foot, or you can send your t-shirt quilt to a professional long-arm quilter to quilt it for you.

To finish your quilt, add binding and a label!

 

 

 

100th Day of School Lego Shirt

So, apparently, the 100th day of school is now a “thing”. Which I think is fun. Any time I can get my son to celebrate going to school is a win in my book! Our school invited students to wear a shirt with 100 things on it to celebrate the 100th day. Most kids would pick something simple – stickers, buttons, pom-poms… but my son wanted Legos. A 100th day of school Lego shirt. Okay.

My first thought was to paint 100 Legos onto a shirt. But I knew that would be tedious. I then thought about hot gluing the Legos onto the shirt… but I wasn’t sure how well it would hold up with my very active 6 year old… I knew it needed to be more secure. That’s when I came up with the idea of using Thermoweb’s HeatNBond Iron-on vinyl. The vinyl is most often used on top of placemats or coasters so that you can just wipe them off… but in this case, it is PERFECT for making a clear “window” to secure the Legos in place! And, because of the heat-activated adhesive, the Legos all stay in place in the zeros, instead of falling to the bottom in a heap, like they would with regular vinyl.

100th day of school lego shirt

You could absolutely use this technique for something other than Legos – buttons, bows, beads – anything small that is fairly heat-tolerant (it needs to at least be able to go through the dryer without melting).

Of course, I made this shirt the night before, and wasn’t sure if it would work, so I didn’t take step-by-step photos. But I’ll walk you through how to make the shirt yourself:

You’ll need (affiliate links added for your benefit and mine):
Plain shirt
Thermoweb 17-Inch by 2-Yard Heat’n Bond Iron-On Vinyl, Gloss
Iron, ironing board
Washcloth
Fabric Paint
Paintbrush
100 small Legos (or other object)
Scissors

1. Decide how big the ovals for your zeros are going to be. You can draw them on the backing paper for the Heat n Bond. Cut them out.

2. Divide the Legos into two piles, each with 50 pieces.

3. Place one pile of Legos on the shirt, and spread out. Flip them over, rotate them, do whatever you want to get them into position. Peel the backing paper off the vinyl oval, and place on top of the Legos. Make sure you have a border on ALL sides of at least 1/2″. You are placing the HeatnBond so that the side that used to have the paper on it is facing DOWN.

MY SUGGESTION: According to the directions on the HeatnBond, you cover your oval with the paper, and then press. If your oval is at all wonky, this leaves vinyl exposed. Instead of risking my shirt, I cut a large piece from the roll of vinyl, removed the vinyl and used the large piece of paper. I felt this protected the whole area better. I threw the extra piece of vinyl in the garbage. Call me wasteful, but wasting the entire shirt when I ruin it by burning a hole in the vinyl is worse in my book.

4. So… cover the oval with the backing paper, and then a washcloth, and press. Move the iron frequently, leaving it in each spot for just a second. I don’t know how much heat a Lego can take – I didn’t want to find out.

5. Once you’ve set everything in place, remove ONLY THE WASHCLOTH. Using the edge of the iron, seal all the edges of the vinyl by securing them to the shirt. This is what that 1/2″ border is for.

6. Repeat these steps with the second oval.

7. At this point, I stitched the edges of the ovals in place. I think this was overkill, and not needed. You can stitch yours if you’re worried about it… but for a shirt that only needs to last a day, it might not be worth getting the sewing machine out. Vinyl is a pain to stitch on – it sticks to the bottom of a standard sewing machine foot. You can use your walking foot, but it might be too wide (mine was). You can put masking tape on the bottom of your zipper foot, or you can use a free-motion foot (which is what I did).

8. Last step! Put a piece of paper inside the shirt to keep the layers from sticking together from the paint, then paint in the 1 and around the ovals to make the zeros. I used puffy paint and a small paintbrush. Let dry overnight. Your shirt is DONE!

100 day of school lego shirt

I did tell my son not to play with the shirt at school – I don’t know how easy it would be for him to tear a hole through the vinyl with a pointy-edged Lego. And I told him that if the shirt breaks or gets destroyed at school, not to worry. It is really just for today, and he doesn’t need to get upset if it gets messed up.

Legos added to a 100th day shirt

He was super excited to put it on. He is pretty confident that it will be the best 100th day shirt in the class. I think any 100th day shirt with Legos is pretty ambitious, and I’m really excited with how this one turned out. AND – it was super easy! I might have to use a technique like this on a quilt in the future – it was so fun and easy!

100th day of school shirt with legos

Hosting a Dr Pepper and Dye Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

For more ideas on how to create your own #BackyardBash, check out the tumblr page at www.drpepperbash.com.

hosting a dr pepper and dye party

This past weekend, I invited my friends over for a backyard bash for some one of a kind tie dye fun. I recently took a class on shibori dye techniques, and it amped up my pre-existing love for dye. I wanted to share this with my friends who haven’t tried dye before and… (spoiler alert) they loved it! I love throwing parties, including outdoor parties, and this was a one of a kind idea for creating a get together for my crafting friends!

Several of my friends came over, kids in tow, for a fun mommy-date. I hired a sitter to stay inside with the kids while we moms braved the 100+ degree heat to play with our dye.

I have a big bin in my craft room filled with all my dye supplies, so for me hosting the party was as easy as having people bring their own items to dye, pulling out the bin, gong to Wal Mart for some Dr Pepper and Cheeze-Its… and tidying the house of course! If you want to host your own dye party, but don’t have a dye bin handy, I’ll give you some tips on what to buy at the end of this post.

dye party supplies

We had a great time trying different dye techniques. We did traditional twisting dye…

pour on the dye

and I shared some techniques for using rubber bands to get different looks.

rubber bands to tie dye

Once everything was sitting in dye, we headed inside to snack. The fabric got to marinate in the dye, and develop a nice, rich color.

dye in a mason jar

After we ate, we took turns rinsing out our dyed creations.

rinse off the dye

It was so much fun to see what everyone created! This blue shirt below was as easy as folding, clamping, and soaking in dye.

shibori tie dye technique

 

These pearl grey and petal pink dyed fabrics will be going into a quilt.

grey and pink tie dye

Different colors and different techniques, and in one afternoon we made half a wardrobe!

drying off the clothes

Although it was hot, we had a perfect day with just a slight breeze. To keep garments down while dying, I was able to use Dr Pepper cans! These worked perfectly!

use dr pepper to hold down clothes

This shirt is a new technique I thought I’d try – I can’t wait to show you the results later this week!

 

If you want to host your own dye party (and you know you do!) here are my tips:

Tips for hosting a dye party

Start by deciding on a day and time that works. I picked a day when I would have a sitter handy to watch the kids. Half a dozen kids over while I have my hands in dye could be a recipe for disaster… so I wanted someone to keep an eye on the goings-on inside the house. Since I live in the desert, I wanted an early morning time (but not TOO early!), so we went from 10-2. This gave us enough time to prep our pieces, let them soak in the dye for at least an hour, and give everyone time to rinse.

If you’re new to dye, look for some different dye techniques online. Try them out before the party, if you can. I had a sampler from the class I took to show my guests what different dye techniques would look like. You might want to print out instructions for various techniques if you have lots of people coming.

Make sure you have the supplies you need on hand. Depending on the techniques you’ll be showing your guests, you’ll need different supplies. I headed to Wal Mart to buy my Dr Pepper, and any other supplies I didn’t have on hand already. While I was there, I also picked up a little Coleman cooler to keep my drinks cool during the party.

shopping for dr pepper at walmartMy shopping buddy wasn’t in the mood for taking pictures.

Here is my supply list:

Several different colored bottles of Rit Dye
Rubber Bands (I buy the large pack of black rubber bands from the hair section of the store)
Several containers for dye baths (large mason jars, wash bins, and plastic storage bins all work well)
Salt (helps give more vibrant color on cotton)
Stir Sticks (to stir your dye)
Water
A sink close at hand for rinsing
Rubber gloves (or guests who like colorful hands)
Dr Pepper, pizza, and some snacks – like Cheeze-Its!
Puppy Pads (for under dye trays)
Squirt and spray bottles
Plastic bags for taking home wet dyed clothes.

Have your guests bring their own items to dye – shirts, towels, sheets, shoes – anything white or light-colored (over-dying on pinks, yellows, light blues, and other light colors looks awesome!). The items can be old and stained (the dye will help hide the stains) or brand-new from the store.

 

After your guests rinse out their clothes, have an area they can hang them to dry. Because of the Las Vegas heat, lots of the clothes dried before my guests headed home. I also gave them washing instuctions: Wash each piece in LOTS of water (with a second rinse cycle if your washer has it). Don’t mix colors – if you have several garments with blue dye, they can be washed together… but don’t wash two different garments of different colors. Washing red and blue together, if you haven’t fully rinsed, can result in a whole lot of purple (ask me how I know!)…

Thanks again to Dr Pepper for making this such a fun party! #BackyardBash #CollectiveBias